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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2011 February;63(1):71-84

language: English

Social and ethical determinants of sexuality: gender and health

Benagiano G. 1, Carrara S. 1, Filippi V. 1, Shedlin M. G. 2

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy;
2 College of Nursing New York University, New York, NY, USA


The aim of this paper is to expand concepts of gender and explore how behaviours associated with sexual identity affect health risks, as well as the right to sexual expression for sexual minorities and persons with disabilities, to promote safe sexual behaviour and reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, through the internationally sanctioned Sexual and Reproductive Health concept. During the XX century the multiple meanings of sexuality have been progressively recognized and its physical and psychological health dimension have become a reality, enshrined in United Nations (UN) documents. Countries have begun to adapt their legislations to this new reality and Conventions today guarantee equal sexual and reproductive rights to persons with disabilities, while the nature of variant sexual behaviours is being debated. Sexual and reproductive health is today an acknowledged goal for every individual and the right to equality for persons with variant behaviours and disabilities, as well as the coexistence of diverse meanings of sexuality an established fact. Healthy and safe sexual behaviour should become an important goal for all societies and cultures.

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