View Full Version : The sexual cost of female success

01-20-2011, 08:21 PM
The sexual cost of female success

Young women have excelled academically, leaving men in their dust, but experts say it's at the expense of romance
By Tracy Clark-Flory

Not a day goes by when we don't hear about the incredible accomplishments of today's kick-butt young women. They outnumber men in college and they are out-earning their male peers when they first enter the work world -- to such a degree that many consider it evidence of a "boy crisis." But the authors of a new book, "Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying," say all this success has come at a great cost to women's sexual bargaining power. When it comes to relationships, they say men are calling all the shots -- which means less commitment and more sex.

This might feel a bit like a "gotcha," yet another claim that -- see! -- women can't have it all, but researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker of the University of Texas at Austin based their conclusion on data from four national surveys, as well as additional interviews with men and women between the ages of 18 and 23. The cold-hard truth is that women's successes have left them with a small pool of similarly educated and financially stable men, they say. As the authors put it in a press release, "It's created an imbalance that tips relationship power in the direction of the men. Instead of men competing for women, today women feel like they must compete for men." Before adding this to my list of life's painful ironies, I decided to give Regnerus a call to chat about the current state of "hookup culture" and the power of withholding sex.

You report that the "price of sex" has hit an all-time low. What does that mean, exactly?

I measure the price of sex in a couple of different ways. I didn't write this theory personally, but 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. You get a sense that she has something of value that he wants.

So how do we measure how people price this? A couple different ways: First, the time until they have sex in a relationship. A second measure is the number of sex partners that "sub-optimal men" have had. I define that group as men who are 22 years old, dropped out of high school and don't have a full-time job -- men who don't have a lot going for them. We compare the number of partners they've had with the number of partners of a male college graduate who is employed full-time. Theoretically, if sex is valuable to her then she's not going to trade it away to just some crummy man, and when we look at the data, we find that those sub-optimal men report a lot more partners than men who actually have a lot going for them.

In the book, we report that 35 percent of men's relationships are reported to have become sexual within two weeks; and 48 percent become sexual within a month. That gives you an indication that it doesn't take long for men to access sex, so it must not be all that valuable, right? That's how we get an indirect sense of the price of sex. Now, 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. But that's just not the way the world is today, and that's not the way the world ever was -- the price of sex has never been that high, but it was certainly higher than it is today. All he has to do is maybe buy her dinner and text her.

Read the whole thing - fascinating!

Salon (http://www.salon.com/life/sex/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/01/19/young_women_romance)

01-20-2011, 08:40 PM
I'm sorry, Ginger, you can't have me.

01-20-2011, 08:42 PM
I'm sorry, Ginger, you can't have me.

She always gets this way when the weather is bad and she's snowed in!

01-20-2011, 09:10 PM
I'm sorry, Ginger, you can't have me.

I guess you didn't read far enough to realize that the sexual "worth" of men is exactly zero. :rolleyes: