From The Wall Street Journal:
Critics of free-market capitalism have observed that the pleasures of freedom are not equally available to all. As the economic historian and socialist R.H. Tawney wrote in 1931, “freedom for the pike is death for the minnows.” This is also true in the sexual marketplace, which was once strictly regulated but has now been made mostly free. In this case, however, the classes are not the workers and the bourgeoisie but, rather, men and women. More precisely, the group of people who have done particularly well from the free-marketization of sex are men high in the personality trait that psychologists call “sociosexuality”: the desire for sexual variety.
The standard questionnaire used by researchers to assess sociosexuality asks respondents how many different partners they have had sex with in the past 12 months, how many partners they have had sex with on only one occasion, and how often they have spontaneous fantasies about having sex with someone they just met, among other questions. Worldwide, there is a significant difference in average sociosexuality between the sexes, with men generally much keener to sow their wild oats than women are.
In a study of male and female sociosexuality across 48 countries published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences in 2005, psychologist David Schmitt and colleagues found large sex differences to be “a cultural universal,” regardless of a nation’s level of economic and social equality between the sexes.
This difference is explained by what evolutionary biologists term “parental investment theory.” Put simply, women can produce offspring at a maximum rate of about one pregnancy a year, whereas promiscuous men can theoretically produce offspring every time they orgasm. Although there are some limited circumstances in which multiple short-term mating might be advantageous for women—in conditions of danger and scarcity, for instance, in which sex might be exchanged for resources and protection—in general, natural selection has favored women who are choosy about their mates.
We see this play out in male and female sexual behavior. Men, on average, prefer to have more sex and with a larger number of partners, while the vast majority of women, if given the option, prefer a committed relationship to casual sex. Sex buyers are almost exclusively male, and men watch a lot more pornography than women do.
Men and women also differ dramatically in their baseline levels of sexual disgust, with women much more likely to be revolted by the prospect of someone they find unattractive. Disgust induces a physiological response that can be measured through heart and respiration rate, blood pressure and salivation, although the individual may not be aware of these indicators, and studies find that, on average, the sexual disgust threshold is much lower for women than it is for men.
Being groped in a crowd, or leered at while traveling alone, or propositioned a little too forcefully in a bar—all of these situations can provoke this horrible emotion. It is an emotion that women in the sex industry are forced to repress. In fact, as the prostitution survivor Rachel Moran has written, the ability not to cry or vomit in response to sexual fear and disgust is one of the essential “skills” demanded by the industry.
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal
PG hesitated before publishing this post due to its content and the potential for improper comments.
He hopes that anyone who comments will do so without any adolescent commentary or “all men are pigs” attitudes.
A long time ago when PG was practicing retail law, he was appointed to represent an underage girl who had been treated badly by her mother’s boyfriend and perhaps other adult men. That experience made a deep impression on PG and he doesn’t believe he ever declined a pro bono or low-fee case where he was asked to represent a mistreated woman thereafter.
For the record, PG doesn’t claim to wear or have worn a halo in his legal life, but some types of cases really push his buttons.