Dollars and Sex (2013) demystifies the complex issues of sex and love by looking beyond the raging hormones and cultural mores and exploring the driving force behind most of the world’s sexual trends: economics. By applying simple economic theory, we can better understand why we regard romance the way we do as well as why contemporary relationships face so many challenges.
If you were to compare your views on sexuality to those of your grandparents, there’s a good chance that your attitude would prove to be the less conservative one.
Over time, most societies have grown more promiscuous, and that’s no longer a sign of declining morality. Today’s educated and independent women are more promiscuous than those of previous generations, and there’s an interesting economic explanation. The women of today can afford to be promiscuous.
Most fundamentally, they have the means to buy their own contraceptives, which protect them from STDs and inopportune or unwanted pregnancies. What’s more, today’s women are sufficiently empowered to insist that the contraceptives are used correctly.
If we go back just one or two generations, women weren’t half as free. Unmarried women who maintained sexual relationships with more than one man were essentially pariahs. They were publicly shamed and their reputations were forever tarnished.
Today, however, premarital and extramarital relationships are far more socially acceptable. So are pregnancies that result from such relationships. Since the average educated woman earns much more now than she would have a generation ago, she is in a position to raise a child on her own if she so desires. And, if she chooses to terminate the pregnancy, that is also a socially acceptable, not to mention affordable, decision.
Thanks to these developments, women today are better able to cope with the difficulties that often accompany an unexpected pregnancy.