Sexual Economics – Theory of Sex

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English: Diagram of relationship between aggre...

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I came across a very interesting ‘Research’ article titled “Sexual Economics, Culture, Men, and Modern Sexual Trends” by Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs.

Roy F. Baumeister is a Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. Florida.

Kathleen D. Vohs is Land O’Lakes Professor of Excellence in Marketing at the University of Minnesota.

The article can be found here.

Synopsis of the article:

The article talks about how the ideas of sex has evolved through time and has primarily come from 2 major field of studies – biology and feminist’s social constructionist theory. The authors observed that none of the above theories could clearly explain the behaviour of men and women. They relied on ‘Economics’ to come to a conclusion, labeling their theory as ‘Sexual Economics’ theory.

Let us discuss a little economic background for better understanding the article. Economics, in simple terms, is about demand and supply. When demand exceeds supply, the suppliers have the bargaining power and can dictate prices. In case supply is more than demand, the buyers are the kings and the prices fall. You can see that in shopping malls during an ‘end of season sale’, when there is no demand and suppliers cut prices to induce demand.

A similar construct was used by these researchers in describing the behaviour of men and women, thereby throwing light on the so called patriarchy theory. In the sexual economics theory, women are the suppliers and men constitute the demand. When women are in minority, the sexual marketplace conforms to their choices like committed relationships, monogamy etc…

Now, as in a negotiation, the party that desires to complete the deal is in a weaker position; similarly in a man-woman relationship it is seen that nature has biologically built-in a disadvantage into men, which is a higher desire for sex than women, which in turn lets women have a greater power on men. Now this economic advantage has been maintained by women across centuries and cultures by restricting supply by way of pressuring each other. That is why we see women shaming men when they watch porn, or shaming other women who have pre-marital sex, number of sexual partners etc… This is similar to a cartel, such as OPEC, which restricts supply and hence artificially increases the prices.

How is it related to patriarchy? By oppressing the sexual freedom of females the social construct was maintained that kept the supply of sex low. Now this oppression was not because men promoted it or to serve male interests, but as mentioned in the previous paragraph was due to cartelization (ie. women oppressing women so that the supply could be restrained, therefore artificially increasing their market value.)

As per feminist theory, it was the men who kept women at a disadvantage for their own gains. This ideology of feminist is flawed as biologically men are at a disadvantage than women due to the higher desire for sex. By restricting supply, women were increasing their market value.

Men wanted to break this cartelization and collectively wanted to improve their chances by liberating sexual freedom of women. And this desire for sex made men give into the feminist demands of preferential treatment in all walks of life which has now exploded exponentially in the current environment. Legislations upon legislation are passed to protect and promote women, at a disadvantage of men.

The authors have also made an interesting point stating that “Sexual economics theory has pointed to a wealth of data depicting marriage as a transaction in which the male contributes status and resources while the woman contributes sex.”

Something to ponder upon…

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Note: Feel free to comment on the article and express your concerns, if you have any, which will be appropriately responded and /or incorporated in the article.

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2 Responses to Sexual Economics – Theory of Sex

  1. JB says:

    This is a very true analysis. This is where historically, women have been demanding gender based births.

    But another big HOAX which is at the center of feminist theories or even for birth of feminism is, “Men enjoy sex while it is pain for women”. This single hoax has been the source of various “assumed crimes” and #GenderBiasedLaws in Indian society.
    This HOAX is a hoax by pure biology. It is a scientific fact that women have higher urge of sex as compared to men and hence they enjoy sex more then men. The day this reality is understood by society, india will know what crime it has done by providing Laws to protect the wrong Gender.

    Save Men.

  2. vaastavadmin says:

    This is a nice article. The interesting factor would be, what happens if the power equation is changed. If a woman attains power, does she think of contributing status or chooses partnership as contributor of sex.

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