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Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Sex is cheap. Coupled sexual activity has become more widely available than ever. Cheap sex has been made possible by two technologies that have little to do with each other - the Pill and high-quality pornography - and its distribution made more efficient by a third technological innovation, online dating. Together, they drive down the cost of real sex, and in turn slow t ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Mark Jr.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, audio, library-book
A quick check of the Goodreads reviews suggests to me that everyone has strong feelings about this book—which tends to support the author’s thesis, I think. In other words, sex is not what Captain Kathryn Janeway said it was in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, namely a component of good hygiene. One time when her crew visited a resort planet she encouraged her senior commanders to make sure to go have sex with the planet’s prostitutes. None of this was stated so bluntly; it was given instead wi ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Cheap Sex, Mark Regnerus cites a lot of research to make a strong case for how the marriage-partnering-dating-sex market in the US (and probably other countries) reached its current state, and how most trends will probably continue. Unsurprisingly, the results are mixed, as throughout history they have always been. As economist Thomas Sowell said, “There are no solutions, only trade-offs,” but the trade-offs of today’s young generation would be pretty alien to our grandparents. Today we have ...more
Frank Theising
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology
I found this book absolutely fascinating. Running in the conservative Christian circle I do, I am regularly blown away by the number of intelligent, attractive women in church (or in the workplace) who want to get married but their equally accomplished (single) male counterparts seem not to exist. By exploring sex through an economic lens, this book helps to explain phenomena like this. The author’s thesis is that the remarkable economic, educational, and sexual advances by women have opened up ...more
Philip Cohen
Nov 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is a terrible book by a researcher with a proven history of unethical research practices. I have written extensive notes on it, which are available here:
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok , I admit it the salacious title caught my attention but what it’s really about is the subtitle and boy does it deliver. Anyone seeking to understand the bewildering world of modern love confronted by our children needs to read this. Dr. Regnerus traces our current societal malaise to some key technologies and their interactions that have created what he calls a world of “cheap sex”. These technologies and how they have been used in western society have mgiven us hook ups, incels and gender p ...more
Mentioned here.

I heard about Mark Regnerus in connection to The New Atlantis report from 2016. See Ch. 6 here.
Sep 18, 2018 marked it as to-read
Really intrigued by this review: Read Mark's 5-star review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy by Mark Regnerus
Alex O'Connor
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely interesting perspective on the current dating culture.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like behavioral economics books, this one's for you. The author argues that the price of sex in the United States has never been cheaper. He explores three factors that led to this outcome: 1) the birth control pill, 2) free, ubiquitous, and anonymous pornography, and 3) online dating services.

Regnerus argues that women are the gatekeepers to sex, while men are the gatekeepers to marriage. That said, women find it difficult to raise the price of sex as much as men find it difficult to low
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I only gave this 3 stars because it was so excruciatingly painful to read. What a sad state of affairs this country is in due to the prevalence of cheap sex! It makes one want to weep for the young women who don't even comprehend their culpability in the erosion of male-female relationships. (not that young men don't have their own issues.) Everything explored in this book is statistically based with no reference to the right- or wrongness of the behavior, with no religious overtones or moral pr ...more
Tai Tai
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
What I will give the author credit for is his many insightful observations regarding the shifting and changing dynamics that are present in modern day relationships, dating, marriage and so on. His conclusions/suggestions however, are more than half baked… They’re fully baked.
Beware of books on human behavior/sociology (especially when it comes to sex in biology and human relations) that avoid the topic of evolution. The author not only sidesteps this fundamental scientific principle but he actu
Adam Bradley
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sex, culture, gender-roles
The thesis is simple: the sexual revolution has rendered sex "cheap" in an economic sense, and the result is a world in which women's preferred social outcomes are worse-served, and men's preferences are better-served.

The hypothesis is bolstered with extensive ethnographic interviews and rigorous statistical surveys.

The concept of "cheap sex" -- and more broadly, of sexual economics and the "exchange model" of sex -- is the direct application of elementary macroeconomic concepts (price is a func
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Cheap Sex by Mark Regnerus is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late August.

Cheap Sex comes off as an informative, yet informal and non-empirical research study taken from qualitative surveys about romantic/sexual relationships that are made without the costly (both monetary and evolutionary psychological; thereby 'cheapening' the relationship) pressure to commit and procreate during someone's 20s-30s while using technology and present-day prevalence of hook-up culture.
Jess Besack
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Men are trash, etc etc
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
A sad world indeed.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nigel Senton
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the start of the book he goes on to say that to much faith in science is epistemologically unsound.

filiation reader:no that’s not true. Impossible!

Dark Vader: the scientific methods have limits. Insisting otherwise is a dogma called scientism.

Filiation reader: Nooooo

He goes on through out the book that he never wrote it to make a social movement or technology activism change but really just show where and how technology and social change have lead and since the pill and equal job force partic
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Good overview of the subject. Clear thinking, clear use of terms and arguments. Much to be commended for.
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Martin Hughes
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Sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“All we have done is replaced the burden of conformity to traditions (like marriage, religious community, or ethnic heritage) with the imperative — at least as burdensome — of creating, sustaining, and expressing a ‘personal culture.” 0 likes
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