'Successful women lose sexual bargaining power'

Fewer romantic choices
Last Updated 03 May 2018, 05:35 IST

The authors of a new book, “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying”, say when it comes to relationships, men are calling all the shots, which means less commitment and more sex.

Researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker of the University of Texas at Austin based their conclusion on data from four national surveys, as well as additional interviews with men and women between the ages of 18 and 23.

They say the cold-hard truth is that women’s successes have left them with a small pool of similarly educated and financially stable men.

“It’s created an imbalance that tips relationship power in the direction of the men. Instead of men competing for women, today women feel like they must compete for men,”  the authors said.

Regnerus was asked about how young women’s greater economic freedom has resulted in fewer romantic choices.

“It is not that young educated women don’t marry—in fact they have the highest odds of getting and staying married—it’s that if you look at the whole relationship scene out there today, more than ever women feel like they are competing for men,” he said.  “In American colleges, 57 per cent of students are women and 43 per cent are men. That is a radical reversal of where we were 30 or 40 years ago.

“Presuming that people are attracted to people who are like them educationally, it means looking for secure relationships becomes challenging because the sex ratio is so imbalanced.

“The women wind up competing with each other—not necessarily to marry because they are not interested in marriage at that point—but they compete with each other to attract men.

“Well, sex is the way to get his attention. It’s the opposite of a cartel effect where women would say, ‘all right, we need to band together and artificially restrict the price of sex and get it high, even if we don’t want to, in order to extract things from men’,” he stated.

(Published 21 January 2011, 16:58 IST)

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