Hannah Elizabeth Quinn

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Toronto, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9924

Approve Date

October 24, 2019

Project Title

Quinn, Hannah (Toronto, U. of) "Cripping Consent: Exploring Sexual Regulation, Sexual Access, and Ethics with Cognitively Disabled Adults in Québec, Canada"

My research explores the ethics of consent and the forms of subjectivity and relationality that consent produces and inscribes among cognitively disabled people, their caregivers, and educators in Québec society. While sexual consent models purport to bolster sexual agency and reduce instances of assault, their reliance on notions of capacity and competence means that cognitively disabled people are often perceived as unable to consent and are prevented from exploring their sexuality. The result is the regulation of sexual behaviour. I engage with scholars who theorize consent not only as an interpersonal act delineating legal and illegal sex, but as a foundational concept at the heart of western notions of sociality and co-existence. My research will be carried out in Montréal, Québec at two day-centers that provide programming for cognitively disabled adults. Over the course of 12 months, I will work with these adults, their caregivers, and staff to explore how consent, as the ground social relations, impact the lives of cognitively disabled people. Through an analysis of everyday practices and negotiations of consent, I ask: what might a sexual ethics beyond the consent model look like? How might it more meaningfully reflect the lived experiences of my cognitively disabled interlocutors?