The "appropriate sex" is a phrase helpful in these sexually enlightened times when a person's preferred sexual partner is admitted to not necessarily be of the opposite sex. For example: to a homosexual, a "member of the appropriate sex" refers to a member of the same sex; to a bisexual, it can refer to either male or female; and to a heterosexual, it refers to a member of the opposite sex. In a pinch it can even cover the transgendered. So really, it's a much more accurate term to use than "the opposite sex".

Cletus the Foetus has pointed out that an even more appropriate phrase would be "the preferred sex", as even "the appropriate sex" is somewhat normative.

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