Challenging the Medicalization of Sex




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The New View Manifesto

A New View of Women's Sexual Problems

by The Working Group on A New View of Women's Sexual Problems. [ 1 ]

Sexual Health and Sexual Rights: International Views

To move away from the DSM's genital and mechanical blueprint of women's sexual problems, we turned for guidance to international documents. In 1974, the World Health Organization held a unique conference on the training needs for sexual health workers. The report noted: "A growing body of knowledge indicates that problems in human sexuality are more pervasive and more important to the well-being and health of individuals in many cultures than has previously been recognized." The report emphasized the importance of taking a positive approach to human sexuality and the enhancement of relationships. It offered a broad definition of "sexual health" as "the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual, and social aspects of sexual being." [ 6 ]

In 1999, the World Association of Sexology, meeting in Hong Kong, adopted a Declaration of Sexual Rights." [ 7 ] In order to assure that human beings and societies develop healthy sexuality," the Declaration stated, "the following sexual rights must be recognized, promoted, respected, and defended":

  • The right to sexual freedom, excluding all forms of sexual coercion, exploitation and abuse;
  • The right to sexual autonomy and safety of the sexual body;
  • The right to sexual pleasure, which is a source of physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual well-being;
  • The right to sexual information...generated through unencumbered yet scientifically ethical inquiry;
  • The right to comprehensive sexuality education;
  • The right to sexual health care, which should be available for prevention and treatment of all sexual concerns, problems, and disorders.

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