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Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Dating Surplus for Chinese Women

A while back, we talked about why it is that so many educated women in urban centers can’t find a man (Sexless in The City). In countries like China, where there is a huge surplus of men, finding a partner shouldn’t be difficult for women. I thought I would post a letter I received this […]

A Link Between Alcohol Consumption and Monogamy

I am not kidding when I say this, if I had to live in a household in which my husband had more than one wife, there would have to be alcohol involved; at bare minimum a cocktail hour, but preferably an open bar. The reality is, of course, that if you are in a polygynous […]

China Announces a New Approach to the Sex Trade

Recently I have found myself in trouble twice for my choice of words. The first time was for calling sex workers “prostitutes,” and the second time was for calling prostitutes “sex workers.” Frankly, I didn’t buy either of the arguments. The first person to chew me out objected to the word “prostitute” on the grounds […]

How Much Does Age Matter When You’re Looking for a Mate?

I tell my students that a good writer always keeps their audience in mind, and that when they write a paper in my class that audience is me. So, I have to wonder what was going through the head of one of my students last week when he submitted a paper with the line: “A […]

Why You Should Pay for Online Dating

OkCupid’s dating research blog has worked hard to convince readers that they should never pay for online dating.  The basis of their argument is that there are just too few subscribers on fee-for-service dating sites to make it worth the lonely single’s while. I won’t argue their point on that—after all they have a flow chart, […]

What Explains the Lesbian Wage Premium?

I have an idea for a Hollywood movie. An ambitious, young, heterosexual woman disguises herself as a lesbian in order to land herself the job of her dreams. Her handsome colleague takes her into his confidence and, of course, she falls in love with him. After a series of comedic events, she eventually gets her […]

Terror Attacks on Abortion Clinics Do Little to Reduce Abortion Rates

The most common form of domestic terrorism in the U.S. is violent attacks on abortion clinics. Between 1973 and 2003, over 300 abortion providers were the target of acts of extreme violence by anti-abortion groups. A new paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) last week asks the question: Are these attacks […]

A Lubricant Leading Indicator?

Can watching the market for sex toys help economists predict a recession? Economists at their most playful like to find interesting ways to watch the market for signs of an impending economic downturn. After we get tired of watching inventories and production capacity, we turn to other leading indicators such as hamburger sales and whether […]

The War on Drugs Is Reducing Marriage Rates

The “Just Say No” campaign in the late 1980s increased the severity of sentencing for drug offenders in the U.S. Since that time, particularly since the mid-1990’s, incarceration rates have been steadily increasing to the point that the U.S. now has the one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.

HIV Prevalence in Africa Explained by “Marital Shopping”

There are two facts about HIV that are difficult to reconcile. The first fact is that the transmission rate of the disease is extremely low; the risk of being infected from an person who has the disease through vaginal intercourse is about one in a thousand or 8-12% per-partner-year.* The second fact is that the […]