I don’t know why this still surprises me (particularly since expressions like the one in the title to this post have been floating around for several hundred years), but whenever I tell people about my area of interest they seem to understand at an intuitive level what it is we talk about here at Dollars and Sex.
Month: May 2012
If you were to guess the macroeconomic variable that had the widest impact on sexual behavior over the past fifty years, what would you choose? Personally, I would choose the one that increased the age of marriage, reduced teen pregnancy rates, gave women more control of their relationships, and more – relative female wages.
Remember the 1960s? It was a decade so radical that even the President of the United States could publically declare that public funding of contraceptives would increase economic prosperity. Lyndon Johnson went so far as to say “[L]ess than five dollars invested in population control is worth a hundred dollars invested in economic growth.”
If you asked me how being a single parent has affected my economic prospects I would have to say for the worse…and for the best. You see, while parenting young children alone may have made everything more difficult (literally, everything) it also gave me an incentive to work hard to give those children what they needed.
When I was five my family got its first microwave oven. The department store sent a nice lady over to teach my mother how she could use it to roast a chicken while we four children looked on in amazement. Little did I know then that this device was about to revolutionize marriage in an entirely unexpected way.
Men have stronger sexual desires than do women…Women are the more monogamous gender…Homosexuality is an unnatural sexual behavior.
Sexual beliefs, like these, are so widespread that we have collectively come to view them as being embedded in our biology. Cross-cultural data collected from pre-industrial societies, however, tells a different story. That data suggests that culture – including religion – has played an important role in ingraining these “truths” about human sexuality into our collective psyche.
A recent article suggests that allowing polygyny would increase violent crime to such a degree that it would stifle economic growth. This is a logical conclusion if you assume that polygyny leaves many men without wives. The modern economy, however, has already disenfranchised the majority of low-income men from the marriage market.