Thursday, October 16, 2008

SEX!!! - ok, now that I have your attention, let's talk about how the economy relates to sex

Sorry for the tease. But I did find two interesting pieces today about the relationship between sex and the economy.

The first comes from that venerable vestige of hard-hitting journalism, the New York Daily News. The article discusses the effect that the economic downturn has had on the call-girl industry. Apparently, while the down-turn is causing Johns to cut back on their consumption of commercial sex (the econ-jargon actually makes this sound dirtier!), customers are still coming in:
"'The market is down, business is down, but we feel it less,' said Dylan, 24, a promotional model-turned-Manhattan prostitute. 'We're still busy'...

Sadie admits her business has suffered a bit in the fiscal crisis. Some clients are cutting back on their spending, and some aren't returning, she said.

Sienna, who's earning a graduate degree in English literature, mentioned a Manhattan banker who's among her regulars. He now spends less time and money - although he doesn't miss his regular appointments.

'He used to spend at least an hour or two,' she said. 'Lately he's down to a half-hour, and he's no longer a big tipper.'"

Alex Tabarrok writes about new research supporting the "Environmental Security Hypothesis", which states that, "in tough times men will prefer women who are good at production, generally older, taller, heavier, less curvaceous women with less body fat. In good times, they will prefer women who are good at reproduction, generally younger, shorter, lighter, more curvaceous women." According to the authors:
Consistent with Environmental Security Hypothesis predictions, when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected. These results suggest that environmental security may influence perceptions and preferences for women with certain body and facial features.
Fortunately the datasets are available just for geeks like me. Tabarrok also notes that this year's Playmate of the Year is an outlier.

There was no word in the Daily News article on whether older, heavier call-girls are getting more business...

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