Report of the Fourteenth World Congress of Sexology
23-27 August 1999, Hong Kong
At the final plenary
session, Professor Eli Coleman, Chairman of WAS announced the eleven basic
sexual rights that they wished us to endorse and enact in our work as
clinicians, educators and researchers. They are listed below and were endorsed
by the conference to much applause:
(1) The right to sexual freedom. Sexual
freedom encompasses the possibility for individuals to express their full
sexual potential. However, this excludes all forms of sexual coercion,
exploitation and abuse at any time and situations in life.
(2) The right to sexual autonomy, sexual
integrity, and safety of the sexual body. This right involves the
ability to make autonomous decisions about one’’s sexual life within a
context of ones own personal and social ethics. It also encompasses control
and enjoyment of our own bodies free from torture, mutilation and violence
of any sort.
(3) The right to sexual privacy. This
involves the right for individual decisions and behaviours about intimacy as
long as they do not intrude on the sexual rights of others.
(4) The right to sexual equity. This
refers to freedom from all forms of discrimination regardless of sex,
gender, sexual orientation, age, race, social class, religion, or physical
and emotional disability.
(5) The right to sexual pleasure. Sexual
pleasure, including autoeroticism, is a course of physical, psychological,
intellectual and spiritual wellbeing.
(6) The right to emotional sexual
expression. Sexual expression is more than erotic pleasure or sexual
acts. Individuals have a right to express their sexuality through
communication, touch, emotional expression and love.
(7) The right to sexually associate
freely. This means the possibility to marry or not, to divorce, and to
establish other types of responsible sexual associations.
(8) The right to make free and responsible
reproductive choices. This encompasses the right to decide whether or
not to have children, the number and spacing of children, and the right to
full access to the means of fertility regulation.
(9) The right to sexual information based
upon scientific inquiry. This right implies that sexual information
should be generated through the process of unencumbered and yet
scientifically ethical inquiry, and disseminated in appropriate ways at all
(10) The right to comprehensive sexuality
education. This is a lifelong process from birth throughout the life
cycle and should involve all social institutions.
(11) The right to sexual health care. Sexual
health care should be available for prevention and treatment of all sexual
concerns, problems and disorders.
Sexual Rights are
Fundamental and Universal Human Rights.
P. D'Ardenne. In: Sexual
and Marital Therapy, Vol. 14, o. 4, 1999
[Back to Doc. List E9]