Baumeister on Sexual Economics

November 9, 2012  |  Evolution

Many academic papers are dry. Baumeister’s latest is definitely not. From Sexual Economics, Culture, Men, and Modern Sexual Trends:

The fact that men became useful members of society as a result of their efforts to obtain sex is not trivial, and it may contain important clues as to the basic relationship between men and culture (see Baumeister 2010). Although this may be considered an unflattering characterization, and it cannot at present be considered a proven fact, we have found no evidence to contradict the basic general principle that men will do whatever is required in order to obtain sex, and perhaps not a great deal more. (One of us characterized this in a previous work as, “If women would stop sleeping with jerks, men would stop being jerks.”) If in order to obtain sex men must become pillars of the community, or lie, or amass riches by fair means or foul, or be romantic or funny, then many men will do precisely that. This puts the current sexual free-for-all on today’s college campuses in a somewhat less appealing light than it may at first seem. 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.



2 Comments


  1. Sex as a drive for the improvement of society. In my personal experience the author may have a very good point…

  2. Indeed- and the current social trends in this context constitute a rather extreme social experiment. But I guess you could say the same about most parts of society today.

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