By Michael Gill
Why is the sexuality of individuals with highbrow disabilities frequently deemed “risky” or “inappropriate” by way of academics, mom and dad, aid employees, doctors, judges, and the media? may still sexual citizenship depend upon IQ? Confronting such questions head-on, Already Doing It exposes the “sexual ableism” that denies the truth of people who, regardless of the constraints they face, actively make judgements approximately their sexual lives.
Tracing the background of efforts within the usa to restrict the sexual freedoms of such persons⎯using tools reminiscent of pressured sterilization, invasive contraception, and gender-segregated residing arrangements—Michael Gill demonstrates that those common practices stemmed from dominant perspectives of disabled sexuality, no longer least the idea that intellectually disabled ladies are excessively sexual and fertile whereas their male opposite numbers are sexually predatory. studying felony discourses, intercourse schooling fabrics, and information tales going again to the Nineteen Seventies, he indicates, for instance, that the serious concentrate on “stranger danger” in intercourse schooling for intellectually disabled participants disregards their skill to independently decide upon actions and sexual partners—including nonheterosexual ones, who're usually taken care of with heightened suspicion. He additionally examines moral matters surrounding masturbation education that goals to manage individuals’ sexual lives, demanding situations the belief that these whose sexuality is managed (or rejected) usually are not reproduce, and proposes acceptance of the perfect to develop 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 recognized at the present time as damage relief) as the correct to excitement and highbrow incapacity will not be collectively unique. In so doing, it represents an important new contribution to the continuing debate over who, within the usa, will be allowed to have intercourse, reproduce, marry, and lift kids.
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Extra info for Already Doing It: Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency
Many of the statements by Harris in this interview are typically repeated by those convicted of sexual assault and do not garner him much sympathy from readers. ”23 He continues, “Me and Kalie know exactly what happened. ”24 Despite the other representations of Harris as a poor student and predator, he contends in this interview that their relationship (as peer-trainer and otherwise) was based on mutual feelings, and that nothing inappropriate or illegal happened between the two of them. In fact Harris’s grandmother makes the most provocative comment in this interview by saying that “he [Harris] was a child just as much as she [McArthur] was a child.
While Harris’s depression does not excuse or vindicate his actions, I would argue that recognizing his impairment might do more to explain his reasoning than does defining him simply as a hormone- filled boy. ”31 Likewise, McArthur’s father has been quoted as saying that his daughter “used to be passive and affectionate, [but] now she’s aggressive, especially toward males. ”32 This threat of future violence is not commented on in the coverage of the case. It only serves as a marker of the gravity of the situation and a consequence of victimization, one that might be replicated at the hands of McArthur on a younger boy victim.
Individuals often express a desire to have a moment in which they can share their story as one way to deal with the experience. McArthur was denied this opportunity. Abuse against individuals with intellectual disabilities can become especially heinous, considering the ways in which intellectual disability is defined as a significant limitation in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. If professionals, as well as a portion of the general public, consider intellectual disability to be equated with a lack of consent and the ability to act in “conceptual” and “adaptive” manners, then how can discussions that occur around these incidents demand justice without reifying the individual as pitiful and defenseless?
Already Doing It: Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency by Michael Gill