• Thu, Feb 10 2011

Should This Mentally Retarded Man Be Allowed to Have Sex?

Yes!

Oh, wham, problem solved!

Wait, you want more information? Look at you. Always looking for facts. Like a detective.

Alright. According to The Telegraph:

The 41 year-old had been in a relationship with a man whom he lived with and told officials “it would make me feel happy” for it to continue. But his local council decided his “vigorous sex drive” was inappropriate and that with an IQ of 48 and a “moderate” learning disability, he did not understand what he was doing…

The judge said it requires an understanding and awareness of the “mechanics of the act”, “that there are health risks involved” and that sex between a man and a woman may lead to pregnancy. He said that the psychiatrist thought Alan “believed that babies were delivered by a stork or found under a bush”, and that “sex could give you spots or measles”.

On that basis the judge ruled that Alan did not have the capacity to consent to sex, but also ordered that the council should provide him with sex education “in the hope that he thereby gains that capacity”.

My problem isn’t that they asked him questions – though I think you can get a bit of a scary Big Brother vibe if the government is going to decide who is smart enough to have sexual relations. My problem is that they didn’t seem to take into account the fact that he answered the questions correctly.

If you ask someone “why do you want to keep having sex?” the wrong answer is “penguins.” The right answer is “because I want to,” or, as the man pretty aptly put it “because it will make me happy.” Okay, there are probably other factors to take into consideration (because I love the person, because I want to have a child, because I skipped the gym today) but we live in a secular enough society that the only answer necessary is “because I want to.”

Rock on, 48 IQ guy. You’re going into this with the right spirit. Really, a far better spirit than a lot of people with higher IQs.  

As for the fact that he thinks it can cause spots? Well, it can. Those spots are called “herpes.” I don’t know about measles. Probably not. Do we know sex can’t cause measles? Maybe it can. It seems like something sex would go and do, wouldn’t it? Well, there’s a new reason to be hermit.  

He doesn’t know where babies come from? He has a gay lover. He’s gay. And I don’t think he’s going to embark on a lengthy adoption process.

So, really, yes. Yes, he should.

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  • Eileen

    I do think that the issue of consent is an important one here – children are not legally allowed to consent to sex, nor are people under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so it’s a valid concern – but you’re right. Knowing where babies come from isn’t really necessary to have safe and meaningful gay sex.

  • Jenna

    Sex is a biological drive. Just like hunger and thirst. Are we next going to tell this man that he’s not allowed to eat or drink?

  • Emily

    I feel like there’s a bit of missing context here. Who is the guy he’s having sex with? It’s possible that he may be taking advantage. Is he using 48IQ for gratification and rent and will eventually leave him hurt and confused? Or does he genuinely care about his intellectually challenged partner?

    • audrey

      Let’s just make it so everyone’s IQ must be tested and anyone with an IQ below 100 cannot breed. That way we can prevent the movie “Idiocracy” from coming true.

      While the government is at it, let’s make sure that everyone’s partner isn’t just using him/her for gratification and rent and won’t eventually leave him/her hurt and confused.

      Also drunk and angry and feeling like they want to barf and run her over with my car. That bitch.

  • Jan Yelder

    Some retarded people should be allowed to have sex, depending on their level of functioning. They should not be permitted to be exploited, however. Still, as long as something is done so they can’t get pregnant or contract diseases, and they aren’t being exploited, I see no reason they shouldn’t be permitted to experience sex. Retarded adults are not children and are not pets, even though many folks would treat them as such. They are humans with the same desire for human sexual contact as normal folks.