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  1. 1
    Karl R

    Re: The sexual cost of female success

    Researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker  seem to have based their conclusions on a number of deeply flawed assumptions.

    Flawed assumption #1: Men’s sex has no value
    “social psychologists claim that men’s sex has no value per se. In the world of prostitution you never see women paying men for sex. Men pay women for sex, men will pay men for sex, but women don’t pay men for sex.”

    This statement contradicts itself. If men’s sex has no value, why do men pay  other men pay for it?

    Women don’t pay men for sex. Women don’t pay women for sex either. I suppose you could conclude that women don’t value sex … except that assumption  provides no explanation for why lesbians have sex.

    And if sex has no value for women, why are all the women on this blog concerned about the quality of the sex in their relationships?

    Flawed Assumption #2: Men trade marriage to get sex, women trade sex to get marriage
    “let’s say sex was the highest possible cost. You’d see women never having sex with anyone until a man commits to marry her — that’s the most expensive thing you can charge.”

    I skimmed a few pages of Regnerus’ and Ueker’s book. According to them, 93% to 96% of young women and men want to get married. They (both sexes) want to do it later in life, however.

    If I offered my girlfriend  a trip to Moscow in January for $50, she wouldn’t take the deal. She hates the cold, so she wouldn’t want to be in Moscow in January. Offer her the same trip in June, and she’d be willing to pay substantially more for it.

    If a 20 year old woman doesn’t want to get married until she’s 30, then the current value of a marriage to her is zero or negative. If a woman wants to have sex, and doesn’t want to get married, you can’t use marriage as an accurate  basis for valuing sex.

    Flawed assumption #3: Women should be using sex as a bargaining chip
    “It’s the opposite of a cartel effect where women would say, ‘All right, we need to band together and artificially restrict the price of sex and get it high, even if we don’t want to, in order to extract things from men.’ It used to be women would shame each other for selling low.”

    Regnerus and Ueker apparently recognize that women don’t want to withhold sex. But they still think women should do something they don’t want to in order to gain some additional benefit.

    That’s like telling me that I should work a second job (which I absolutely don’t want to do)  to get more money. The benefits of the second job don’t equal the cost … at least in my opinion.

    Why are women supposed to do something they don’t want to do?

    Flawed assumption #4: The researchers assume the cost of sex has remained constant

    Regnerus and Ueker recognize that there used to be a social stigma for engaging in casual sex. That social stigma was a cost which women had to bear. That cost has been removed.

    You can’t have an intelligent discussion about the economic value of sex if you ignore some of the costs.

    Consider the author’s agenda

    Mark Regnerus is a proponent of getting married young. If you add this bias to his obvious willingness to ignore data, it makes his research highly suspect.

  2. 2

    Thank you, Evan, for posting these links; always fascinating material. In the article re: “Quick Remarriages …,” it is true that men typically rebound quickly into a new relationship, including marriage, than most women. I think the reasons for this are complex and vary according to the man. In general, most men are not fond of therapy, or talking about their feelings. They jump into the nearest car and head for the exit, as if fleeing the situation will make everything better, rather than taking the time to feel, evaluate and learn from the emotional accident they just left behind (or so they think).
    In my own divorce, I shared with my former husband that I felt the best thing for him to do was to spend time on his own (not with us and not with her), learning what it was that he truly wanted, rather than just continuing to do knee-jerk reactions and riding a constantly moving emotional roller coaster. He did this, and while it wasn’t easy for him to deal with depression, guilt, regret, loneliness … I believe he’s in a much healthier place now and that he’s far more self-aware, which will make him a better man for the next woman who may enter his life.

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