Already Doing It: Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency by Michael Gill

By Michael Gill

Why is the sexuality of individuals with highbrow disabilities frequently deemed “risky” or “inappropriate” by means of lecturers, mom and dad, aid employees, doctors, judges, and the media? should still sexual citizenship rely on IQ? Confronting such questions head-on, Already Doing It exposes the “sexual ableism” that denies the truth of people who, regardless of the limitations they face, actively make judgements approximately their sexual lives.

Tracing the historical past of efforts within the usa to restrict the sexual freedoms of such persons⎯using tools corresponding to compelled sterilization, invasive contraception, and gender-segregated residing arrangements—Michael Gill demonstrates that those frequent practices stemmed from dominant perspectives of disabled sexuality, now not least the proposal that intellectually disabled girls are excessively sexual and fertile whereas their male opposite numbers are sexually predatory. examining felony discourses, intercourse schooling fabrics, and information tales going again to the Seventies, he indicates, for instance, that the serious concentrate on “stranger danger” in intercourse schooling for intellectually disabled members disregards their skill to independently pick out actions and sexual partners—including nonheterosexual ones, who're usually handled with heightened suspicion. He additionally examines moral concerns surrounding masturbation education that goals to manage individuals’ sexual lives, demanding situations the notion that these whose sexuality is managed (or rejected) aren't reproduce, and proposes popularity of the best to turn into mom and dad for adults with highbrow disabilities.

A powerfully argued demand sexual and reproductive justice for individuals with highbrow disabilities, Already Doing It urges a shift clear of the compulsion to regulate “deviance” (better identified this day as damage aid) as the correct to excitement and highbrow incapacity will not be jointly particular. In so doing, it represents an important new contribution to the continued debate over who, within the usa, could be allowed to have intercourse, reproduce, marry, and lift young ones.

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Extra resources for Already Doing It: Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency

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Unlike the Glen Ridge case, in which high school athletes raped and assaulted a girl with an intellectual disability multiple times using baseball bats, broomsticks, and other sticks while being cheered on by their friends, McArthur’s story is not as definitive. The Glen Ridge case was framed with consent as the central legal question. 30 We know that Harris was convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a helpless victim. We also know that Harris held power over McArthur because of his gender and role as peer-­educator, even if he does not think so.

In addition, intellectually disabled individuals are also generally not assumed sexually attractive or desirable partners, especially by those without intellectual disabilities. As such it is assumed that their sexual rights should be protected while their sexual expression should be shunned and silenced. These assessments and assumptions are defining characteristics in how the system of sexual 36 Questions of Consent ableism operates. Individuals are restricted from certain sexual actions through narrow conceptions of competency and agency, as interpreted through able-­bodied standards.

32 Disability as a process is an interaction between what is called the biological and the social. Certainly people are disabled by social processes that exclude particular bodies from participation. The bodily manifestations and experiences of these impairments are a direct result of the disablement process. The politics around language remains a site of contestation in disability studies. Categorizing disabled people as separate from people with disabilities is seen as one of the central linguistic concerns.

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