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Year: 2006 Type: Article Language: English

This IDS Bulletin addresses a theme that mainstream development has persistently neglected: sexuality. Why is sexuality a development concern? Because sexuality matters to people, and is an important part of most people’s lives. Because development policies and practices are already having a significant – and often negative – impact on sexuality, and because sexuality and the societal norms that seek to contain and control it have, in turn, a significant impact on poverty and well-being. Development needs to move beyond the current limited and negative approaches, to embrace the significance of sexuality for development in more affirmative ways. We need to go beyond victim approaches that consider only rights to be free from violation. Positive approaches, which include the right to ask for or say ‘yes’ to the pleasures we seek as well as ‘no’ to that which we do not desire, can be an entry point to challenging social and economic inequalities. This IDS Bulletin offers a wealth of joyful and inspirational examples of how this might be done.

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