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Body Aesthetics$
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Sherri Irvin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716778.001.0001

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Sexual Desire, Inequality, and the Possibility of Transformation

Sexual Desire, Inequality, and the Possibility of Transformation

(p.281) 15 Sexual Desire, Inequality, and the Possibility of Transformation
Body Aesthetics

Ann J. Cahill

Oxford University Press

Although most contemporary theories of sexuality have tended to approach sexual desires as exempt from ethical judgment, this chapter argues that there are at least some sexual desires that can appropriately be the object of ethical analysis. The discussion focuses primarily on examples of sexual desire that seem to be directly implicated in entrenched and structural inequalities, such as racism, ageism, and ableism. By adopting a more fluid and broad understanding of sexual orientation than is usually utilized, and by addressing the habitual nature of oppressive actions and preferences, the chapter concludes that a sexual subject can coherently undertake the transformation of at least some sorts of sexual desires on the basis of ethical commitments.

Keywords:   sexual ethics, sexual desire, inequality, racism, ageism, ableism

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