Ground-breaking peer-reviewed paper in leading academic journal Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters offers a conceptual and pragmatic basis for why policy around sexual and reproductive health and rights must take sexual pleasure into account
LONDON, 30 April 2019 – A newly published peer-reviewed paper in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters (SRHM) journal provides a conceptual and pragmatic basis for why sexual pleasure should be included in policy, programming and advocacy efforts around sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
In recent years, there have been increasing calls from the SRHR community to include discourse around sexual pleasure as a prime component in the wider SRHR conversation. When sexual pleasure is not taken into account, policies treat people as biological organisms rather than as sexual beings.
The paper points out that in today’s charged political climate, it is more important than ever for policy to take note of the linkages between sexual health, sexual rights and sexual pleasure, especially to benefit the most marginalised communities in society. By leaving pleasure out of the sexual health debate leads to sexual health initiatives being focused solely on disease prevention, which risks ignoring or minimising issues around sexual violence.
To formalise this view, members of The Global Advisory Board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing co-authored a paper arguing that sexual health, sexual rights and sexual pleasure must be viewed as interdependent; forming a “perfect triangle.” Their view is that none of those three elements can be viewed in isolation from the other two, and that this should transfer to policies, laws, programmes and advocacy efforts.
Sofia Gruskin, lead author of the paper, comments: “We cannot continue to overlook the importance of sexual pleasure in policies and programmes. When conceptual frameworks ignore the importance of sexual pleasure as an integral part of the sexual experience, resultant policies and programmes will treat individuals as desexualised beings and will not reflect a holistic view of sexual health or sexual rights. It is time to start talking about pleasure at a policy level.”
Vithika Yadav, Chair, The Global Advisory Board (GAB) for Sexual Health and Wellbeing, one of the paper’s co-authors, comments: “With increasing restrictions on abortion support in the US and draconian crackdowns on LGBT rights in some developing countries, it is essential that governments, international institutions, advocacy organisations and sexual health programmers act with intersectionality and multi-sectoral cooperation to improve people’s sexual liberties, health and pleasure. For this to happen, they must view sexual health, sexual rights and sexual pleasure as interconnected and co-dependent.”
To read the full peer-reviewed paper on the world renowned open source journal Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters via this link: Sexual health, sexual rights and sexual pleasure: meaningfully engaging the perfect triangle.
About the Global Advisory Board
The Global Advisory Board (GAB) for Sexual Health and Wellbeing was established in 2016 to advocate for a positive and inclusive approach to sexuality.
The Board is an independent group that has come together in recognition of the lack of equal attention to sexual health, sexual rights and sexual pleasure in research, education, training, policies and programmes regarding sexuality.
The GAB aims to highlight the importance of considering sexual health, sexual rights and sexual pleasure equally and to provide a call to action to global organisations, policy makers, NGOs and governments to achieve a rights based perspective on sexuality in policy, law, practice and research.
For more information visit http://www.gab-shw.org/
Name: Doug Miller
Phone: 020 7526 3639
Name: Perran Harvey
Phone: 020 7526 3653