Legislating Consent: Creating an Empowering Definition of Consent to Sex That Is Inclusive of People With Cognitive Disabilities

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Abstract

In this article, we draw on our experiences of law reform in Ireland to explore how to create a definition of consent to sex that is inclusive of people with cognitive disabilities. Using critical disability studies and feminist theory, we set out the context in which capacity to consent to sex law is currently operating. We critique the law on the basis that it holds people with cognitive disabilities to a different standard of sexual decision-making than others. We tell the story of the movement in Ireland to reform such law and our experiences working collaboratively with artists, disabled people’s organizations and parliamentarians to achieve change.

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Arstein-Kerslake, A., & Flynn, E. (2016). Legislating Consent: Creating an Empowering Definition of Consent to Sex That Is Inclusive of People With Cognitive Disabilities. Social and Legal Studies, 25(2), 225–248. https://doi.org/10.1177/0964663915599051

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