Curative Violence: Rehabilitating Disability, Gender, and Sexuality in Modern Korea
This chapter focuses on the contemporary discourse that casts disabled people’s sexuality as a biological problem that needs a solution. Dealing with the most recent phenomenon, the chapter examines the emerging public discourse on the “sex drive” of disabled people, largely focusing on male physical disability, commercial sex services, and humanitarian rhetoric. It analyzes two feature-length films on sexual services and “sex volunteers” and a short film that features incestuous rape as a cure for a disabled girl’s self-harming behavior supposedly caused by her sex drive. These sensationalized solutions are presented as if they challenge sexual taboo and prejudice, despite their gendered and ableist operations and assumptions. The notions of a necessary “release” (haeso) and of the charitable gift or humanitarian offering of sexual services in the practice of “sex volunteering” simplistically equate sexual oppression with lack of a sexual outlet.