Sexual economics  

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"In the West, as in all human societies, copulation is usually a female service or favor; women compete for husbands and for other relationships with men, not for copulation." --The Evolution of Human Sexuality (1979) by Donald Symons


"Physical attractiveness, both as subjectively experienced and objectively measured, operates in accordance with exchange-market rules. Individuals with equal market value for physical attractiveness are more likely to associate in an intimate relationship such as engagement than individuals with disparate values".Who Will Marry Whom?: Theory and Research in Marital Choice (1976) is a book by Bernard I. Murstein.


"Although applying economic principles to sex may seem novel, psychology has invoked economic theories in other contexts. Social exchange theory has been used to analyze a broad range of social interactions (e.g., Blau, 1964; Homans, 1950, 1961; Sprecher, 1998), based on the assumption that each party in an interaction gives something and gets something in return. Analyzing the costs and benefits of various interpersonal behavior furnishes a useful basis for making predictions about how people will think, feel, and choose to act."--"Sexual Economics: Sex as Female Resource for Social Exchange in Heterosexual Interactions" (2004) by Baumeister and Vohs


"Previous attempts to apply social exchange theory to sex have neglected one crucial aspect, which will be featured in this article. Specifically, sex is a female resource. Put another way, cultural systems will tend to endow female sexuality with value, whereas male sexuality is treated by society as relatively worthless."--"Sexual Economics: Sex as Female Resource for Social Exchange in Heterosexual Interactions" (2004) by Baumeister and Vohs


"Any presentable woman can, in the last resort, attach herself to some man. The result, for a tramp, is that he is condemned to perpetual celibacy. For of course it goes without saying that if a tramp finds no women at his own level, those above—even a very little above—are as far out of his reach as the moon. The reasons are not worth discussing, but there is no doubt that women never, or hardly ever, condescend to men who are much poorer than themselves. A tramp, therefore, is a celibate from the moment when he takes to the road. He is absolutely without hope of getting a wife, a mistress, or any kind of woman except—very rarely, when he can raise a few shillings—a prostitute." --Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) by George Orwell

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Sexual economics is a concept first expanded upon in The Evolution of Human Sexuality (1979) (p. 269). It is a part of the social exchange theory.

See also

  • Michèle Pujol: "Special issue: Sexual Economics - to celebrate the life and work of Michèle Pujol". Atlantis: A Women's ...
  • Letty Fox: Her Luck: Letty's decision to marry her friend, Bill van Week, has been interpreted by literary critics as an acceptance of the sexual economics that dominate middle-class ...
  • Lisa Leghorn and Katherine Parker, Woman 's Worth: Sexual Economics and the World of Women (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981)
  • After a long interruption the first part of the second volume of the “Journal of Political Psychology and Sexual Economics" has been issued. It contains a number of contributions of eugenic interest. The most important paper is by W. Reich, who ... --Eugenics review - Volume 27 - Page 258, 1936

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sexual economics" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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