Prostitution and Women’s Short-Term Mating
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Symons (1979) once said that “sex is something that women have, and men want.” It is a universal truism that men in every known culture and epoch are the sex that almost invariably pay for sex, with women offering this commodity as a service for cash or other resources (Salmon 2008). The opportunities that arise for women to engage in professions where sexual services are exchanged for money or resources reveal much about both men’s cross-cultural and historical desire for sexual variety and women’s decision to select men to mate with who possess wealth and a willingness to exchange this for sex (Monto 2000). Clearly there are circumstances where women are indeed coerced into prostitution; however, men do not, and never have, visited prostitutes under coercion, and women appear to be well aware of men’s inclination to pay for sex. Offering sex for immediate resources may indeed be a short-term strategy that women strategically employ in specific, evolutionarily relevant contexts.
Dunn, M. (2019) Prostitution and Women’s Short-Term Mating. In: Shackelford, T. and Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds.) 'Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science (Living Edition)', Springer.
Book chapter in Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science (Living Edition), available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3659-1.
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