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Sex: a Horizon Guide

Wed Sep 11, 9-10pm, BBC2

It would have been so easy to get this wrong: a bit of oo-er missus oom-pah, some ‘hilarious’ sex-ed videos and a plummy-voiced man, in obvious discomfort, having to say ‘clitoris’. But this is ‘Horizon’ and our host is Professor Alice Roberts, ensuring a serious but never sombre examination of scientific advances in the sack.

From Alfred Kinsey’s obsessive trailblazing into the bedroom predilections of America through to the very latest advances in sex-change drugs and fertility technology, it’s been an dizzying few decades. In fact, so astounding has the pace of scientific progression been that it has occasionally run roughshod over apparently unshakeable beliefs and taboos.

Roberts raids the impressive ‘Horizon’ archives and reveals a fascinating shift from research (into sexual habits) to development: the spread of AIDS made it a matter of saving lives, as well as enhancing and creating them. A cut-and-paste job it may be, but it’s a thoughtful and engrossing one.