‘Let’s talk about sex’: balancing rights and responsibilities

Sexual behaviour in Britain: partnerships, practices and HIV risk behaviours’

Working for a human rights charity, my team and I spend a significant amount of time talking about sex. The right to have relationships with people – from friendships to sex – is part of each person’s fundamental human rights, guaranteed in law both internationally and here at home. But that isn’t the same as some rather unfortunate (and perhaps revealing) language reportedly used by a judge in a case currently at the Court of Protection, language which has hit the headlines this week.* He is quoted as saying “I cannot think of any more obviously fundamental human right than the right of a man to have sex with his wife – and the right of the State to monitor that.”

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