Washington Law Review


"All His Sexless Patients": Persons with Mental Disabilities and the Competence to Have Sex

June 01, 2014 | 89 Wash. L. Rev. 257

Excerpt:  An article published in early 2014 in a peer-reviewed scientific journal began with a startling comment: “The recognition that individuals with disabilities have a desire for sexual relationships with other people is a relatively new concept in the scientific community.” We believe that this observation—wildly at odds with much of the literature referred to in this Article and in another paper by the two authors—exemplifies the discussion in our previous paper about the confusion and misinformation that permeates all of disability law and policy, especially mental disability law. The baseline, rather, for any scholarly inquiry into this subject, must be that “[i]ndividuals [with disabilities] have the same needs for intimate relationships and sexual expression as everyone else.”

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