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19-Dec-2019 11:06

He also writes that because there is no gatekeeper in gay men’s relationships, they are less likely to be sexually monogamous.

When it comes to heterosexual relationships, Regnerus sums up his theory like this: “It’s not that love is dead, but the sexual incentives for men to sacrifice and commit have largely dissolved, spelling a more confusing and circuitous path to commitment and marriage than earlier eras.”This all smacks strongly of gender essentialism.

But men have more power in the mating market in this model, which leads to women also embracing, or at least going along with, cheap sex and some of the rude behavior that comes with it.

Regnerus doesn’t talk much about LGBT relationships, except to say that these market dynamics might make women more likely to “experiment with same-sex relationships,” to circumvent the problem of noncommittal men.

Regnerus’s underlying premise is sound: Many studies have found that, on average, men want sex more than women, and women value having sex in the context of commitment more than men do (though of course individuals differ).

Still, throughout the book, Regnerus takes this theory pretty far.

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These factors, Regnerus argues, “have created a massive slowdown in the development of committed relationships, especially marriage.”Marriage rates have indeed plummeted among young adults, to the point that a demographer cited by Regnerus estimates that one-third of people currently in their early 20s will never get married.

Regnerus quotes the famous psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs, who write that “giving young men easy access to abundant sexual satisfaction deprives society of one of its ways to motivate them to contribute valuable achievements to the culture.” Still, it seems extreme to suggest that men need to be dragged by the dick into being productive citizens.

Overall, sexual economics discounts the other things men and women have to offer each other—besides sex and “resources” and commitment.

Still, there is a lot in Regnerus’s analysis that is uncomfortably astute.

He’s right that it can be hard to escape these old gender dynamics when dating, especially online dating.

These factors, Regnerus argues, “have created a massive slowdown in the development of committed relationships, especially marriage.”Marriage rates have indeed plummeted among young adults, to the point that a demographer cited by Regnerus estimates that one-third of people currently in their early 20s will never get married.Regnerus quotes the famous psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs, who write that “giving young men easy access to abundant sexual satisfaction deprives society of one of its ways to motivate them to contribute valuable achievements to the culture.” Still, it seems extreme to suggest that men need to be dragged by the dick into being productive citizens.Overall, sexual economics discounts the other things men and women have to offer each other—besides sex and “resources” and commitment.Still, there is a lot in Regnerus’s analysis that is uncomfortably astute.He’s right that it can be hard to escape these old gender dynamics when dating, especially online dating.Am I naïve to think that companionship and attention should have some place in this equation?