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

By Michael Gill

Why is the sexuality of individuals with highbrow disabilities usually deemed “risky” or “inappropriate” by way of lecturers, mom and dad, help employees, doctors, judges, and the media? may 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 heritage of efforts within the usa to restrict the sexual freedoms of such persons⎯using tools akin to compelled sterilization, invasive contraception, and gender-segregated dwelling arrangements—Michael Gill demonstrates that those common practices stemmed from dominant perspectives of disabled sexuality, now not least the thought 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 exhibits, for instance, that the serious specialise in “stranger danger” in intercourse schooling for intellectually disabled members disregards their skill to independently opt for actions and sexual partners—including nonheterosexual ones, who're usually handled 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) are usually not reproduce, and proposes popularity of definitely the right 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 identified this present day as damage aid) as the correct to excitement and highbrow incapacity will not be collectively unique. 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 children.

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Jose and the man masturbate in front of each other. When the encounter is over, Jose leaves the bookstore not feeling any guilt or remorse over what just transpired. Was the encounter sexual abuse, even though Jose enjoyed it? Is it significant that the two men only masturbated? Will Jose later regret this encounter? Did the other man know Jose was an individual with an intellectual disability? Does it matter? These are all complex and difficult questions. Each vignette provides a different vantage point from which we can explore the issues around intellectual disability and sexuality.

To be clear, I am not arguing that what she experienced was or was not sexual violence. The emphasis on virginal and innocent status to justify victimhood is my focus in this case, primarily because such an emphasis seems to lead to pity and unequal power dynamics. There is also a stereotype that individuals with intellectual disabilities are uncontrollably and inappropriately sexual, for example masturbating in public locations. 37 The implication is that if someone who experiences abuse and assault is also sexually active or has multiple sexual partners, then the actual experience of abuse is mitigated.

29 The wolf (Harris) in this metaphor is the actor while the lamb (McArthur) is the recipient of the action. Although as observers we will never quite know what happened in the stairwell, there remains some question about McArthur’s exact role in the situation. 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.

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