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ECN 340 Lecture Notes - Peanut Butter, Holding Hands

Course Code
ECN 340
Thomas Barbiero

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Chapter 7: Sexual Behavior
- Sex is simply another service that is wanted and supplied
Economic Characteristics of Sex
- Sex as a service
- Holding hands
- Kissing
- “Petting” Touching
- Intercourse
Different Sexual Practices
- Immoral? value judgement, not immoral
- A matter of taste
- For most, it is the intensity of the sexual experience that make it so appealing
- Most willing to pay higher cost to experience it compared to having a peanut butter sandwich
- Interpersonal utility comparisons impossible to do cannot compare peoples pleasure level
Law of Demand and Sex
- As price rises, quantity demanded falls
- Prostitutes know this very well: higher price, fewer “tricks”
- Men demand more units of sex as price drops
Women and Sex
- Generally, women want less sex, although it depends on cost
- Men’s job is to decrease cost of sex and increase quantity demanded
- Contraceptives have greatly reduced the cost of sex, therefore sexual activity is up
Cost of Sex
- Opportunity costs
o Time
o Energy
o Risk of pregnancy
o Risk of STD’s
o Other costs? Guilt?
Sex and the Rich and Poor
- Who has more sex the rich or the poor? Rich have more sex
- Higher income groups consume (produce) more sex
Sex as a Co-Operative Experience
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