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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Sex Ratios and Sexual Economics / Why Women Hate Sluts, Prostitutes and Porn

(this post has been post-dated 12 hours so it will not be hidden beneath my travelogue)

"I'm just trying to make a smudge on the collective unconscious." - David Letterman

***

Where follows quotes from an article, short commentary and a theory -

Sex is cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life.

"We keep hearing that young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life... yet there is one area in which men are very much in charge: premarital heterosexual relationships...

To better understand what's going on, it's worth a crash course in "sexual economics," an approach best articulated by social psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs... On average, men want sex more than women do. Call it sexist, call it whatever you want—the evidence shows it's true... sex in consensual relationships therefore commences only when women decide it does...

The market "price" of sex is currently very low. There are several likely reasons for this. One is the spread of pornography... The Pill lowered the cost as well...

A significant number of young men are faring rather badly in life, and are thus skewing the dating pool... there's a growing imbalance between the number of successful young women and successful young men...

Analysis of demographic data from 117 countries has shown that when men outnumber women, women have the upper hand: Marriage rates rise and fewer children are born outside marriage... virginity is more common on those campuses where women comprise a smaller share of the student body, suggesting that they have the upper hand. By contrast, on campuses where women outnumber men, they are more negative about campus men, hold more negative views of their relationships, go on fewer dates, are less likely to have a boyfriend, and receive less commitment in exchange for sex.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data [shows that a large] share of young men's sexual relationships—30 percent—that don't involve romance at all: no wooing, no dates, no nothing... (being in a dating relationship is correlated to greater acceptance of and use of porn among women)...

It's no surprise that the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds who are married has shrunk by an average of 1 percent each year this past decade...

While young men's failures in life are not penalizing them in the bedroom, their sexual success may, ironically, be hindering their drive to achieve in life. Don't forget your Freud: Civilization is built on blocked, redirected, and channeled sexual impulse, because men will work for sex... "Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy""


As someone once told me about his American college, "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" just meant "who I'm fucking right now".

However, one complication with the thesis is that it is not young men who are succeeding sexually, but successful young men. While the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health shows that the breakdown of sexual relationships favours male preferences, for a more complete picture you need to look at how many do not get any in the first place. I suspect that the data will show that successful young men are succeeding sexually at the cost of unsuccessful young men (this is linked to why banning polygamy [or rather, polygyny] benefits men and not women)

This article has also incited me to post my theory on why people hate sluts. Or women, at any rate:


One notices that people have a very paradoxical relationship with sluts.

Men should like sluts because they can get some easily.

Meanwhile, since women always complain about unwanted sexual attention from men, they should also like sluts because the sluts will draw away this allegedly unwanted sexual attention from them.

There should thus be a win-win-win scenario: men get some, women who are not interested are left alone, and sluts get satisfied.

Yet, that is not what we see.

My proposal is that the reason why women hate sluts is that women gain power by rationing sex. So a freer supply of sex threatens the other suppliers, who get upset and take action (this is also one of the reasons women are opposed to prostitution and pornography). You can see similar reactions when industries and companies lobby against trade liberalization or industry deregulation.

(This might be one of the reasons explaining the ambivalence or bitterness towards feminism that many women have)

The traditional reason for why women hate sluts is that sluts, pornography and prostitution "commercialise/devalue an highly emotional and valuable act", but this is not a mutually exclusive explanation [Addendum: One could be a proximate explanation and another an ultimate one]. Besides which, non-sluts also engage in casual sex - it's just that there's plausible deniability. It might also confuse different levels of explanation - women fearing the loss of power could be an ultimate cause, with emotional cheapening as a proximate one.

Why guys hate sluts is a more complex topic which I am still pondering (this is ironic since women are more complicated than men).

[Addendum: This might be due to paternity uncertainty]
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