Most of us seek to avoid prejudice and discrimination in our views and actions.  Yet for the most part we don't apply this to our sexual desires and preferences.  But some now argue this is a mistake.  Historically and culturally sexual preference has varied widely,  so it is argued there is no reason to allow current fashions in physical factors such as height, weight, and race to determine our choices in a way that is frowned on in other spheres of life.  And it is surely troubling that dating app data shows white people ten times more likely to be messaged by black people than the reverse.   

Would we be better to see sexual desire as a political and ethical choice?   Could we seek to avoid discrimination by not referencing physical characteristics on dating apps, and designing algorithms to avoid societal prejudices?  Or is the choosing of a sexual partner an evolutionary choice and tampering with sexual desire not only problematic but socially dangerous?

Journalist Maya Oppenheim, British historian Zoe Strimpel, and former sociologist for Tinder & Bumble Jess Carbino engage in a thought-provoking conversation about the politics of sexual desire. Joanna Kavenna hosts.


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