The Right to Health and Sexuality

The Right to Health and Sexuality

Recent years of activism around health have brought about a conceptualisation of the relationship between health and various social, economic, political and cultural factors. Unfortunately, for the large part, the politics of sex and sexuality have not figured in these conceptualisations except in so far as they relate to either the HIV/AIDS epidemic or to reproductive health. Often the way the politics of sex and sexuality combine with these factors, which marginalises people, precludes access and engenders violence remains unspoken. This paper is an attempt to start filling this gap in the activism and language of movements interested in the right to health. The paper highlights how the conceptualisation of the sexuality of the ‘general population’ as heterosexual, monogamous and marital, acts as a mechanism of exclusion and violence against those whose realities do not fit this framework. [abstract adapted from author]

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