SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay

SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay ORDER NOW FOR CUSTOMIZED AND ORIGINAL NURSING PAPERS Home > Humanities > SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay Question Description I’m studying for my Sociology class and need an explanation. Select a quote from one article due for that day in class that you find the most interesting, confusing or thought-provoking and explain why. There is no word minimum or maximum, but typically Reading Responses should be about 1-2 pages double-spaced. Attached is the article you need to read and find a quote to basis the response on. Unformatted Attachment Preview 4 Reproductive Intrusions Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. The Fight against Forced Sterilization In a 2005 editorial in the Chicago Sun Times, bioethicist and lawyer Katie Watson questions, “To be blunt, families give up a lot to care for a cognitively impaired child. Is it so wrong to ask the disabled individual to give up the right [to] have children in return? Might this be a fair exchange?”1 In answering her own questions, Watson refers to case law that has been clear about the inability of the state to interfere in the reproductive freedoms of another: “The law says no person’s reproductive options are contingent on the needs, desires or judgment of another. Why should persons with disabilities be the exception?”2 The distinction between state intervention and reproductive rights and freedoms proves central in determining whether the desires of individuals with intellectual disabilities are respected regardless of parental and guardian desires. Conflicting desires, entrenched in assumptions about intellect, ability, and appropriateness, can influence reproduction of women (and to a lesser degree men) with intellectual disabilities. In this chapter, I explore a court case in Illinois, the one Watson references, where a young adult woman with an intellectual disability petitioned the court to stop an involuntary sterilization procedure. The court ruled that permanent sterilization would cause psychological damage to the young woman, even though the court was convinced she did not have the capacity to parent. Activists emboldened by the court case petitioned the state legislature and governor to pass a law preventing involuntary sterilization. I consider the desire of disabled people to parent as a legitimate expression, outside of discriminatory assessments of parental appropriateness. In what follows, I offer observations about the reproductive rights for women with intellectual disabilities living in an ableist, racist, classist, sexist, and heteronormative society. 105 Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csun/detail.action?docID=2011451. Created from csun on 2020-02-10 12:25:21. Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. 106 Reproductive Intrusions The State and Its Ability to Prevent Reproduction One of my main efforts in this book has been to develop a theory of sexual ableism to highlight the ways in which notions of competence, appropriateness, and ultimately able-­bodiedness surround discourses of sexuality and reproduction. Sexual ableism is the system of imbuing sexuality with determinations of qualification to be sexual based on criteria of ability, intellect, morality, physicality, appearance, age, race, social acceptability, and gender conformity. Both the court case Watson references and the example from the documentary Unlikely Travellers, discussed below, illustrate how sexual ableism operates in the lives of individuals labeled with intellectual disabilities. On January 9, 2003, a guardian petitioned the Illinois court to authorize a tubal ligation procedure on her niece, a then twenty-­four-­ year-­old young woman with an intellectual disability. SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay The young woman, referred to as K.E.J., was sexually active and her aunt was concerned that less permanent birth control methods would not effectively prevent a pregnancy. According to court documents, the guardian acknowledged that her niece was “unable to comprehend the possibility of pregnancy or handle the responsibility that it would bring.”3 K.E.J. was receiving regular Depo-­Provera injections to prevent conception, but as a result of these injections she had gained fifty pounds, had elevated blood pressure, and experienced a loss of hair.4 As a result of this initial petition by the young woman’s guardian, a five-­year protracted court case ensued, resulting in a judge upholding a previous court’s ruling that a tubal ligation was not in the best interests of K.E.J. Because of this court case, the Illinois legislature passed a law outlawing sterilization of individuals with intellectual disabilities without court proceedings. Activist efforts in Illinois, including those by the organizations Equip for Equality, a protection and advocacy organization, and FRIDA, which stands for Feminist Response in Disability Activism, a Chicagoland-­based feminist disability activist organization formed in the wake of this case as well as other more public issues, including the controversy surrounding Terri Schiavo in Florida, directly influenced the court case and legislation. Regarding the court case, I am interested how K.E.J.’s desire to reproduce and parent were discounted but also simultaneously used as evidence testifying to the apparent cruelty of the tubal ligation procedure because of its apparent permanence. In his final appellate ruling, Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csun/detail.action?docID=2011451. Created from csun on 2020-02-10 12:25:21. Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. Reproductive Intrusions 107 Judge Joseph Gordon remarks that part of his reasoning for upholding the lower court’s denial of the guardian’s petition is that there are “less intrusive and less psychologically harmful alternatives to a tubal ligation.”5 As part of the court proceedings, K.E.J.’s father remarked that his daughter’s wish to be a parent, combined with her understanding of the inability to do so with a tubal ligation, could bring about severe depression and crush her “hope” to have a child.6 Her father testified that the procedure would “take [her desire to raise a child] and crush it and take her whole wish and fantasy totally away.”7 This crushed “wish” and “fantasy” were used as rationale against tubal ligation; the father’s choice of words illustrates the potentially restrictive environment in which K.E.J. remained a sexual being. Her desire and fantasy of family successfully gender her. It is crucial to consider why K.E.J.’s “wish” or “fantasy” warrants state intervention and surveillance. How is her wish read through the system of sexual ableism? How can we imagine a future where her wish and desire need not be regulated or restricted, or seen as disqualifying due to her disability? Can her disability ever be seen as compatible with a desire (and ability) to parent? In the discourse presented in the court case, K.E.J.’s impairment supposedly meant she was unable to take care of a child. In the courtroom her intellectual disability was equated with justification for active measures to prevent pregnancy.SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay Although tubal ligation procedures are potentially reversible, K.E.J. understood the procedure as foreclosure of her future ability to reproduce and become a parent. At a 2005 bench trial, K.E.J. testified about her desire to parent, “I will love taking care of them. I will love, you know, to see how they grow.”8 K.E.J.’s articulation illustrates the extent to which reproductive desires are constructed in society. In fact, K.E.J. is articulating a desire that many young women her age have regarding their imagined, current, or future families. Her disability does not negate that desire. All too often, desire to parent is seen as natural but tangential to identities and other issues presented as “pressing” and “real,” which are seen as compromising the capability to parent. Judge Joseph Gordon, writing the decision for the appellate court, remarks: We find the testimony of K.E.J.’s father regarding the likely effect of a tubal ligation to be persuasive: because K.E.J. dreams of having children someday, he stated that a tubal ligation would be Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csun/detail.action?docID=2011451. Created from csun on 2020-02-10 12:25:21. 108 Reproductive Intrusions Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. likely to induce severe depression in her, as she understands the permanence of the procedure. While other methods of contraception also have the effect of preventing pregnancy, they are much less intrusive in that she does not object to their use, as they allow her to maintain her hope for the future. However, this must be weighed against the testimony that if she were to have a child and it were taken away, it would be a highly traumatic event for her.9 Despite her desire to reproduce and parent, the court ruling did not advocate for her right to parent, or even determine how to manage her reproductive ability. Rather, the court ruling merely limited potential birth control options to seemingly less invasive ones, such as birth control pills or patches. The judge takes for granted that any future children could be taken away as well. It is striking that the judge here doesn’t imagine a situation in which K.E.J. might retain custody of her child, regardless of whether he disagrees with this assessment of terminated parental rights. As we are not able to explicitly determine his view on the situation, the fact that he remarks that K.E.J.’s parental rights most likely would be terminated reflects the reproductively ableist environment in which many individuals labeled as intellectually disabled are framed by the discourses of appropriateness, fitness, and competency. The judge’s ruling and assessment of K.E.J.’s future reproductive abilities raise important questions at the intersections of intellectual disability, sexuality, reproduction, and competence. What justifies the assumption that the young woman’s desire to reproduce seems inappropriate and potentially harmful? Why is her desire to mother seen as a threat to herself and her yet-­to-­be conceived and born child to the degree that the child would automatically be removed from the mother? When it comes to intellectual disability and motherhood, it would seem that mothering is only qualified by assessments of supposedly measurable intellect and assumed ability to take care of offspring. This illustrates links between sexual ableism and the ability to reproduce. In a twist of judicial irony, the court sees that her desire to reproduce and parent was unrealistic, but ending that desire was deemed harsh; her desire (although not recognized as valid in the courtroom) and the potentiality to realize that desire are still intact. Her desire to parent is only seen as valid provided it remains constructed as a “wish” and not “reality.” In essence, having these desires properly genders and Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csun/detail.action?docID=2011451. Created from csun on 2020-02-10 12:25:21. Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. Reproductive Intrusions 109 “ages” her, where intellectual disability assumes childlike rationality.10 Why is it fantasy that the young woman would want to have a child? Does she have any reproductive rights? If she didn’t assume that the tubal ligation was permanent, the court presumably could have ruled in favor of the guardian. Expressing her desire to parent secured her future potential to reproduce, but the possibility that her child could be taken away also remains a possible future outcome. In an amicus curiae brief authored by Katie Watson and other bioethicists in support of K.E.J., the issue of reproductive rights is central to the argumentation in asking the appellate court judge to uphold the lower court’s ruling to not allow sterilization. As part of their brief, the amici begin with two assertions to help illustrate the gravity of this particular case on the reproductive rights of individuals with intellectual disabilities.SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay First, they remark that guardians “request to sterilize their wards with some regularity” and that “it is estimated that guardians ask physicians to sterilize their wards approximately 1–­3 times per month throughout the Northwestern medical system” (a Chicagoland university connected multi-­hospital system).11 Next the amici remark how Illinois is one of seventeen states that do not have “a specific legal standard for when a guardian may decide to permanently deprive a ward of the possibility of becoming a parent, even over the ward’s explicit objection.”12 And because of this, the amici “are concerned that Illinois law currently leaves its cognitively impaired citizens vulnerable to sterilization for the benefit of others, a practice from a dark historical era to which we should never return.”13 Calling on the eugenic history of forced sterilization and usurping of reproductive potentiality, the amici urge the court to adopt a best interests standard in determining the outcome of the case.14 In his appellate court ruling, Judge Joseph Gordon cites the following from the 1942 Supreme Court case Skinner v. Oklahoma:15 “Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race. The power to sterilize, if exercised, may have subtle, far-­reaching and devastating effects. In evil or reckless hands it can cause races or types which are inimical to the dominant groups to wither or disappear. There is no redemption for the individual whom the law touches. Any experiment which the State conducts is to his irreparable injury. He is forever deprived of a basic liberty.”16 Judge Gordon explains that in citing Skinner v. Oklahoma, he is remarking how these words serve as a “warning for us to proceed Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csun/detail.action?docID=2011451. Created from csun on 2020-02-10 12:25:21. Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. 110 Reproductive Intrusions with caution” not only because of the impact of the procedure in question but also because of the eugenic history of involuntary sterilization, although the judge remarks the K.E.J. case “does not technically” raise eugenic concerns because K.E.J.’s impairment was acquired as a result of trauma opposed to being congenitally obtained.17 The judge is making a technical distinction, stating that eugenics only applies to preventing reproduction of those with hereditary disabilities. However, eugenic efforts to restrict reproduction have never just been directed at those with congenital impairments. Disability studies activists and scholars would easily contend the judge’s assertion, because limiting the reproductive potential and ability of disabled people or those assumed to have disabilities, especially along a discourse of competence and “fitness” to parent, is seen by many as a continuing reminder of the legacy of eugenics. Naming what classifies as eugenics helps to trace linkages between “past” and “present,” which continues to have drastic effects on the reproductive potentiality of individuals including disabled women. Watson remarks that “allowing guardians to permanently block their ward’s reproductive desires with the muscle of the courts and the knife of medicine is a discriminatory step back toward a shameful era to which we should never return.”18 FRIDA in a blog post from January 3, 2006, comments that “the controversy” as it pertains to the K.E.J. case “is not over birth control or sterilization per se. Millions of people with and without disabilities have made the decision either to use birth control or get sterilized, as a matter of personal choice. Instead, the issue is whether the court will respect [K.E.J.’s] basic human right to make her own reproductive choices, or give that right to her guardian.”19 Throughout the entire proceedings, K.E.J. was quite clear about her desire to parent. A lawyer for Equip for Equality, Byron Mason, in a Chicago Tribune article specifically addresses self-­determination and rights discourse: “Regardless of whether a person has a disability, a person has a right to make certain fundamental decisions about their own body.”20 Disability activists and K.E.J.’s legal team tried to change the discussion from her supposed unfitness or inability to parent to a broader discussion of rights of bodily autonomy. SOC 451 California State University Northridge The aspect of Human Sexuality Essay In an interesting choice of words, the attorney for K.E.J.’s guardian, Lester Barclay, remarks in the same Chicago Tribune article, “This lawsuit was not about placing any restrictions on [K.E.J.]. It was only about Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency, University of Minnesota Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/csun/detail.action?docID=2011451. Created from csun on 2020-02-10 12:25:21. Copyright © 2015. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved. Reproductive Intrusions 111 looking at her desire to be free and recognize her desire to engage in sexual conduct . . . This is why we appoint guardians.”21 It would appear, at least according to this lawyer, that desire to engage in sexual conduct and desire to parent in the future are mutually exclusive. Freedom to engage in sexual relations, according to the lawyer, ought to be maintained, even if this means that the ability to reproduce is restricted. In fact, many of the journalistic accounts of the case report how K.E.J. was sexually active at the time of the initial request for sterilization by the guardian, offering at least some rhetorical weight to understanding the motives of the guardian, as if her sexual activity, with its attendant risk of pregnancy, warrants drastic measures to prevent reproduction. K.E.J.’s guardian was not denying that K.E.J. could participate in sexual activity. Rather, parental fitness proved central in the legal and journalistic accounts. Much of the recent research into reproduction, intellectual disability, and supposed parental fitness addresses how parents with intellectual disabilities often have to navigate government and social service agencies that question, if not openly challenge, their abilities to parent.22 Despite the very public nature of this case, it would appear that the parental and sexual rights of individuals with intellectual disabilities are largely subject to personal assessments of competence and appropriateness. The sustained focus on managing and controlling the reproductive potential of women (and to some extent men) with intellectual disabilities illustrates the restrictive environments in which they raise children, while constantly trying to prove parental abilities. Margrit Shildrick remarks that the focus on controlling the reproduction of individuals with intellectual disabilities points to mainstream “ambivalence, or more clearly a disinclination, towards recognizing and giving value to difference at the margins,” which could be seen as a “psychic disavowal that in turn partially drives governmentality.”23 This increased governmentality in the arena of intellectual disability and reproduction makes it difficult for individuals to retain their rights—­sexual, reproductive, parental, and otherwise—thus highlighting one way that discourses of sexual ableism are reinforced. Necessary to Restrict Rights? In December 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a declaration on “The Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons.”24 The declaration Gill, Michael. Already Doing It : Intelle … Purchase answer to see full attachment Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100 Use the following coupon code : NURSING10

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