Yesterday I posted this stupid, stupid video about sex and economics, along with Lindy West's critique of it. While the video is based on data, it also operates on some amazing underlying assumptions that are not based on data (gay and trans people are completely ignored, marriage is assumed to be every woman's goal) and presents its work to come to a shitty conclusion that ladies need to agree to keep their legs closed more often.
Well, economics professor and author Dr. Marina Adshade at Psychology Today has something to say about the perspective on sex and economics presented in that video:
The economic story, which is one we have heard many times before, goes like this:
On the market for sex, men are buyers and women are sellers because men have a stronger sex drive than women. The price of sex on this market is the level of commitment men have to make in order to encourage women to enter sexual relationships. Historically, women have managed to keep the price of sex at the highest possible level by collectively withholding sex until marriage. Enforcing this collusive arrangement between women was easy because the lack of access to reliable birth control meant that pre-martial sex was costly for women. As birth control has become increasingly effective women have increased the supply of sex outside of marriage and, as a result, the price of sex has fallen to dangerously low levels. The solution to this market problem is for women to once again collude to withhold sex from men and drive the price of sex back up to the marriage level.
The video concludes with the statement: “Economists say that collusion, women working together, would be the most rational way to elevate the market value of sex. But there is little evidence of this happening among women today, at least not yet.”
I have discussed the issues raised in this video a number of times, most recently in this talk, and I don't want to get into the many problems with this theory today. I do, however, want to say this:
Not only do economists not say that that collusion is the only way to increase the value of sex, but economic theory makes it very clear that collusion among a large number of sellers is not possible.