Pleasure as a Sexual Right

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – one of the leading global advocates for sexual and reproductive health – published its Declaration of Sexual Rights in October 2008. Among its principles is:

Principle 4 Sexuality, and pleasure deriving from it, is a central aspect of being human, whether or not a person chooses to reproduce. Sexual health spans a lifetime. Sexuality is an integral factor in almost all reproductive decisions; however it is a central aspect of being human, whether or not one chooses to reproduce.
Sexuality is not merely a vehicle for individuals to satisfy their reproductive interests. The entitlement
to experience and enjoy sexuality independent of reproduction, and reproduction independent of sexuality should be safeguarded, paying particular attention to those who, historically and in the present, are denied such an entitlement.

This document stands out as a forerunner in promoting sexual rights, as opposed to merely reproductive rights. According to IPPF, it should be implemented by IPPF member organizations, so it will be interesting to watch and see if any changes result from this new declaration.

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