Sexual Supply And Demand

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 15 2011 @ 4:01pm

Tracy Clark-Flory interviewed Roy Baumeister of Florida State University about his new study "Sexual Economics: A Research-Based Theory of Sexual Interactions, or Why the Man Buys Dinner":

The point of sexual economics is that sex is a resource that women have. Men trade women other resources for sex. Historically, women have restricted each other's sexuality in order to make the price of sex high, so that men pretty much have to make serious commitments of marriage in order to [have sex]. When women have more access to educational and financial opportunities, they don't need to hold sex hostage as much, so they relaxed the controls they've put on sexuality.

Amanda Marcotte joins Tracy in critiquing Baumeister's theory:

His argument is that equality somehow "lowered" the price of sex, because as women have more economic resources of their own, they slut-shame each other less. Okay, fair enough.  But the theory falls apart when you assume, as Baumeister does, that women just aren't into sex.  He claims married women aren't into it, but also that single women aren't into casual sex.  Commitment doesn't make us horny.  Newness doesn't make us horny.  It appears nothing makes us horny.