Friday, February 03, 2006

Sex at the margin!

If a man is imprisoned, will he start having sex with other men because there is a shortage of hetero-sex? How lasting will be the preference? And what are the circumstances of the choice made? So, if you have a shortage of hetero-sex, will you turn to homo-sex?

Now let us turn this on its head. If you knew that getting homo-sex was difficult, would you turn to hetero-sex? Add another factor. Homo-sex is available but there are dangers associated with it. Would you switch your sexual preferences?

Well, you may!

That is Andrew Francis's funda. Read Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's take on it, at The Economy of Desire.

Draw a straight line. On one end you have strictly heterosexual, and at the other end you have strictly homsexual. And somewhere in between you have people who will change their sexual behaviour, influenced by their circumstances, that is "at the margin." Why is it important? Because our sexual preferences may not all be biological and naturally-induced.

AIDS is highly concentrated in sex between men. So if there were greater costs of gay-sex, you will find that, in all probability, there is a greater switch to heterodom! A cost could be a perceived risk of AIDS after having had a close relative afflicted with AIDS.

This is a sketchy view but read the elaborate paper The Economics of Sexuality here.

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