Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Men, Women, Sex, and Opporunity Costs

Maybe you've encountered this line of reasoning before:

1) Men actively pursue casual sex, even though the "opportunity costs" are high. A guy has to go out, find a girl, buy drinks or whatever, strike out several times, yada yada yada.

2) Women don't actively pursue casual sex, even though the "opportunity costs" are low. Basically all the girl has to do is show up at a bar. And most girls don't even bother to do that.

3) You can judge how much someone wants something by what opportunity costs they're willing to spend.


4) Men want casual sex more than women.

There aren't a lot of bits of reasoning that bug me more than this one, and I've been meaning to write about it for some time. But you know how it is when you really care about something: you want to do a good job.

I don't know, I've been distracted. And now I have jet lag from my return to EDT. But I had to write about it today 'cause there's some new evidence that totally proves my point.

My point being that anyone who thinks the opportunity costs for a woman to have casual sex are low is out of their freaking minds.

I'm sure there are ten reasons y'all are smart enough to think of for yourselves. Like guys actually put drugs into women's drinks so they can take them home and rape them. This is the sort of thing I would think beyond belief if I didn't actually read about it happening in the actual news fairly regularly. Often these are guys the women sort of know... they're on a date. It's really just so unbelievable you want to say, "Oh, what are the odds of that?" but you know what? The answer is "Not low enough."

Also obvious is the fact that when you have sex with guys you just met, other people call you a slut. The guy himself, having slept with you, may later decide you are a slut.

Guys, if you're listening: this is truly sucky behavior, and it has to stop. If you want girls to keep having sex with you you have to stop calling them sluts. Period, end of discussion, I don't want to hear any backtalk.

Large as these costs seem to me, they are tiny once you place them next to the main item: Girls get pregnant.

I know people who make this argument know that girls get pregnant, but are they not thinking? Sure, you can use birth control, and sure, you can be careful, and sure you can pay the opportunity costs associated with making absolutely sure the guy is being as careful as he says he is being, condom-wise, and all that, and still, there is still a risk that you're gonna get pregnant.

How is this not the hugest opportunity cost ever? I mean, there you are, you've had a few, you find a reasonable guy who doesn't seem like he'll be raping or drugging you, you don't even know him, and bam, you're carrying his baby??

I know guys risk getting girls pregnant, but I'm sorry this is really not the same. I do sometimes wonder why guys are often not more worried about getting girls pregnant, but that's a post for another day.

Yes, girls can get abortions, or they can give kids up for adoption, or whatever, but seriously, these are huge, huge things in any woman's life.

The kicker, as I see it, comes when you put together the STD risk with the pregnancy risk. You know, when girls get STD's (and they get them more easily from guys than vice-versa as I understand it) it affects their reproductive system. The latest news is that it can cause birth defects. Now we're not talking no "two weeks of antibiotics," we're talking a kid with its parts put together in the wrong way.

As far as I'm concerned, if you're thinking opportunity costs, it's obvious why women sometimes choose to stay home.

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