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Disabled People’s Rights Essay

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Updated: Jul 24th, 2019


There are countless contemporary issues which continue to trigger debates across the world. These issues range from social, economical and political among others. Nevertheless, the discussions and decisions arrived at significantly shape the attitude of people and their future understanding of similar issues.

Of great concern are human rights which receive discrepancies from all walks of life. Although these debates have existed for decades, it is evident that little achievement has been realized in fighting for the sexual rights for the disabled. Do these people have emotions and sexual rights like the rest of the population?

Should their rights be protected by the law? How does the society view the disabled in the context of their sexuality? These and countless questions engulf the mind of activists and the entire group of disabled persons. This paper focuses on common attitudes towards the disabled and some of the achievements which have been realized in the last nineteen years.


From Anne’s excerpt, it is more obvious than not that there is a myriad of views regarding the rights of the disabled in the society. These attitudes however dwell among every member of the society including congress members who are mandated to formulate laws which guard against exploitation of ones rights.

Anne’s article articulated the mind and permits the need to analyze how people view disabled members of the society within the context of their sexual rights. From cultures to cultures and from subcultures to subcultures, the rights of the disabled continue being undermined and ignored (Anne, 1992).

Millions of these minorities in the society find it hard to enjoy their natural sexuality like normal members of the population. Questions have continued to be asked whether disabled people should give birth or get married with many arguing that their sexuality was limited by the fact that they were physically or mentally handicapped. How then should these people be treated? Do they belong to the society?

Majority of disabled people have a clear understanding of the fact that the society negates almost all their sexual rights with a few of existing privileges and considerations being left at the mercies of the normal members of the society (Blackburn, 2002).

How does the society’s attitude affect disabled members of the society? It is one of the main challenges having in mind that no one has the capacity to transform the perception of the society. How are these people protected by the law? An understanding of such protection would be paramount in analyzing Anne’s stance concerning the sexual rights of disabled members of our society.

Discrimination Law

It is quite shocking to note that exploitation of disabled people occur in the face of the law which was to protect them against any form of discrimination. With the enforcement of the Disability Discrimination Act in the year 1996, it was assumed that discrimination of physically disabled or mentally impaired people would end (Blackburn, 2002).

As stated by Blackburn, this remains a milestone in the history of the disabled having increased their rights to employment, access to buildings and education. However, the law does not recognize sexual rights for the handicapped especially for those who may be in need of protection against sexual violation. In spite of these people receiving half baked legislative support, they equally remain vulnerable to sexual harassment like rape (Graupner et al., 2005).

Disabled Sexuality

The Forbidden fruit; In New Internationalist, brings to light a fundamental right for the disabled that is important as it were among the normal members of the society. Contrary to the perception which has been nurtured for decades, disabled people need not to enjoy their sexuality (Anne, 1992).

In fact, some people disagree with the fact that handicapped people have to be fully protected by the law more than the normal ones. Does sexuality get disabled when a person lacks his or her hearing ability because of natural reasons or by human error? According to McNutt (2004), disabled individuals require intimate relationships in life but the society seem to ignore them and deprive off their sexual rights (McNutt, 2004).

Within the sexual context of the society, the general public considers disabled people unfit to enjoy their sexual rights in life. Many believe that these rights are privileges to be enjoyed by those who deem themselves perfect (Jacobs, 2010). How can the disabled be categorized as underage or the extremely old people who logically become limited to some of the human rights? In her 2004 article, McNutt (2004) affirmed that disabled people are less considered during sex-related adverts.

However, this ignorance has never eliminated the truth about disabled sexual rights. She noted that disabled people continue to suffer at the mercies of the perfect and that such denial of human rights does not make them better human beings but belittles the entire group of minorities (McNutt, 2004).

Another striking scenario of discrimination among the disabled is the manner in which they are handled by medical practitioners. Many nurses and doctors being members of a contemporary society that limits the rights of the disabled, use their positions to propagate this spirit of discrimination.

Concerns over the privacy for most disabled being remain a major hurdle. For instance, disabled people in care centers find it hard and humiliating when they are denied privacy rights. Cases of medical attendants visiting patients without announcements have become common; a clear indication of how the society views disabled people and it would wish to see them being treated in general.

What about love which emanates from natural feelings and affection towards another person? Can disabled dating exist? According to McNutt (2004), disabled people get rejected not only by those around them but also agencies which are supposed to promote the fulfillment of their emotional needs.

When dating agencies deny disabled people a chance to meet their needs, it insinuates the negative attitudes towards this group of people and their inability to recognize that sex is not a privilege for the perfect but a right for every human being (McNutt, 2004).

Additionally, attitudes towards disability cause people to enforce laws or make amendments which would prove it hard for the disabled to enjoy existing rights (Jacobs, 2010). Stances on abortion across the global plane clearly denote segregation of the people with deformities in the society today.

Why would abortion be considered legal based on “defective fetuses”? It could be inferred from such cases that the society views the disabled people to be less human and unfit for the right to live.

Moreover, the question of marriage and child bearing has remained controversial with regard to sexuality and disability of human beings. Sterilization of disabled spouses who wish to get married double emphasizes the negative attitude that the society has over these people. Under human and fair conditions, disabled people would be given assistance to meet their needs and make them comfortable in enjoying their sexual rights.

This inhuman act discourages the disabled from having intimate relationships like the normal population (Anne, 1992). The same discrimination is perpetuated through withdrawal of state support for disabled people who get married. By the state government supporting disabled people as long as they are single affirms its intention to ensure that they do not enjoy natural sexual rights. This notion aims at not only discouraging disabled people from getting married but also from reproduction and being asexual.

What about the US Congress’ decision to cut off the access of blind people to Playboy editions? As a magazine that is legally acceptable to circulate, every person has the right to interact with it as a source of information and entertainment (Anne, 1992).

In a fair society that respects that needs and rights of the disabled, the blind should be aided to access the information. Limiting this access implies nothing but the attitude which the society nurtures towards the disabled.

Although there have been efforts to protect the rights of the disabled in the society, it is evident that most of the movements which champion these efforts have ignored the sexual rights of the disabled. Many debates have taken place to promote equality in terms of access to medication, education and employment opportunities between the disabled and the rest of the population (Cooper & Guillebaud, 1999).

This is highly commendable but not enough. These efforts have to be extended to address sexual discrimination against the handicapped since they have equal rights.


Sexual discrimination in the contemporary society remains a major obstacle to overcome. There are countless circumstances in the world today which completely undermine human beings because of their physical and mental incapability. Disabled people are denied their sexual right through countless ways including but not limited to forced sterilization, abortion, marriage, dating and overall intimate relationships.

Although handicapped people may have limitations, it is important to appreciate that they have feelings and that sexual rights are not privileges as assumed by the public but human rights. This is essential in reshaping the attitude of society that continues to discriminate the disabled sexually.


Anne, F. (1992). . New Internationalist. Web.

Blackburn, M. (2002). Sexuality and disability. Amsterdam, UK: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Cooper, E & Guillebaud, J. (1999). Sexuality and disability: a guide for everyday practice.

Graupner, et al., (2005). Sexuality and human rights: a global overview. London, UK: Routledge.

Jacobs, N. (2010). . The Guardian. Web.

McNutt, H. (2004). . The Guardian. Web.

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