Published April 18, 2022
Congratulations to Professor Laina Bay-Cheng, PhD Candidate Hannah Ginn and their colleagues on the publication of their article, "The sexual rights of others: Majoritized women's support for marginalized women's rights" in The Journal of Sex Research.
Bay-Cheng, L. Y., Ginn, H. G., Brown, H. L. P., & Zucker, A. N. (2021). The sexual rights of others: Majoritized women’s support for marginalized women’s sexual rights. Journal of Sex Research.
Advocates argue that sexual safety, access to sexuality-related services, sexual health and well-being, sexual privacy, and sexual autonomy are universal and inalienable rights of all people. However, for those relegated to the social, economic, and political margins, their sexual rights can only be secured with the support of others. In the current study, we examined whether a sample of 307 majoritized women (i.e., white, cisgender, and heterosexual) would endorse the sexual rights of four theoretical groups of marginalized women: those who identify as lesbian; those with low incomes; those who are adolescents; and those labeled with an intellectual disability (ID). Whereas results indicated broad and equivalent support for the sexual rights of lesbians and low-income women, participants were somewhat equivocal about the sexual rights of ID-labeled women and least supportive of the sexual rights of adolescent women. We consider how protectionist attitudes toward adolescent and ID-labeled women may explain these findings and ultimately undercut their sexual rights. Rather than restrict the rights of marginalized women, even in the interests of protection, we advocate committing energy and resources to reducing their vulnerability so that all women may exercise a full complement of sexual rights.