Sexual self-determination in Cuba: The epistemic decolonial turn

Antonio Carmona Baez*, Melisa Soto-Lafontaine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The term 'sexual self-determination' has become a keyword for the project of sexual emancipation and the appreciation of sexual diversities in Cuba. Sexual self-determination, as a human right, allows for each individual to define his or her own orientation, condition and gender identity without the stigmatization proposed by psychiatric pathology. At the same time, the principle opens up the possibility for professionals in the fields of health and sciences to deliver care and attention within a new ethical framework. Sex education, as established by the country's feminist movement, is considered to be the means by which this new framework has been shaped in social policy. This article uses the concept of decolonial/border thinking and the epistemic decolonial turn in order to explain current changes being made in Cuban society concerning sexual diversities and identities, and the challenges these pose for global conceptions of health, ethics and human rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-797
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Cuba
  • decoloniality
  • ethics
  • gender
  • sexual self-determination
  • social policy

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