'The Economics of Sex:' What happens when you lower its value?

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  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    All I know is what I see in the lives of my friends. Almost every divorce I know of was initiated or caused by the husband, including pornography, abuse, boredom, and loss of religious belief on his part, and his decision to leave. The wives wanted to fix the problems, continue the religious lifestyle they had begun the marriage with, and keep the fathers of their children in their lives. They struggled for years to work on their marriages but it's pretty hard if both sides won't try. The husbands refused to go to counseling, moved on and within weeks or months of leaving were dating or living with other women.

    I only know of one where the wife was the one who bailed and refused to work on it - and she abandoned her kids as well as her spouse. And one more where the wife didn't leave, but it was her abuse and neglect that eventually caused her husband to give up.

    It's all sad - especially when kids are involved. If you love your kids, love your spouse. There's nothing more damaging than divorce and the stuff that leads to it.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    I would love to hear what the bishops of young single adult wards think of this video because nowhere in the world will you find a greater number of marriage minded women frustrated by the lack of worthy priesthood holders available to date, court and, ultimately, take them to the temple. Is temple marriage happening in greater numbers? What were LDS singles wards like before the invention of the pill? Did they even exist in 1960? Has temple marriage become obsolete in favor of cohabitation among Mormon singles? Let the discussion begin!

  • Sequoya Stafford, VA
    Feb. 18, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    All of the above comments, but especially those citing what "studies prove" (or words to that effect), underscore my basic mistrust of what passes for "social science." It is hard enough to draw conclusions where studies follow scientific methods and processes -- sometimes, the evidence is just inconclusive. But a lot of folks are throwing around this or that "conclusion" from studies that may not actually exist, or if they do, they have been misrepresented as to their "conclusion." And "social science," like any "science," is often corrupted by politics/economics (e.g., who "paid" for the research?).

    Example: Do women really file for divorce more than men? (Easy enough to quantify.) Is it because of abuse? (harder to quantify -- how to define. Physical assault? [Obviously, yes} Raised voice during an argument? (eehhhhhhh....)) Because "left the church?" (More quantifiable, maybe). Finances?

    Too many ways all this could go before we point fingers at one group or the other. And, that includes why men hesitate to marry/remarry. Although it strikes a chord with me (I "liked" above comments making that point), to be honest, the research on that is not conclusive either.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 11:25 p.m.

    My mother always said: "Why pay for the milk when you can get the cow for free?" Truer words were never spoken.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    The Scientist,

    Actually, in states with more gender-blind family law, such as New York surprisingly enough, divorce is initiated almost equally between genders. This supports the argument that it is tied to incentives of each state's family law and not to domestic violence.

    Besides, over 40% of domestic violence victims are actually men. Also, while testosterone does generally make men stronger, it doesn't actually make a man commit violence. Strong testosterone levels actually tend to make people feel positive and confident, not angry.

    So again, considering the example of NY with its gender-neutral family laws, the evidence is that it isn't linked to testosterone or violence, but actually the incentives provided by the family law itself.

  • Mona Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    Shane, I am not sure that women who leave are "provided for." I haven't heard the word "alimony" in a very long time. They can and should receive child support. If a court mandates that an ex-husband to provide something for his wife, it is likely because women are usually the ones in the marriage who give up, or at least cut back, on a career. If a couple is married for 10 years and the wife finds it necessary to divorce, and she has not worked in that time (or worked limited hours), she's not going to be able to survive on a minimum wage job, which is what she would get after being out of the work force.

    Even child support is seldom enough to cover expenses. I've seen too many women thrown to the wolves. Husband makes 100K, is ordered to pay no alimony and child support of $300 per month per child, and she's supposed to pay rent to keep a roof over the child's head, buy food & clothing, etc. out of that? Meanwhile, he's getting massages and vacationing in Hawaii.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    Commenter88 wrote:

    "Women want to get married, but they don't want to stay married. Research shows that up to 85% of all divorces are petitioned by women."

    Hardly definitive in favor of your hypothesis.

    It is equally likely (perhaps more so) that women file the majority of divorce cases because men are guilty of a majority of the domestic abuse cases, in addition to the controlling and emotional abuse that never quite escalates to a formal level.

    Testosterone increases the probability that men will be sexually active, but also that they will be violent and aggressive. In the opinion of many experts, the latter is the bigger problem than the former in American society.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Any woman that believes men are not hesitant to marry/remarry because of the court bias are sadly misinformed. Personally I thought the video was right on and this bias was not even mentioned or factored in. But believe me it is a factor, I have a number of friends who have chosen to stay single because of this bias and many are doing so even with the low cost of sex.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 10:45 a.m.


    Don't you think that the men involved have cheapened sex by wanting it for free? Why is it always upon the women to be the chaste ones? Even in the bible, it was the women who were stoned for not being virgins, but it seems to have been more than expected that the men would have some sexual experience before taking the plunge. Women always end up with the short end of the stick (no pun intended).

    How many Utah women leave the marriage because their husband left the church? It is very common for this to happen in Utah.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 17, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Women want to get married, but they don't want to stay married. Research shows that up to 85% of all divorces are petitioned by women. The economic burdens of child support, alimony, court-mandated health and daycare costs all saddled on top of the male on one hand (and most contact cut off to his own children) while on the other hand all these benefits are added upon the female's income (tax free) with the sexual freedom and leisure to enjoy it.

    How ironic is it that a study on economics of sex and love could completely miss all these issues? Not that ironic when you consider that our whole system of family law and justice is based on creating economic slaves for those unlucky men who are involuntarily divorced. When a man gets married, he rolls the die for his entire life. Currently, the odds are not in his favor.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Kings Court,

    "It has always been the case that men look for sex while women look for security (marriage)."

    If that were true, then we wouldn't see so many young men living in the security of their parents' homes, would we?

    I think men desire security just as much as women do, and studies suggest that women desire sex just as much as men do.

    The assertions of these researchers (glorified journalists?) that the value of sex has been lowered because of supply side economics is at best debatable, and at worst, religiously inspired speculation built on sexist stereotypes such as those you invoked.

    There is no doubt that contraception has liberated both men and women from the "natural" and historically prohibitive possibilities of offspring. But think of all the shotgun weddings, miserable marriages and families, and other negative byproducts of the pre-contraception era that have been prevented or eliminated!

    Perhaps what these authors are attributing to the devaluation of sex is in reality the more authentic expression of more fulfilling lives for men, women, and all of society!

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    It has always been the case that men look for sex while women look for security (marriage). That is just encoded in our DNA (and our hormones). Nothing has really changed other than realizing the truth of human sexuality.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 5:17 a.m.


    Suffice it to say, abuse of women by men is far, far more prevalent than you seem willing to admit.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    I don't believe divorce laws have anything to do with men not wanting to get married. They don't want to get married because they can get sex for free. That's it plain and simple. The sexual revolution has lead to women cheapening themselves and allowing men to use them without any obligations. You know the old saying...why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. Now women and society are paying the price for this misguided movement.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:59 p.m.


    I appreciate your response and insight. Your acquaintance is the exception in that her husband is the one walking away. Nationally, and especially in Utah, women are the predominant ones abandoning their spouses.

    And it is fair to ask: if a woman leaves, why should the husband she left be forced to provide for her? After all, she isn't expected to take care of his needs anymore. I'm not asking that to be crass, but rather in all seriousness. It shouldn't be a one way street.

    Abuse can be a legitimate reason to end a marriage, but the accusation is being used far to liberally. In some cases wives filing for divorce are even being coached to use the accusation in order to gain a legal edge, particularly since the accused is often treated as guilty until proven innocent.

    In summary, as long as family law continues to be biased in favor of women, expect the trend of men putting off marriage to grow.

  • Chrissy206 Salina, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    Shane333, I agree with you however in some circumstances a woman needs all the help she can get. It is amazing how many women are forced into divorce due to abuse or a husband who decides one day he doesn't want to be married anymore, but doesn't want to take care of his responsibilities. I am watching a woman go through a horrible divorce that she did nothing to cause. She wanted to work things out, while he wanted someone new. He doesn't want his kids, but doesn't want to pay her to help take care of them. He took everything from her. She currently has nothing. At least with the current laws and incentives in place she can get what is rightfully hers.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:03 a.m.

    Potential, odds and risk. Boundaries limits and lines. We have rules to be respected. Watch for the tell tail signs.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    Modern contraception, family law, and abortion all shift attitudes towards marriage.

    In the case of family law, divorce tends to favor women with incentives (child support and alimony for example). Thus we see approx. 2/3 of divorces initiated by women nationwide and over 80% initiated by women in Utah. The stronger the legal bias in favor of women, the stronger the correlation with women initiating divorce. Men, who bear most of the burden and can be reduced to indentured servitude, would thus increasingly shy away from marriage.