February 23rd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Something rotten led to fish-kill: perhaps fishy environmentalism

EDITORIAL Resistance grows to Beijing's soft-power push

CANBERRA OBSERVED Climate change: deadly ... to political leaders

TECHNOLOGY Electric cars: UK taxpayers subsidise rich greenies

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION A step too small?

CYBER SECURITY Chinese smartphone threat extends way beyond Huawei

SOCIETY Such grandeur of spirit

POLITICS John Hewson should have as sturdy a Constitution

FINANCE Hayne royal commission sets agenda for bank reform

FAMILY RELATIONS Dad: a girl's first and most influential love

COMMENTARY Words gone feral: rights and equality

MEDICINE AND CULTURE Book captures tragedy of falling foul of a fanatic

SOCIETY AND CULTURE A dog's life: reflections of a grey nomad

HUMOUR

MUSIC Serialism a killer: Ideas tend to get in the way

CINEMA Cold Pursuit: Revenge served up manic

BOOK REVIEW Why the West and nowhere else

BOOK REVIEW The escalation of horror and atrocity

LETTERS

Books promotion page

CHEAP SEX:
The Transformation of Men, Marriage and Monogamy

Mark Regnerus

$53.75


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About the book

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 wide uptake of the Pill and high-quality pornography--and its distribution made more efficient by a third, the uptake of online dating. Together, they drive down the cost of real sex, have created a massive slow-down in the development of significant relationships, put women's fertility at risk, and have even taken a toll on men's marriageability. What the West has witnessed of late is not the social construction of sexuality or marriage or family forms toward different possibilities as a product of political will, but technology-driven social change. This revolution in sexual autonomy also ushered in an era of plastic sexuality and prompted the flourishing on non-heterosexual identities. This book takes readers on a tour inside the American mating market, and highlights key patterns that characterize young adults' experience today, including the early timing of first sex in relationships, overlapping partners, the hazards of online dating, frustrating returns on their relational investments, and a failure to link future goals like marriage with how they are conducting their current relationships. Drawing upon several large nationally-representative surveys, in-person interviews with 100 men and women, and the assertions of scholars ranging from evolutionary psychologists to gender theorists, what emerges is a story about social change, technological breakthroughs, and the unintended consequences of women's economic success. Sex and its satisfactions are becoming increasingly important in contemporary life. No longer playing a supporting role in enduring relationships, sex has emerged as a central priority in relationship development and continuation. But unravel the layers, and it is obvious that the emergence of "industrial sex" is far more a reflection of men's interests than women’s.

About the author

Mark Regnerus is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas, Austin. His research is in the areas of sexual behaviour, family, marriage, and religion. He is the author of Forbidden Fruit (OUP, 2007) and Premarital Sex in American (OUP, 2011).


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