Explain key parts of relevant legislation relating to sexuality and sexual health for individuals and how this influences practice

Legislation relating to sexuality and sexual health includes:

  • The Equality Act & Human Rights Act – Individuals should not be discriminated against because of disability and should be free to make the same choices as anybody else, including those relating to sexuality
  • The Mental Capacity Act – Until proven otherwise, an individual should be considered capable of the capacity to make their own choices
  • Sexual Offences Act – Outlines what is considered a sexual offence
  • Genital Mutilation Act – makes genital mutilation unlawful
  • Abortion Act – legislation regarding abortions

Legislation sets out what is lawful and unlawful as well as making it clear that everyone has the basic freedom of free choice. However, in practice, it can be confusing for people with learning disabilities to understand what is legal and what is appropriate behaviour, so it is up to support workers and other health and social care professionals to provide information, education and guidance in this regard.

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