Julian Hurley
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No, Dating Preferences Aren't Discriminatory

It all comes down to the science of attraction.

One of the new hot-button topics is as follows: is it discrimination not to want to date a trans person? What about a black, Asian, overweight, or disabled person?

Some argue that dating preferences result from racism, sexism, fatphobia, transphobia, or other biases. Others simply state that one cannot control attraction. So what is really going on?

Racial preferences in dating can get messy in the current political and social climate, where political correctness is often valued over genuine opinions. According to an OkCupid report, black women and Asian men are at a dating preference disadvantage, so that obviously signals racism, right?

No, it does not. One cannot control whoever they are attracted to and what turns them on. For example, gay people prefer the same sex, and it is not a choice.

Yes, cultural perceptions of beauty and attractiveness do play into it; however, being attracted to what society values is not one's fault. If a man prefers women with large breasts, he may have been subconsciously influenced by a community around him that idolizes busty women. This is not his fault and can be chalked up to his surroundings.

Also, familiarity leads into attraction. According to a study at Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland, people tend to prefer features that they have seen before. If one grows up around in an area where Latinx people live, they are more likely to be attracted to Latinx people. However, what one sees and is exposed to (as well as childhood experiences and exposure) is largely out of their control. Yes, most idolized celebrities and actresses are white, and this undoubtedly plays a role in white women's dating advantage (highlighted in OkCupid's report); however, attraction trends cannot be blamed on the individual person, but rather on society as a whole.

Humans have a natural tendency to subconsciously select the healthiest mates so their offspring has the best chance for survival. Therefore, obese and disabled people are naturally chosen as partners less often, because they can lack the abilities to produce successful descendants. Obese people tend to be less healthy in general, and have much higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer than those with weight within the normal range. This is not discrimination; it is simply science. 

The deal with trans dating preferences is that there are many valid reasons not to date a trans person. One could a) want to have biological children (which is often impossible, because of the sterilization effects of HRT) or b) simply not be attracted to them. There are many reports on Reddit of people being turned off by the thought of someone being the opposite gender at one point. Also, many trans people simply are not male or female enough to merit attraction from a monosexual person (Note: monosexuality is simply being attracted to one specific gender.) According to Business Insider, roughly two thirds of transgender individuals have not had genital surgery, and it's impossible to force attraction to traits that one is simply not attracted to (Just ask any gay person).

In the end, this is what it all comes down to: attraction is innate and one does not have much influence over their own. A person does not choose to be attracted to whatever genders, races, or body types they prefer; it is all a matter of genetics, environment, and natural selection.

Finally, the ugly truth is as follows: nobody is entitled to a date. If other humans find a person attractive, then they may want to mate with said person; however, if they do not, it is entirely their choice. Dating is not a human right, and nobody is obligated to be attracted to anyone. 

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