This was written by Gannon LeBlanc and is from his site.
Everyday it seems we hear about women complaining that there are no good men anymore. Even the Wall Street Journal is complaining about there not being any good men left. So what happened, who’s to blame, and how can we fix this problem? One thing that needs to be understood about this topic is that it’s not political, sexist, or based upon any philosophy. The answers to this dilemma are strictly based in cold economics. The reason there are no good men left is because of birth control, the rise and success of feminism, and rational self-interest. Women, primarily feminist, are not strictly to blame for the lack of good men. However, their righteous and just cause has inadvertently created the good man shortage. In economics, we call this a negative externality.
How has birth control and feminism eliminated many of the good men from the dating market? By making the “price” of sex, very cheap. When talking about the price of sex we are not talking strictly about a dollar value. We’re talking about effort. Back in our grandparents days before birth control, women collectively kept the price of sex very high. They made men work, and work hard, to have sex with them. Most women expected or even demanded that men had a good job, education, honor or reputation and that he would be a gentleman that deserved her. This high standard existed because if the woman became pregnant, she would want that man to stick around and be a good father and husband. There was no hook up culture and very few promiscuous women were around.
With the introduction of birth control, women didn’t face this issue. They could virtually unshackle themselves from the biological chains of pregnancy and become more promiscuous. While this was great in the eyes of feminists, who believe that women should be equal to men and shouldn’t be shamed of wanting or trying to initiate sex. It has had negative side effects in the dating market. By allowing women to be more promiscuous women increased the supply of sex available to men, yet the demand for sex from men never changed. When supply skyrockets and demand doesn’t move, price plummets. This is called a supply shock.
Women have set the price of sex so low that men have no incentive to become better men. Unlike their forefathers, they don’t need to have a solid job, good manners, be in top physical shape or have a strong sense of honor to get sex. More often than not, taking a girl out to dinner and inviting her back to his place can be enough. Granted having even a slight amount of any of the previously mentioned qualities helps men stand out and get more sex, it doesn’t incentive any of them to become committed. In fact, it has the opposite effect. The more successful the man is with women, the less incentivized he is to enter a committed monogamous relationship.
This is where biology becomes a major aspect in why young men are non-committal. Men can bear children decades longer than women. Women have a narrow window in their lives for when they are able to bear children. Once women enter menopause around age forty, they can no longer produce children. The window is even more narrow for their optimal time to produce children which is only between age of 20-25. Because men can bear children far later in life and the price of sex is so low now, they have no incentive to settle down and become committed at an early age. A young man in his twenties can expect another decade or two of being able to sleep around with many women and still have a marriage and children down the road. He can have it all in the current market.
Women however are on a more strict biological clock. They need to find a husband quicker than men need to find a wife. However, women are viciously competing against each other. Women no longer have each others back, in fact many women view other women as direct competition and can be openly hostile towards each other. It use to be that women had an unspoken agreement between themselves to keep the price of sex high. That agreement has been destroyed and women are becoming their own worse enemy.
Women are not demanding better men in society. Because women choose to keep having sex with men that don’t strive to be good men, they remove any incentive and any motivation for men in our society to be better. Women’s standards is what creates good men. That sentence bares repeating. Women’s standards are what creates good men.
Men, like women, are rational self-interested beings. If women give them the choice of being able to get sex at a low price or having to work hard to earn sex, of course men are going to pick the former option. It’s not that they are lazy or evil, it’s simple economic incentive. Once women demand a high standard, or no sex, men will have to rise to the challenge. Men are willing to work hard like their forefathers for sex, but women have to ask for the high price. The difference between the price men are willing go pay for sex and low price women are demanding is called a consumer surplus and right now men have a massive surplus.
The feminist movement, which was established to help empower women and make them equal to men has done many good things for society. However it has also greatly empowered men in the sexual market by convincing women to drop the price of sex and enter into dog-eat-dog competition against each other. The solution to this issue is for women to collude better and start working together more instead of tearing each other down. Women have the potential to bring the price of sex back up and force men to higher standards. They would see more commitment, better efforts from men to gain her attention and admiration and more successful and lasting marriages.
Sex is controlled by women. It’s up to them to decide what kind of men there are in the market. Let’s see more women take control of their bodies and be the equal and empowered individuals they have worked so hard to become and demand that men rise up to earn these new and empowered women. This should be the focus of the future feminist movement; to demand better men.
While this doesn’t address the topic of polygamous relationships, homosexual relationships or partners who don’t want children or marriage, these are considered minority groups that are outside the general scope of this small article. For more in-depth answers on the topic, there are many books and videos on the subject of the economics of sex.