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Economics of sex and dating
February 19, 2014 6:06 PM   Subscribe

A video by Freakonomics discussing purported research findings to do with sex, attractiveness and mating habits (of humans). The link also contains research to other blog posts about ugliness, mate selection and online dating (transcript). Meanwhile, the rebuttal.
posted by kid A (26 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This seems to me to be outragebait that Jezebel, no foe of outrage, has gladly taken. -- restless_nomad



 
⌘-F "turns out"

3 matches

Ah, Freakonomics, you never disappoint.
posted by entropicamericana at 6:19 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


These 1920’s sex ed videos are always hilarious! It's crazy to think people used to believe this stuff.

Wait, it's from 2014?

I'm going to go hit a wall with my head now.
posted by mmoncur at 6:21 PM on February 19


One of the problems with economics-as-discipline is that, like other totalizing "here's how the human condition works" disciplines, it attempts to explain all human behavior in reference to it's own precepts.

So, naturally, human sexuality can be explained as a simple supply-and-demand curve, where slutty women giving it away for free are ruining the market for all the good women, etc.

Of course, this is silly -- but it's a warning against totalizing rather than the incipient goofiness of the Freakonomics mindset. To be fair: I have the same criticism against (*dons flamesuit*) academic queer-theory: no, not everything is about sexuality. Not everything in the human condition can be understood through the lens of queer studies. Operation Barbarossa was about Hitler's desire to destroy Stalin while he still had a chance, not penile imagery and oedipal impulses in Wiemar modernism.

Same thing with economics: some things actually aren't about supply and demand. This seems like a surprisingly innocuous statement but in our current climate, it seems like a rather revolutionary statement. Almost unpatriotic, even.
posted by Avenger at 6:31 PM on February 19 [15 favorites]


I couldn't get through the rebuttal thanks to the coarse language ("sniff my dong"? Really? Is that the best you can do???).
posted by michellenoel at 6:33 PM on February 19


It's not by Freakonomics - it's from The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.
posted by gingerest at 6:35 PM on February 19


Thanks for the rebuttal, it prevented me from passing out screaming after I watched the video (actually just posted by Freakonomics, it's made by The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.. whose website I just made the mistake of visiting. gah).

Their mission statement includes "documenting those practices, habits, and structures that make for greater sources of family stability"...... interpret as you like.
Their director has a page (or shares a name and city with someone who has a page, anyhow) on a website called Art of Manliness.
Alright, I'm not looking anymore, I have nothing positive to say there.

Anyhow, one bit of rant that the Jezebel rebuttal didn't mention: the video says something about "it wasn't the patriarchy that policed sex before, it was other women". WTF do you think the patriarchy *is*? It's a societal construct, policed by all of the empowered members of society, and often, very often, enforced by other women.

I've always been all for birth control being available to all women (and men!) everywhere, but if it means other women can't police my sexual behavior, fan-fucking-tastic.

>phew<
posted by nat at 6:35 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


[Folks! You may have confused this thread with a place to trot out tired stereotypes about gendered relationships in order to fight about them or possibly for some other reason. This is not that thread. You are not that MeFite.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:38 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Well considering that Nerve.com says the longest average sexytimes is 7 minutes in this country, why even bother....

Oh wait a minute:

"Does not include foreplay."

I MAY HAVE FOUND THE FLAW IN YOUR METHODOLOGY
posted by emjaybee at 6:39 PM on February 19 [6 favorites]


Does foreplay include watching Netflix together? What if we're watching a smart, sexy thriller?
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:45 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


It must just be the dong-thrusting (although not the sniffing) that they're counting.
posted by gingerest at 6:46 PM on February 19


Ugh, what a reductive video. It's a great example of how everything can be individually true (all the statistics and facts) and yet be put together to tell a very particular, very political, and not very true story that elides all sorts of more convincing narratives.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:48 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


This is not that beautiful thread! This is not my beautiful Mefite!

Same as it ever was.

*chopping motions along forearm*
posted by Earthtopus at 6:49 PM on February 19 [8 favorites]


Ugh, what a reductive video. It's a great example of how everything can be individually true (all the statistics and facts) and yet be put together to tell a very particular, very political, and not very true story that elides all sorts of more convincing narratives.

The Big Lebowski quote can probably be applied to this video...

"You're not wrong Walter. You're just an asshole."
posted by Talez at 6:51 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


like other totalizing "here's how the human condition works" disciplines, it attempts to explain all human behavior in reference to it's own precepts.

raises finger 'ah, but how about--'

To be fair: I have the same criticism against (*dons flamesuit*) academic queer-theory: no, not everything is about sexuality. Not everything in the human condition can be understood through the lens of queer studies.


Ok, carry on.

IMO every system of values or point of view has some utility and if you disagree then you just haven't looked hard enough. Admittedly that value can get pretty skimpy at the far ends of the bell curve.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:52 PM on February 19


"Does not include foreplay."

But it does include the cigarette.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:52 PM on February 19


Freakonomics.

There. Rebutted.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:54 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Freakonomics.

There. Rebutted.


Yep, how does anyone take them seriously after their bizarre, vaguely racist, tendentious and solving with a predetermined solution in mind thing about african american names?

I don't even really care if their team didn't personally write it, if it's involved with them and they're repping it i'm automatically suspicious of it.
posted by emptythought at 6:57 PM on February 19



Does foreplay include watching Netflix together? What if we're watching a smart, sexy thriller?


You're good. Even Sting finally admitted that his rumored 8-hour tantric sex sessions also included "four hours of begging, dinner and then a movie."
posted by blue suede stockings at 7:02 PM on February 19


The "Art of Manliness"?


like...Tom of Finland?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:02 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Freakonomics is pseudoscience for upper middle class intellectual dilettantes to justify their prejudices and wealth. No more, no less.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 7:09 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Heteronormative, much, Freakonomics?

Seriously, in 2014, the theory these analysts present about sex is totally centered on hetero (presumably cis) men and hetero (presumably cis) women?

Ug.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 7:30 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Also, "in the past, it wasn't patriarchy that policed women's relational interests, it was women."

Ummm, if you think slut shaming is bad today, talk to your mothers and grandmothers, folks.

Wow.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 7:35 PM on February 19


like...Tom of Finland?

Not even. More like Mike of Peoria.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:35 PM on February 19


Also, "in the past, it wasn't patriarchy that policed women's relational interests, it was women."


yea holy shit how does that line fly in 2014?
posted by emptythought at 7:35 PM on February 19


I couldn't get through the rebuttal thanks to the coarse language ("sniff my dong"? Really? Is that the best you can do???).

it's almost as though the video were bad enough to get a person angry
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:36 PM on February 19


That line flies, emptythought, because the people who made the video are coming from a (presumably conservative) religious viewpoint. Several of the people who work at this "Austin Institute for the Study of Language and Culture" are at BYU, Notre Dame, Ave Maria. I think they might have an agenda, and let's just say it isn't gay.
posted by nat at 7:47 PM on February 19


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