Economics is a social science concerned with the production, distribution, consumption of goods and services, or a transfer of wealth through principles of supply and demand.
Supply and demand – if sex is widely available, then its value goes down. This is what has happened when artificial contraception and abortions increased, which together, with the premarital and extramarital sex becoming more and more commonplace, makes a recipe for disaster.
The mating market is in disarray with more men looking for sex and more women looking for marriage. This dynamic is more visible on dating apps and sites. Online dating behaviors contrast between men looking for fun and women looking for commitment in general.
Women tend to complain that men are not into commitments, which leads women to compete with one another for men often by giving in to what men want: pre/extramarital sex. The mentality is like the store samples (pre-COVID, of course) to entice shoppers to “try before they buy.” And so, the age of marriage is increasing in the US and most other countries around the globe.
Through the legalization of abortion from Roe V. Wade and the rise of the prominent abortion clinic called Planned Parenthood, sex became widely available. The Roe in Roe V. Wade, Norma McCorvey, never had an abortion herself and became an anti-abortion activist according to Live Action’s The True Story Behind Roe v. Wade. Abby Johnson, a clinic director for Planned Parenthood for ten years, explains why she quit in the documentary Unplanned. Abortion is a multi-million dollar business, which is why Planned Parenthood pushes 117 abortions for each adoption referral.
Inherent to hookups is the assumption that it’s two individuals coming together for a pleasurable act, making the stability of family somehow optional. So if women get pregnant or choose to have babies, men are also optional in the childrearing. Yet economists generally attribute fatherlessness as destructive to society and economics.
In light of the BLM movement, the topic of legal and economic equality for black people is center stage. A show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) brought on six black men who fathered eighty-seven children. The show moderator did quick math and concluded that if the one man who had thirty-four children with seventeen women spread his time across the children, then he would see each child for just ten days a year!
She further pointed out that children growing up without dads are five times more likely to commit suicide, thirty-two times more likely to run away, twenty-two times likelier to have a behavior disorder, and fourteen times more likely to rape, abuse drugs, or be sexually aggressive.
Ian Rowe is an African-American fellow at a Public Policy Think Tank. The title of his article The Power of the Two-Parent Home Is Not a Myth says it all. Even if growing up with two parents is not a silver bullet to fight poverty, it is still nonetheless powerful in this fight. Family structure is an important factor for blacks and children of all races to overcome economic hardship.
Given this, one should grasp that the economics of hookups are negatively affecting kids, society, and resulting social policy. Yet, one may wonder how society can avoid today’s rampant hookup culture.
John Prather, a male model who waited until marriage, offers a male perspective. Spoiler alert: he talks about how the “price” of patience pays off. I guess a lot of guys read his article because the author follows up with another article years into his marriage. I appreciate his honesty that it can get rough to go against the hookup culture, but that it’s worth it in developing strength of character and strength of marriage.
If the economics of hookups do not make sense, dollars, or cents, then the alternative is lasting marriage as defined by one man and one woman, open to children. This definition makes the institution of marriage entirely different from hookups or any two (or more) individuals in an amorous relationship. And it brings up other important points that I’ve never even questioned before about what’s so magical about the number one man plus one woman.
The best video to watch in support of this definition of marriage is Katy’s Story. I won’t spoil this one, except that she loves her mom and her lesbian partner, and yet makes it her personal mission to clarify that marriage is between one man and one woman. Another plus about this video is that it’s personal and comes from the perspective of a child growing up in a household of a lesbian couple.
Because sometimes all the economic theory and social policy in the world don’t drive a point home as much as a relatable personal story. The male model points out that you don’t need to look far to find mass media blaring continuously that hooking up is fun and that everyone’s doing it. If you’re up for a tear-jerker, grab a Kleenex box to read Pregnant at Harvard?, which was published at the Harvard Crimson. (Even super Ivy League-smart people can and do fall into the hookup trap).
Last, but not least is the article, I Thought Casual Sex Would Be Empowering, But It Was the Opposite, which offers a female perspective, completing the aforementioned male point of view. It mentions the long-running HBO show “Sex in the City,” with beautiful, career-minded women enjoying hookups in NYC.
It’s interesting to note that when the show crossed its 20th anniversary, various women published online comments and blogs about how a life of glamorous hookups is a lie, in a similar vein to the article linked here. It goes to show that the idea of a columnist affording a closet full of Manolo Blahnik heels while cabbing daily in NYC is not the only economics lie in the show.