Economics research has a surprisingly large amount to say about dating, sex and relationships. Take Alan Collins, for whom personal ads are potential research data. Collins – an economist at the University of Portsmouth – researches topics including the economics of love, sex and dating. (Rock bands and cigarettes also feature in his research, but not at the same time).
He and his colleagues apply economic analysis to personal ads and to survey data. In “The Surrender Calue of Capital Assets: The Economics of Strategic Virginity Loss” he looks at the extent to which people lose their virginity because of being in love. He finds a reliable difference between male and female attitudes, with males more likely to pursue sex for its own sake and females more likely to use virginity “strategically” as a way to get romance.
It may be a common generalisation, but research like this can examine to what extent it is true, and how attitudes to virginity loss are affected by religion, age and the way in which subjects learned about sex.
Read More: (You may have to have university internet access to read these research papers)
“Surrender Value of Capital Assets: The Economics of Strategic Virginity Loss” Journal of Bioeconomics, v2 n3, October, 2000
“Gender Differences in Mate Search Effort: An Exploratory Economic Analysis of Personal Advertisements”, Applied Economics, 1998, 30, (10), 1277-85