In an article this week on Slate.com, Mark Regnerus discusses the implications of today’s “sexual economics.” Regnerus argues that while women are traditionally the gate keepers to sex, these days they no longer put up too many obstacles; women are willing to have sex with little commitment from men and with men without many redeeming qualities. This is because of the skewed gender ratio between successful men and women; women outnumber men in college and in the workforce, as well as in churches, another place where people tend to couple up. In populations where men outnumber women, men have to compete with each other to win a woman over and get sex. In populations where the women outnumber the men, men don’t have to work as hard and women cannot afford to be as choosy; they are thus more willing to have sex sans commitment because it’s harder to find a partner, and they want to hold onto the ones they do find. So in summary, whereas men used to have to work hard and compete with each other, doing great things, dressing well, becoming successful, showing a willingness to commit, they no longer have to do so because women no longer require it for access to sex. Regenerus says:
“And yet 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. Today’s young men, however, seldom have to. As the authors of last year’s book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality put it, “Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy.” They’re right. But then try getting men to do anything.”
Do you think the “cheapness” of sex has anything to do with the lack of drive and motivation some men today exhibit?
Hat tip to Michael H. for this link.