Let’s Talk About Sex-Ability! Decreasing the Disability stigma within the Sexual Education Discussion

Let’s Talk About Sex-Ability is a campaign created to address the lack of disability inclusion within reproductive and gender justice spaces. These spaces give workshops or classes on gender, sexuality and reproductive health there is a lack of disability discussion within these sex education spaces. The women’s movement is known for focusing on reproductive health, sexism, equal pay and many issues that intersect with different systems of oppression. In Women Studies courses individuals are taught about the significant roles women have had throughout history, who gave remarkable speeches ahead of their time, who were involved with the passage of certain laws and were never recognized in a U.S history class. Women’s Studies courses introduce sex education on a basic level discussing the reproductive health and how sexually diseases are transmitted. There are in-depth Women Studies courses that not only address sexual diseases but also address helping individuals learn more about themselves and how to treat others. Sex education helps personal growth with body image, relationships, men and women’s health also learning more about an individual’s sexuality or gender. Reproductive health and gender justice organizations help community member gain access to proper health resources and often offer free workshops on health for community members. In diverse populations sex education, can be liberating and expressive but it is still often very taboo in many homes.  Women Studies courses and community organizations like Planned Parenthood promote sex education because the stigma that surrounds issues such like sexually transmitted diseases, abusive relationships, gender reassignment or an understanding of an individual’s sexuality. The Let’s Talk About Sex-Ability Campaign is promoting the awareness of the exclusion of disability within the discussion of sex education. Women Studies classes or off-campus organizations do not include discussion about individuals with disabilities having sex. As a result, when discussing safe sex, disabled individuals can’t relate to what is being taught, when they are being taught about sexual pleasure, STDs, sexual violence, pregnancy in an able-bodied way. While there have been attempts to make the women’s movement and the LGBTQ community more inclusive to folks with a disability, there is still more work to be done. Let’s talk about Sex-Ability is a project the Youth Caucus from the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has been working on for the past couple months

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