Sexual capital  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Erotic capital is power possessed by an individual as a result of their sexual attractiveness to others. It is one among other species of capital, including social capital, symbolic capital, and cultural capital.

The concept has been developed by sociologist Dr. Adam Isaiah Green (University of Toronto), who builds on Pierre Bourdieu's (1980) concept of capital. Green defines erotic capital as the quality and quantity of attributes that an individual possesses which elicit an erotic response in another. Some of these attributes may be immutable, such as an individual's race or height, while others may be acquired through fitness training, plastic surgery, or a makeover, among other techniques.

Erotic capital is interconvertible with other forms of capital, as when actors parlay erotic capital into financial capital or social capital.

There is no single hegemonic form of erotic capital. On the contrary, currencies of erotic capital are quite variable, acquiring a hegemonic status in relation to the erotic preferences of highly specialized audiences that distinguish one sexual field from another (see Green 2005, 2008; Martin and George 2006).

See also

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