Sex Is Money: In Poorer Countries, Women Use It As Currency

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But wealthier countries with higher gender equality have more sex -- including casual sex.

I feel really dirty writing this, because I'm a ridiculous romantic. 

But all around the world, a murky, decidedly unromantic concept called "sexual economics" is at play. The principle goes something like this: Women have something men want, and it's called sex. Women's sexuality has a price that men's does not, so men trade resources with women just to get some: money, promotions, marriage proposals. Men Who Buy Sex Are More Likely To Be Criminals

This is why, according to a recent study, in countries that rank higher in gender equality, people have more casual sex, more sex partners per capita, lose their virginity at younger ages, and have greater tolerance/approval of premarital sex. Countries that have lower gender equality also tend to be poorer, which feeds the beast even more.

"In countries where women are at a big disadvantage, they restrain sex, so the price is high and men make a lifetime commitment to support them to get sex," says Roy Baumeister of Florida State University. "Men will do whatever is required for sex."

Baumeister's new research, published in The Journal of Social Psychology earlier this summer, used two data sets on 37 countries, including an international online sex survey of 317,000 people and data specific to gender equality. The gender equality rankings were from the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report, 2006 — the USA ranked 16th. 16% Of Americans Still Think It's OK For A Man To Hit His Wife

"If women don't have many opportunities to make money on their own, they need the value of sex to be as high as possible," Baumeister says. "When women don't have other opportunities, sex is the main thing she has to offer."

Regardless of its obvious "value," sex shouldn't be viewed as a commodity. If people didn't think of it in that way, there would be a lot less gender inequality in the world. Would the world really implode if people only had sex for love

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