Skip navigation

Sexual Autonomy Symposium

Harvard Lecture Theatre 403

Tickets Available



'Sexual Autonomy, Protection and Identity in Care Settings' Symposium

Northumbria Law School is hosting a free symposium and roundtable discussion on Sexual Autonomy, Protection and Identity in Care Settings on 10th November. 

Sexuality and intimacy for adults with degenerative conditions such as dementia, or serious physical and mental health conditions are central yet often overlooked issues in adult care settings. There is a tendency instead to focus on preserving the physical wellbeing, cognition and independence of the individual, so that their sexual and emotional intimacy needs are often ignored. Some people with mental impairment or disability can spend a lifetime in care without opportunities for sexual intimacy. Others may have sexual encounters that expose them to harm, or where their sexual identity goes unrecognised or unacknowledged. Preserving people's abilities to develop or maintain their sexuality and intimate relationships is therefore of fundamental importance, yet can give rise to complex legal, ethical and practical issues relevant to autonomy, protection and identity.

This one-day symposium will bring together national and international experts in health and social care practice and law in order to address some of the challenges associated with how sex, sexual identity and intimacy might be better conceived, expressed and facilitated in care settings. The aim of the symposium is to enable a more open dialogue around these issues and a deeper understanding of the sexual rights of people with disabilities.

Speakers include: Professor Jonathan Herring (University of Oxford); Professor Rosie Harding (University of Birmingham); Dr Charlotte Elves (Outer Temple Chambers); Dr Laura Pritchard-Jones (Keele University); Dr Julian Hughes (Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry; Honorary Professor of Ageing, Newcastle University); Dr Oluwatoyin Sorinmade (Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust); Phil Harper (Newman University); Dr Giulia Garofalo Geymonat (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice).

This is a FREE event at Northumbria Law School with some sessions available to join online. Funded by the Modern Law Review, this symposium will be of interest to a wide audience including practitioners, policymakers, academics, advocates, and people with lived experience of negotiating sexuality and intimacy in care settings.  

For more information, please contact: Dr Laura Graham (; Charlotte Emmett (; or Dr Claire Bessant (


Event Details

Harvard Lecture Theatre 403
Business & Law Building, Northumbria University
City Campus East
Newcastle upon Tyne


Latest News and Features

AHRC banner, showing different people involved doing different activites.
Relief workers walking through rubble in the aftermath of a storm in North Africa.
£1 million funding award supports leading new medical research at Northumbria University
a photo of monsoon rain in a mountainous location
Norman Franklin and Dr Jane Greaves in the OSCE test centre at Northumbria University
Generic Image from Unsplash. Gothic style university library.
Postgraduate design portfolio work displayed in the school of design at Northumbria university.
More events

Upcoming events

Postgraduate Design Degree Exhibition
Some prickly Predicaments in Sonification
The Quorn Story

Back to top