Loneliness-and-Its-Opposite-Sex-Disability-and-the-Ethics-of-Engagement

Review :

Denmark and Sweden are very close to each other, separated by only some kilometres of sea. I've had the image that they are also similar in politics. This book proves otherwise when it comes to assuring sexual rights to disabled people. In Sweden, need of assistance in sex is ignored. In Denmark, on the other hand, there are widespread guidelines and trained people to assist severely disabled people in sexuality. They really work to make sure people's sexual needs are respected. This doesn't mean state-funded prostitution or personal assistants having sex with disabled people. It means advising people about their bodies, providing technical aids, making staying over possible for people who live in separate units etc.

This book is wonderful for many reasons. First, the subject of assistance in sex is very important. Second, the subject is handled with respect and emphasis on the disabled people, just like it should be. Third, the text is easy to understand which makes it possible to recommend it to anyone. It's almost like reading a story, with humour and everything.

What I didn't like was that parenthood of disabled people was dealt a bit carelessly. In other parts of the book it's repeatedly asked what kind of support can be given to make things happen. But when parenthood is considered, it is described how disabled women are talked out of that without going through why this kind of policy is chosen. Maybe the writers accept it as a taken fact that parenthood is not for intellectually disabled women. What about men And if a person needs intensive support or assistance in parenthood why does that make the whole thing impossible Maybe all this seemed to be irrelevant for the topic of this book but it that case it would perhaps been better to just leave it out of the book entirely.

The book made me think how things are in Finland when it comes to sexual rights of disabled people.


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