A few years ago, I attended a graduation ceremony in which the award for academic achievement in every department in the faculty of science was awarded to a woman. At the time, I wondered: if the roles were reversed, would we not be wondering why one group was so over-represented at the top of the class?
Media stories on the sugar daddy / sugar baby phenomena are quick to assume that there’s an economic story behind the rise in this type of arrangement, and in that they are right. The question is; are they telling the right economic story? Are these types of relationships on the rise simply because of poor macroeconomic conditions or is there another story that explains the increase in supply of willing participants?
Imagine that I conduced a small study of women who were on a beach one sunny summer day. I split the women into two groups, those who are wearing nothing but string bikini bottoms and those that are wearing one-piece speedos. I tell you that the topless women report feeling more confident, do you then conclude that being topless is good for self-esteem?