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ECN 340 (202)

Chapter 3

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ECN 340
Thomas Barbiero

The Economics of Human Behaviour: Chapter 3  Sexual Behaviour o Sex is simply another service that is wanted and supplied  Economic Characteristics of Sex o Sex as a service o Holding hands o Kissing o “Petting” or groping o Intercourse  Different Sexual Practices o Immoral sexual practices? This is a value judgement so does not apply to the economics of sex o A matter of taste  Intensity o For most, it is the intensity of the sexual experience that makes it so appealing o Most willing to pay a higher cost to experience it compared to having a peanut butter sandwich  In this sense, intensity is synonymous for benefit o Interpersonal utility comparison impossible to do  It is impossible for people to talk about their preferences because everyone is unique  Law of Demand and Sex o As price rises, quantity demanded falls  Price, in terms of sex, does not always mean money (E.g. Risk of pregnancy, travelling long distances, etc.) o Prostitutes know this very well: higher price, fewer “customers” o Men demand more units of sex as price drops  Women and Sex o Generally, women want less sex, although it depends on cost o Men’s job is to decrease cost of sex and increase quantity demanded o Contraceptives have greatly reduced the cost of sex, therefore sexual activity is up  Cost of Sex o Opportunity costs – “I could be reading a nice book instead…”  Time  Energy  Risk of pregnancy  Risk of sexually transmitted disease o Other costs? Guilt?  Sex and The Rich and Poor o Who has more sex, the “rich” or the “poor”? o Higher income groups consume/produce more sex  Sex as a Co-Operative Experience o Must be co-operatively produced and enjoyed o Thus, we look for someone who performs  We don’t eat to live, we eat because we enjoy it o Joint nature means pursuing same goal o For the particular sexual activity, there is no competition between the two (leaving the problems outside the bedroom) o Sex forces people to work together  Sex as an Exchange o A person can exchange sex for security, clothes, kindness, marriage, etc
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