Missing Link Friday – 23 September 2011

Is gender equality driving down the price of sex? Women trade sex for resources, argues psychologist Roy Baumeister. "Historically, women have restricted each other’s sexuality in order to make the price of sex high".

Roy Baumeister’s bad economics: Baumeister’s theory is "not an economic model and if it was it wouldn’t be a very good one" argues Marina Adshade at Dollars and Sex.

Freedom & fidelity: At Tiger Beatdown, Flavia Dzodan wonders: "can cheating, for a woman, ever be an act of liberating, or dare I say it, empowering rebellion?"

Economics as a branch of moral philosophy: "Utilitarians are supposed to maximise the good, not good intentions; which makes inefficiency a kind of vice", says the Philosopher’s Beard. Being a good utilitarian means taking advantage of the analytic tools of economics.

Left-wing hypocrisy on immigration? Also at the Philosopher’s Beard; without immigration controls the welfare state would collapse. Conservative opposition to immigration "allows liberals to get away with the hypocrisy of depending on immigration controls while pretending that they are against them."

Futile arguments about the definition of liberty: Libertarians generally define liberty as non-coercion. But they "rely on a tendentiously loaded conception of coercion that simply stipulates that commonsense forms of emotional, psychological, and social coercion aren’t really coercive in the relevant sense", says Will Wilkinson. And it’s not just libertarians who bend concepts to justify their preferred political arrangements.

Inequality and immortality: What happens to inequality when death becomes optional, wonders Robin Hanson. Not only would rich people have more time to accumulate wealth but the resulting inequality would have less to do with parental luck, and more to do with personal merit. Would that be good or bad?

New public management has been a disaster: "It is time to re-conceptualise public service goals as the outcome of social processes", argues Matthew Taylor at the RSA.

How Robert Putnam helped create the Tea Party: Without Meetup.com, the Tea Party might never have got off the ground. Putnam’s ideas inspired Scott Heiferman to create it, writes Henry Farrell.

The equalities industry: "Like the witch-finders of the seventeenth century, equalities campaigners increasingly find evidence of evil-doing where the rest of us didn’t even realise we had a problem", writes ‘bad’ Peter Saunders.

21 thoughts on “Missing Link Friday – 23 September 2011

  1. I have not read the Baumeister theory – only the excerpts – but as Adshade notes it sounds similar to the Trivers “parental investment” theory. Women get “stuck with the kids” and are hence choosy about their sexual partners. Beautiful women carry a premium because they are more desired and hence get a good deal out of marriage – the opportunity cost of marriage for them being the prostitution alternative for which they would be very well paid.

    Adshade introduces the model of perfect competition to suggest that women as sellers have no distinctive market power. I am not sure this really works here. In each case women must balance the benefits of intercourse against the risk of being “stuck with the kids” which will uniformly make them worse off. Women’s liberation and greater equality as well as contraception reduce the costs/risks to women and plausibly make them more promiscuous.

  2. “Women’s liberation and greater equality as well as contraception reduce the costs/risks to women and plausibly make them more promiscuous.”

    What an original insight. And so portentously declaimed.

    You’re telling us nothing bro’ that women and girls didn’t know, oh, nigh on half a century ago.

  3. It’s not me that is saying this Sally its Baumeister. You want to read some of the linked material before you comment. He does an empirical test of the hypothesis that greater gender equality reduces the scarcity value of women and promotes more sex. I am saying (as do others) it is linked to the parental investment theory.

    Touchy little femme, aren’t you.

  4. And I’m saying pity the poor Florida University male bastard who has to couch his psychological theories in “economic rationalist” clap-trap terms.

    The dude demonstrably understands little about women or their sexual and emotional lives and desires. It would be funny if not so tragic – for him and fools who fall for this garbage.

  5. “He does an empirical test of the hypothesis that greater gender equality reduces the scarcity value of women and promotes more sex”

    You could look at a number of other stats if you wanted. One would be people over 30, since the F/M ratio changes so that there are more females than males due to males dying out a bit quicker (and a few other things, like some males being essentially unpartnerable due to higher rates of some mental diseases and probably unparternable to females due to slightly higher rates of pure homosexuality). A second area where there are well know differences are in some ethnic groups (African American males vs. AA females being everyone’s favorite example — this occurs because many African American males are in jail at any given time and AA males partner with caucasoids far more often than AA females do. I think the ratio is 90/10 if I remember correctly). If the theory is correct, these groups should at it like rabbits, what with the skewed ratios. However, at least in the first group, what you find is that females simply don’t repartner as much. So instead of just more competition, you simply see people dropping out of the “marketplace”. That gets more and more true when you look at older groups, despite the fact that these groups are infertile, hence are not exactly going to get left “holding the kids”. So that data goes in the wrong direction of the model. Even with the AA data, what you find is that many women simply become single parents (which surely they must be able to apriori predict). So even the idea of “holding the kids” is not exactly great. Obviously many people don’t mind.

  6. For “people” read women. It’s hard to spit out, eh.

    Save me from phonies. They’re coming through the windows (Salinger)

    To understand much, learn to see the world through the eyes of women (Trotsky)

  7. “For “people” read women. It’s hard to spit out, eh.”

    No, because I think it takes two to tango. So when I say “people” over 30, I mean males and females over 30, since just using one sex to test a theory that is about two sexes wouldn’t make sense.

    For example, if you replace “people” with “women” in my second sentence, here is what it looks like:

    “You could look at a number of other stats if you wanted. One would be women over 30, since the F/M ratio changes so that there are more females than males due to males…”

    As you can see, changing “people” to “women” and then talking about F/M ratios is slightly odd since you are really interested in the number of avaliable females divided by the number of available males (over 30). Of course, you might argue that we don’t need to consider age here, in which case you could just divide the number of females over 30 by the total number of available males rather than those over 30. However, this wouldn’t be a very smart thing to do, because it tends to be the case that females look for older males and vice versa, which in fact makes this ratio greater because obviously the older the group the less there will be in it (there are a few exceptions). So females over 30 looking for a partner actually have less probability of finding one than one would believe from just using the size of the sample of males over 30 looking for a partner.

  8. Way to miss the point dude. Enough with the statistical mumbo-jumbo already.

    I was pointing to the obvious fact that women are predominantly the carers of children and that women have children, will have children, will want children regardless of and despite the income supporting ability or inability of the nominal male parent.

  9. Sally, can you read?

    Here is what I said in the first post:”Even with the AA data, what you find is that many women simply become single parents (which surely they must be able to apriori predict). So even the idea of “holding the kids” is not exactly great. Obviously many people don’t mind.”

    Incidentally, if you’re really interested in this topic, then what you’ll also find is that the ability of females to find a male does play some role since if you ask people how many children they want and then go and look how many they had, you’ll find that people have, on average, less than they wanted. If you go and survey people and ask why there is a discrepancy, then you’ll find that one of the biggest reasons amongst well educated females at least is that they wern’t able to find a partner. So this also supports my contention that it isn’t the case that the F/M ratio matters that much, since many people simply drop out of the mating game.

  10. Though I will give you that the high abortion rates today to a large degree can be attributed to women’s sure knowledge that the sperm provider would not be a parent to their child in most meaningful or practical ways.

  11. Sucked in Ken et. al.,

    You decided to let idiots, dissemblers and freaks like Graeme Bird, “Sally” and Homer have free rein because it was convenient against a robust libertarian argument the likes of JC and yours truly often make with civility and ease.

    Now you pay. I hope you can put up with Bird’s recommendations of drinking bleach etc for good health, Homer’s latent Nazism and “Sally’s” fantasies of being a sexy, feminist woman…which he is definitely not.

    Good luck guys.

  12. “If you go and survey people and ask why there is a discrepancy, then you’ll find that one of the biggest reasons amongst well educated females at least is that they wern’t able to find a partner”

    That they’d want to have a child with. Agreed. But then also, which again was my point, many women do have children knowing or expecting but not in an essential way caring that the partner may disappear or be unemployed i.e. be economically unsupportive. That is a secondary consideration for them. This is borne out by the high and growing proportion of single mothers with multiple children from different mostly long-gone male partners.

  13. And then again the whole premise of this horseshit – that all women are hanging out to be mothers and their choice of male sexual partner is predominantly determined by their estimates about his financial fatherability – is another massive red herring and non sequitur.

    At least a third of women today actively and consciously do not want children and a lot more will – happily – never reproduce.

  14. At least a third of women today actively and consciously do not want children and a lot more will – happily – never reproduce.

    I’m sure a lot of them say that they don’t, but very few women actually make it past childbearing years without having any.

    The actual number of childless women over 45 is something like 20%, and that includes lesbians and the infertile.

  15. Women’s liberation and greater equality as well as contraception reduce the costs/risks to women and plausibly make them more promiscuous.

    In a world with equal numbers of exclusively heterosexual men and women, women are precisely as promiscuous and men. The math can be stated simply: it takes two to tango.

  16. I’m not sure that would be correct Peter.

    Think of a population of 10 with 5 men and gals. One dude gets a leg over with all 5 of those gals. Who would be regarded as sexually more promiscuous?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.