With the boom in digital era it has been seen that online endeavours to seek for dating partners has also gone up. Most of the time such search is for fast sexual encounters with strangers. The research in the video has claimed that the search in the online stage varies with the gender. The women are mainly looking for serious commitments often amounting to marriage, on the other hand the men are mostly on the lookout for sexual encounters. It is seen as the recent trends that the marriage rates in America has gone down, but on the other side the online dating rates and people going for fast sexual encounters have gone up.
The theory proposed by the documentary called the “Economics of Sex” by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, endeavours in understanding the trends on sexual relationship among men and women
(Austin institute 2014). The study has claimed that the men are more inclined towards having sex and they are less likely to get committed. Contrarily the women are more interested in long term commitments and getting emotionally attached than short term sexual goals. Whether or not this theory is true has been challenged by a number of researchers and the view is, such blatant generalisation is not acceptable. The Economics of Sex has made some much valid points of declining rates of marriages and how online dating are increasing in number where the longevity of the relationships have gone down.
It is a question of human behaviour why this particular change is coming in the way people perceive relationship. The reasons may be understood in the various contextual backgrounds of the recent times. The economic boom in the urban areas have make the work population very stressed and there is very less time in the hands of the individuals to spend in nurturing their relationships (Riley 2014). This is the reason behind people not willing into serious relationships these days. The Economy of Sex has state how the relationships are transactional in terms of bodily desires and how it is like giving something in return of something. In sociological theories the concepts of masculinity and femininity and associated traits can be discussed in this regards. Masculinity is regarded as mostly related to sexual intercourse and femininity as related to commitment and marriage.
It is seen that even the conservative parents these days are not willing to interact with their children to stop them from having casual sex from an early life. This is because the change in the perception towards the subject has made it easier for the parents to accept their sons or daughters going for sex in an early age (Abbott and Wallace 2016). About the desire to have sex, the video states “On average, men have a higher sex drive than women. Blame it on testosterone, call it whatever you want — but on average, men initiate sex more than women, they’re more sexually permissive than women, and they connect sex to romance less often than women. Nobody’s saying this is the way it ought to be. It’s just the way it is.”
The Economy of Sex has vividly described about how the sexual intimation has been used as resources by the women in various contexts because it is one of the thing that will never go out of demand from the men’s side. On the other hand the men has been presently in control of deciding factors on the matters of sexual intimacy. It is claimed that the availability of too many options, which can be also stated as availability of too many women who are agreed to having sex for a purpose, the men now have the upper hand of deciding on the matters of choosing their sexual partner. However this is also true that ultimately it remains in the hand of women to ultimately decide about having sex.
The way sex has been depicted as a commodity that can be bartered is not true in all contexts. A report from the Business Insider named “The 'Economics Of Sex' Theory Is Completely Wrong states that “But despite a cutesy veneer, it’s bursting with false and blatantly sexist claims, like the ideas that men want sex more, women want marriage more, and the decline of marriage rates will destroy the world” (Sterbenz 2014). The argument that demand and supply in sex occurs just like any other commodity is absurd.
In terms of sociological theories of gender and sexuality it can be said that the field is new and researches in sociology of sex is still under development (Simon 2017). Most of the sociological theories of sex has been derived from the idea of assigning roles in sex. This has been also seen to be applied in the video called “The Economy of Sex” where roles has been assigned to the particular genders where the women are portrayed to be more interested in marriages and the men are shown to be more interested in sexual intimacy. This may be true at certain cases however such serious generalisation may be avoided. The role theory of sex in sociology is still underdeveloped and must be worked in further details so that the real situation on ground may be reflected (Seidman, Fischer and Meeks 2016). The fact is commodification of sex is not true just because every individual engaging in such act is different and they have different approach towards sex (Weeks 2017). Therefore if women were goods, the market would contain far too much variety for a simple correlation between supply and price.
It can be concluded that the documentary made some valid points about increasing rates of casual sex dates and reducing number of commitments and marriages. People in today’s times take perceive commitment as a liability and instead they look for quick fun. However generalising everyone to that category and statements like all men want quick sexual intimacy and all women want marriages, is a mistake, as there are plenty of cases where the situation is vice versa. There must be a balance of perception and idea about how each gender perceive sexual intimacy. Each individual perceive relationships and intimacy differently. They have their own ways of exploring, this must be respected while researching on the sociological aspects of sex and intimacy.
Abbott, P. and Wallace, C. eds., 2016. Gender, power and sexuality. Springer.
Austin institute., 2014. The Economics of Sex. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO1ifNaNABY [Accessed 22 Aug. 2018].
Riley, N., 2014. The economics of sex: Has the price gotten too cheap?. [online] Nypost.com. Available at: https://nypost.com/2014/02/16/the-economics-of-sex-has-the-price-gotten-too-cheap/ [Accessed 22 Aug. 2018].
Seidman, S., Fischer, N.L. and Meeks, C., 2016. The social construction of sexuality. In Introducing the New Sexuality Studies (pp. 59-66). Routledge.
Simon, W., 2017. Sexual conduct: The social sources of human sexuality. Routledge.
Sterbenz, C., 2014 . The 'Economics Of Sex' Theory Is Completely Wrong. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/economics-of-sex-video-debunked-2014-2 [Accessed 22 Aug. 2018].
Weeks, J., 2017. The rights and wrongs of sexuality. In Sexuality and Equality Law (pp. 1-19). Routledge.