Sexuality

Development usually treats sexuality as a problem: over-population, sexually transmitted disease, or sexual violence in the home and as a weapon of war. The images that come with any mention of the subject are those of risk and danger, disease and death. This focus well describes some of the consequences of the disregard for sexual rights that exists the world over. There has been a recent emphasis on criminalising non-normative sexuality and a rise in homophobic violence in several places in the world. However, focusing merely upon this negativity generates fear and disempowerment, and discourages us from seeing how we might be able to change our situations.

Rather than focusing on pain, harm and wrongs, a more positive, pleasure-oriented, view of sexuality offers an entirely different set of entry points for work to make sexual rights real. Similarly, broadening the areas within law, development policy and practice in which sexuality is considered is an increasingly crucial area of engagement. Understanding the relationship between sexual rights and poverty illustrates the need for aid policies and poverty alleviation efforts that account for sexuality and examine unspoken assumptions and exclusions.

Across the Institute, we currently support research and communications aimed at rethinking the relationship between sexuality, rights and development and building stronger links between people in different contexts working to realize their sexual rights. Collaborating closely with established networks and movements, our approach to protecting and respecting rights are based on strategies drawn from local communities that are most affected. Much of this theme’s activity is organised through the IDS Sexuality and Development Programme and the Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme.

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Bridging the Gap Evaluation

This is a mid-term evaluation of the Bridging the Gaps Programme a global program operating in 16 countries across all the main key populations at-risk for HIV. More details

Sexuality and Development Programme (2007-11)

Supporting the realisation of sexual rights and access to basic services for those facing poverty and injustice More details

Sexuality and Local Voices

The Sexuality and Development project is one of the workstreams of the Gender, Power and Sexuality (GPS) Programme, funded by Sida. More details

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ER145_FrontCover

Sexuality and Social Justice: What’s Law Got to Do with It? International Symposium Workshop Report

IDS Evidence Report 145 (2015)

In March 2015, the Sexuality, Poverty and Law programme at the Institute of Development Studies brought together over 60 activists, lawyers, researchers and international advocates to critically assess the scope of law and legal activism for achieving social justice for those marginalised because of their sexual or gender non-conformity. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2015

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs April 2014 – March 2015

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2015)

In much writing about development, policy and practice are portrayed as if they are joined at the hip. Policy shapes practice, while learning from practice informs policy processes. In this portrayal, practice is usually understood to refer to development practice, or how development programmes and projects are implemented. More details

This is the cover of the Sexuality and Development Workshop Report,

Experiments in using Drama and Theatre to look at Sexuality and Oppression

As part of the Sexuality and Development Programme at IDS, a project was undertaken to explore the application of drama and theatre to research into sexualities. Three workshops were undertaken in Uganda, India and UK to work with different groups working in the areas of gender and sexualities. More details

ER131_FrontCover

Sexuality, Poverty and Politics in Rwanda

IDS Evidence Report 131 (2015)

Recent legislative developments in Africa have focused international attention on the legal status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the continent. More details

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BOOSHTEE! Survival and Resilience in Ethiopia

IDS Evidence Report 129 (2015)

Although homosexuality is illegal in Ethiopia, same-sex behaviour is not prosecuted because the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia views homosexuality as a low law enforcement priority. More details

This is the cover to the report 'Resue and Real Love: Same-sex Desire in International'.

Rescue, and Real Love: Same-sex Desire in International Development

IDS Report (2015)

Fifteen years ago, there was little space within international development policy circles within which we could talk about sexual rights, desire or pleasure. More details

ER120_FrontCover

How Filipino LBTs Cope with Economic Disadvantage

IDS Evidence Report 120 (2015)

After decades as the so-called ‘sick man of Asia’, the Philippines has adopted the export-driven model of economic development followed by wealthier Asian countries (Makabenta 2014) and has begun to address the pervasive corruption that has perennially deterred investment. More details

ER109_FrontCover

Same-sex Sexualities, Gender Variance, Economy and Livelihood in Nepal: Exclusions, Subjectivity and Development

IDS Evidence Report 109 (2015)

This case study explores the relationship between socioeconomic opportunity and exclusion in relation to minority gender and sexualities in Nepal. More details

ER106_FrontCover

Livelihood, Exclusion and Opportunity: Socioeconomic Welfare among Gender and Sexuality Non-normative People in India

IDS Evidence Report 106 (2015)

This case study explores the socioeconomic experiences of gender and sexuality minority peoples in India, especially in respect of ways in which sexual and gender ‘difference’ may be correlated to economic hardship and restricted opportunities for livelihood in the context of Indian socioeconomic ‘modernity’ More details

ER103 Front Cover

Policy Audit: Sexuality and Disability in Policies Affecting Chinese People with Disabilities

IDS Evidence Report 103 (2014)

This policy audit examines the cultural, political and economic spheres in China from the perspective of people with disabilities. More details

This is the image for IDS Virtual Bulletin 5, 'Challenging Patriarchy: Unsettling Men and Masculinities'.

Challenging Patriarchy: Unsettling Men and Masculinities

IDS Virtual Bulletin 5 (2014)

Challenging Patriarchy presents contributions to the evolution of thinking on men and masculinities in Gender and Development, drawing on three IDS Bulletins published over a period of more than a decade. More details

Strengthening_Evidence_Based_Policy_2014

Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy: Outputs November 2012 – March 2014

Accountable Grant Outputs Brochure (2014)

Knowledge and evidence are important elements of all policy processes. While the availability of more or higher quality evidence does not guarantee better policy processes, it is difficult to imagine how development policy and outcomes can be improved without it. More details

ER89 Front Cover

Research Methods and Visualisation Tools for Online LGBT Communities

IDS Evidence Report 89 (2014)

Field research among geographically dispersed communities is time-consuming and costly. When people are stigmatised, field research has additional ethical and logistical problems. In many countries lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (people are both geographically dispersed and stigmatised. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Putting the Law in its Place: Analyses of recent developments in law relating to same-sex desire in India and Uganda

This collection of essays has been jointly produced by Sexuality Policy Watch and the IDS Sexuality and Development Programme. More details

ER80 Front Cover

Sex Workers, Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Ethiopia

IDS Evidence Report 80 (2014)

This case study explores economic, legal and social issues that affect sex workers, with a particular focus on the role of poverty in sex workers’ lives and the potential for poverty alleviation policies and programmes to help lift as many sex workers as possible out of poverty in order to reduce the exploitation, illness and violence associated with their work. More details

ER74 Front Cover

Negotiating Public and Legal Spaces: The Emergence of an LGBT Movement in Vietnam

IDS Evidence Report 74 (2014)

Vietnam’s laws, policies and decrees do not explicitly discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals but their rights are not legally protected and they are socially marginalised. More details

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 7 Front Cover

Addressing Sexual Violence in and beyond the 'Warzone'

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 7 (2014)

Conflict-related sexual violence remains pervasive across the globe, and its widespread use has been reported in Rwanda, Liberia, Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. More details

ER70 Front Cover

Men in Collective Action on SGBV in Kenya: A Case Study

IDS Evidence Report 70 (2014)

This case study examines the ways in which collective action and the involvement of men may influence the prospects of effectively changing community perceptions and values regarding sexual and gender-based violence, and how it may strengthen the overall response to the problem in Kenya. More details

This is the cover for the book Changing Narratives of Sexuality.

Changing Narratives of Sexuality

Changing Narratives of Sexuality engages with women's sexuality exploring marginal as well as dominant stories in which sexuality may figure overtly or covertly as the subject. This impressive collection brings together a broad range of arenas in which sexuality is embedded. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sexuality and Social Justice: A Toolkit

This free interactive toolkit documents the learning from the Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme at the Institute for Development Studies. More details