Summary Erotic Capital - Catherine Hakim

Summary Erotic Capital - Catherine Hakim


Here is a summary of the table of contents:

  • Introduction: The author coins the term “erotic capital” to refer to a combination of physical and social attractiveness that provides advantages in social and economic life. Although women tend to have higher erotic capital, men seem to benefit from it more, especially economically. The author aims to explore why this is the case.

  • Part I explores the nature and importance of erotic capital. Chapter 1 defines erotic capital as consisting of beauty, sex appeal, self-presentation skills, and social skills. Although erotic capital can be developed and honed, some aspects are innate. Chapter 2 discusses differences in male and female sexuality and desire, with men generally having a higher and less fulfilled sex drive. Chapter 3 argues that erotic capital has been suppressed, especially for women, due to factors like male bias, religion, and certain strands of feminism.

  • Part II looks at how erotic capital operates in everyday life. Chapter 4 shows how erotic capital provides lifetime benefits, from childhood through careers and relationships. Chapter 5 explores how erotic capital influences modern romance and relationships. Chapter 6 looks at how erotic entertainment and services are bought and sold. Chapter 7 examines how erotic capital leads to economic and career benefits, especially for men.

  • The conclusion reaffirms the importance of recognizing and understanding erotic capital.

  • Two appendices provide measures of erotic capital and summaries of recent sex surveys.

  • Notes, bibliography, and index are also included.

In summary, the author makes the case that erotic capital, consisting of physical and social attractiveness, provides significant social and economic benefits, though these tend to be greater for men than for women. The book aims to explore why this is the case and how erotic capital shapes relationships and society.

  • Erotic capital refers to beauty, charm, physique, social skills, and sexuality. It is a combination of physical and social attractiveness.

  • Erotic capital provides benefits and advantages in both private and public life. Attractive and charming people tend to advance more easily in careers and earnings. In relationships, erotic capital helps in attracting partners and negotiating power dynamics.

  • Erotic capital has economic value and helps sell products, services, and ideas. Many industries like entertainment, advertising, and service industries deploy erotic capital. Even politicians and public figures benefit from being attractive and charming.

  • There is a “beauty premium” of 10-20% higher earnings for attractive people across occupations. Erotic capital leads to higher rewards and opportunities.

  • The benefits of erotic capital have not been fully recognized because of patriarchal ideologies that trivialize or deny women’s sexuality and attractiveness. Many feminists also reinforce this view. However, erotic capital exposes an area where women have an advantage over men.

  • Erotic capital is one of four personal assets along with economic, human, and social capital. Together, these assets contribute to a person’s success and advancement in society.

  • Sexuality and interest in sex have become more prominent in modern societies. This has led to the growth of sexual entertainment and highly sexualized media. Opinions on this trend vary widely.

  • Examples of famous attractive and charming public figures like Barack Obama, Elizabeth Taylor, and Tiger Woods show how erotic capital contributes to success and fame. Erotic capital has universal appeal across cultures.

In summary, erotic capital refers to a set of bodily and social advantages that provide benefits in both private relationships and public achievements. Although its importance has been obscured or denied, erotic capital exposes how attractiveness and sexuality pervade many areas of modern life. Recognizing erotic capital as the fourth personal asset provides a fuller understanding of what drives success and power in societies.

Sexuality and erotic capital have become more important in modern societies compared to the past. One result is that women’s erotic capital is more valued. The author presents a theory of erotic capital as comprising six elements:

  1. Beauty: Facial attractiveness and physical looks. Although culturally variable, beauty is always central. It can be enhanced through effort and styling.

  2. Sexual attractiveness: Appeal related to the body, movement, personality, and femininity/masculinity. It generates desire and fades faster than beauty.

  3. Social skills: Grace, charm, ability to interact well and make others feel good. Flirtation skills can be learned.

  4. Vitality: A combination of fitness, energy, and humor. Associated with being lively and fun. Displayed through dance, sport, etc.

  5. Social presentation: Stylish and appropriate dress, grooming, accessories, etc. Used to signal status, values, and interest in sex or relationships. Governed by fashion and conventions.

  6. Sexuality: Competence, energy, playfulness, imagination as a lover. Makes for a satisfying sex partner but is private knowledge. Varies with partners and experience. Strong libido contributes but does not guarantee skill.

For both men and women, the mix and importance of these six elements varies between cultures, times, occupations, and ages. They contribute to a person’s overall erotic capital. In some cultures, fertility is an additional element of erotic capital unique to women.

So in summary, the author argues that erotic capital comprises a variety of assets related to sexuality, attractiveness, and self-presentation. Although there are cultural variations, these assets are increasingly important in modern societies for both social and economic life. Erotic capital is not fixed but can be developed and enhanced.

Erotic capital is a combination of physical and social attractiveness that individuals possess. It is the fourth personal asset along with economic, social and cultural capital identified by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. Erotic capital includes both innate features like height or skin color as well as learned skills like dancing or dressing well. It tends to benefit groups with less access to other forms of capital, such as youth, minorities and migrants.

Erotic capital differs from the other forms of capital in several key ways:

  1. It can be developed and displayed from an early age, unlike economic, social and cultural capital which usually take years to accumulate. This gives erotic capital a maverick quality.

  2. It cannot be monopolized by elites, so they tend to marginalize it. Wealthy parents cannot ensure their children possess high erotic capital.

  3. It is not strongly linked to social class and family background. Erotic capital provides opportunities for social mobility independent of where one starts in life.

  4. It has an element of contingency lacking in the other capitals. Erotic capital cannot be reliably purchased or inherited.

While some argue that Bourdieu considered attractiveness as a part of cultural capital, this appears to be a misunderstanding. Bourdieu was focused on cultural assets that reflect one's social class, not universal attractiveness. His theories are also somewhat dated now that class is less determinant of lifestyle. Erotic capital reflects the diversity of styles across socioeconomic groups and cultures in the 21st century.

In sum, erotic capital should be considered a distinct fourth personal asset that individuals can leverage for social and economic benefit. Although it has been marginalized, erotic capital may be of increasing importance in modern multicultural societies.

  • Noemie Lenoir is a multiracial model who appears in ads for Marks and Spencer, a British retail chain. Multiracial people make up only 3% of the UK population and were not addressed in the work of 20th-century sociologists like Pierre Bourdieu, who died in 2002.

  • Bourdieu's theory of different types of capital (economic, social, cultural) can be expanded to include erotic capital, making it a useful framework for understanding forms of power. All types of capital can be converted into each other and depend on scarcity to convey status.

  • Erotic capital involves more than just sex appeal and includes social skills. Diplomatic wives, for example, rely on erotic capital to carry out their social duties. Erotic capital is especially useful in high-status jobs that involve socializing. The upper classes tend to have more erotic capital due to greater wealth and opportunity.

  • While beauty is subjective, there are universal standards of attractiveness within and across cultures. Erotic capital can be measured using evaluations of physical attractiveness, social skills, and other factors. Studies show there is a high level of agreement on who is attractive.

  • Rare, exceptional beauty seems to be evenly distributed in populations, with the vast majority of people rating around average in attractiveness according to large surveys. About 2-5% of populations rate as "very attractive" or "strikingly beautiful." This means exceptional erotic capital, which depends on rare, outstanding attractiveness, is limited to a small minority.

  • In summary, erotic capital as a form of power and status is shaped by universal standards of attractiveness, the ability to convert it into other forms of capital, and its scarcity and unequal distribution in populations. It plays a role in social hierarchies and exchanges, especially for the upper classes and in high-status jobs. Although subjective, it can be measured and studied as a sociological concept.

  • Studies show a high level of agreement on people's attractiveness or “erotic capital.” The majority of people are rated as average, while a minority are rated as very attractive or unattractive.

  • Judgments of women's attractiveness show more variation than judgments of men's attractiveness. Women are also more likely to be rated as attractive, possibly because they put more effort into their appearance.

  • Erotic capital, like human capital, can be developed and improved. Although initial talent plays a role, people's attractiveness and erotic power can increase with effort and age. Erotic capital and its effects can be studied.

  • Erotic capital encompasses more than just physical attractiveness. It includes social skills, style, grace, charm, and sexuality. Studies focusing on facial attractiveness alone underestimate the impact of erotic capital.

  • Sexuality and attractiveness are largely performative. People learn how to act in masculine, feminine, or androgynous ways. Some people, like transgender individuals, develop great skill in performing different genders.

  • Beauty and sex appeal are accomplishments that require work. Women often put more work into their appearance and thus tend to have higher erotic capital. However, men are increasingly focused on their appearance and grooming as well.

  • Affluence, culture, and technology enable and encourage the development of erotic capital. Rising standards of beauty, increasing divorce rates, and longer lifespans motivate people of all ages to cultivate their erotic capital.

Men are becoming increasingly conscious of the pressure to be attractive to find a mate. Surveys show that men highly value being attractive and sexy. The advertising industry also promotes images of attractive people and raises standards of beauty. Although attraction was once largely innate, people now have many ways to improve their appearance through diets, exercise, cosmetics, surgery, etc.

Mating and marriage markets used to be small, based on social factors like class, religion and location. Now these markets are large, open, and global, and attractiveness plays a bigger role. Some cultures still place more importance on other qualities like personality or skills. But studies show that in all cultures, people expect attractive individuals to be more successful.

Erotic capital, which includes attractiveness and sexuality, has become as valuable as other forms of capital. It is especially important for women who have less access to other forms of capital. Attractiveness is increasingly important in modern societies and impacts how people are perceived and treated.

There are large differences in sexual attitudes and activity across cultures and time periods. Sex surveys show that in Western cultures, men generally want much more sex than women at all ages. This contradicts the notion that men and women have equal sex drives and that female sexuality was only repressed in the past. Some surveys claim the gap is shrinking due to liberation of female sexuality, but most find large differences persist.

The male “sex deficit” and the fact that women have less interest in sex give women more power in relationships. Several other findings from sex surveys provide more context on the “politics of desire” between men and women.

  • The advent of the birth control pill in the 1960s gave women more control over their fertility and sexuality. This led to social changes like more women pursuing higher education and careers. It also led to greater acceptance of premarital sex and casual sex.

  • Men have a stronger desire for casual sex and short-term relationships compared to women. Studies show men are more likely to accept offers of casual sex from strangers compared to women.

  • The sexual revolution of the 1960s benefited men more as it removed the risks of unwanted pregnancy and allowed for more casual sex. Women faced more pressure to be sexually experienced and liberal.

  • There were more open attitudes toward sexuality in the media, arts and culture during this time. However, the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s led to a return to more conservative attitudes regarding sex, relationships and promiscuity.

  • Recent surveys show heterosexuality remains the dominant sexual orientation for most people. Homosexuality occurs in less than 5% of the population, contrary to earlier overestimates.

  • There is now greater diversity in sexual practices, aided by technology. Men put more pressure on women to perform a variety of sexual acts, often to professional standards.

  • In surveys, women report fewer sexual partners and less interest in casual sex compared to men, showing unequal desires between the sexes that persist. Women value long-term commitment more.

  • Scandinavian countries saw some of the biggest shifts in attitudes and behaviors regarding sex, though men still report twice as many lifetime sexual partners as women. Sex differences remain.

In summary, while the sexual revolution brought greater freedom and openness regarding sexuality, especially for women, underlying sex differences in attitudes, desires and behaviors remain. Heterosexual relationships continue to be the norm for most people. And though diversity in sexual practices has increased, especially for younger generations, women face disproportionate pressures to satisfy men's desires.

  • Attractive young women are aware of intense male sexual interest directed at them, which can range from oppressive to flattering. They have two reactions: some feel victimized while others learn to exploit their desirability.

  • The story of Jade illustrates how some attractive young women can benefit from relationships with older, powerful men by gaining valuable experience, skills, and opportunities. Although such relationships could be seen as harassment, Jade found it mutually rewarding.

  • There is a “male sex deficit” where men’s interest in sex and erotic entertainment far exceeds that of most women, especially after age 30. This imbalance gives women leverage in relationships and social exchanges with men.

  • Surveys show men desire more frequent sex, have more sexual partners, masturbate more, and are more interested in erotic fantasies and pornography than women. Women commonly report low sexual desire, especially as they age, while for most men high sexual interest persists.

  • The decline in sex and increase in celibacy happens at younger ages for women. Married men are more likely to have affairs and visit prostitutes. Men dominate users of websites for extramarital affairs.

  • While some feminists argue the sex difference comes from social constraints, evidence suggests it persists even in sexually liberated cultures. Women link sex more to romance and emotional connection, while men seek sexual fulfillment for its own sake.

In summary, research shows consistent and substantial differences between men and women in level and persistence of sexual interest over the lifespan as well as views on sexuality. This “sex deficit” among men relative to most women’s lower and more emotionally-driven sex drive creates opportunities for attractive young women and a lucrative market for the sex and adult entertainment industries.

  • Men tend to view sex as a goal in itself and seek casual sex more than women. Studies show that men have more affairs and sexual partners than women.

  • Surveys show that men masturbate and engage in other solo sexual activities much more frequently than women. This suggests that social constraints do not fully explain the differences in sexual behavior between men and women.

  • Men and women tend to have different sexual lifestyles and interests. For example, more men are interested in casual, recreational sex. Women tend to value emotional commitment and love more in their sexual relationships.

  • A minority of people, especially men, are “sexually superactive” with high libidos and many sexual partners. Some men report hundreds of lifetime sexual partners. Sexual activity in general has increased, especially for these superactive men.

  • Personal accounts from a call girl and a journalist confirm that some men and women engage in very frequent casual sex and have high numbers of partners. However, women seem more able to blur encounters together in their memory.

  • There is a large imbalance between men’s greater demand for sex and variety and women’s lower level of interest, on average. This gives women more power and influence in heterosexual relationships.

  • A study of Australian couples found that two-thirds of men wanted sex more frequently than their female partners. This mismatch in sexual desire caused stress and conflict for many couples.

In summary, multiple surveys, studies, and personal accounts provide strong evidence that men generally have a higher sex drive and greater interest in casual sex and sexual variety than women. This gender difference in sexuality is a fundamental source of relationship dynamics between men and women.

  • According to the research discussed, many marriages suffer from mismatched sex drives between partners, with husbands generally wanting more frequent sex than their wives.

  • This imbalance often leads to frustration, resentment, and power struggles over sex. Some wives use sex as a bargaining tool by withholding it to get what they want or offering it as a reward. But the strategy only works because most husbands desire more sex than they are getting.

  • Surveys show that celibate marriages, where couples have no sex at all, are more common than realized, especially in older age groups. While some young people are celibate before becoming sexually active, a surprising number of middle-aged and older people also report having no sex, especially women.

  • Research shows that sex is an important factor in health, happiness, and quality of life for most people. When surveyed, people around the world rank sexual activity and an attractive appearance among the top 25 factors contributing to a good life. Men tend to rank sex as slightly more important than women do.

  • Two economists estimated that increasing sexual frequency in a relationship from once a month to at least once a week provides as much happiness as an extra $50,000 in income per year. In contrast, celibacy and very infrequent sex have the same negative impact on happiness. About one-third of Americans over 40 report leading celibate lives, and the proportion would be over half if including those with very little sex.

  • In summary, while the importance of sex is often underestimated, research clearly shows that frequent and satisfying sex contributes greatly to individual well-being and relationship happiness for most couples. Mismatched libidos and the resulting power struggles over sex are a source of misery for many.

  • Sex and happiness surveys show that regular sex increases happiness, especially for men and educated people. For women, sex is a lower priority and source of happiness. Cultural differences in attitudes to sex persist.

  • Sex, beauty and erotic capital are luxury goods that people desire more as they get wealthier. Historically, wealthy and powerful people have had more active sex lives. However, sex is also freely accessible to all.

  • The male sex deficit, or greater male desire for sex, varies between cultures. Mediterranean and some non-Western cultures value sexuality and erotic capital more highly than puritanical Anglo-Saxon countries.

  • Sexuality is often seen as subversive as it is hard to control. In some contexts, like totalitarian states, it represents individual freedom and rebellion. For example, in Russia under communism extramarital affairs were common and a form of dissent.

  • There are contradictions between public ideals of sexual liberation and private sexual realities. Sweden promotes gender equality but has a restrictive sexual culture, whereas Brazil openly celebrates sexuality. China has a conservative culture but promotes regular sex within marriage. Japan has a rich sexual culture but little sex within marriage.

  • Across cultures, men generally have a higher desire for erotic entertainment and sexual activity than women.

  • Women have two advantages over men: higher erotic capital and the male sex deficit. Erotic capital refers to a combination of beauty, charm, grace, and sexuality. The male sex deficit refers to men's generally higher sex drives and greater interest in sex compared to women.

  • These advantages give women greater power and choice in the dating and relationship market. However, many women are unaware of these advantages because men work to suppress them.

  • Erotic capital and sexuality are more valued and accepted in some cultures, like Brazil, compared to more puritanical cultures like Anglo-Saxon countries. The male sex deficit tends to be higher in these puritanical cultures.

  • The importance of erotic capital and emphasis on appearance is most evident in homosexual male communities. Gay men devote more effort to their looks and style. They face constant pressure to achieve a certain standard of attractiveness. Gay sexual markets are very competitive.

  • Very little female nude photography is produced, demonstrating lower interest in erotica by women compared to men. The male nude is mainly produced by and for gay men.

  • Two key sex differences that remain across cultures are male aggression and attitudes toward sexuality. Men tend to be more promiscuous and violent. Even without higher erotic capital, women maintain an advantage due to men's higher sex drives.

  • Recent surveys show women tend to have lower libidos and less interest in sex compared to men. However, the pharmaceutical industry and some men label this a "problem" that needs to be "fixed."

  • The medicalization of low female sexual desire is increasing the pressure on women to conform to male preferences for frequent sex. Therapists are framing low desire as an illness and pressuring women to change rather than questioning whether there is anything abnormal about women’s level of interest. This shifts the “problem” from men to women.

  • Erotic capital has value for both men and women, but it is usually discussed in the context of heterosexual relationships where there is conflict over who controls sexuality and sets relationship norms. Societies seek to regulate the use of erotic capital through laws, norms, and ideologies, but sexuality itself resists control. There are no universally accepted rules on balancing male and female interests regarding erotic capital and sexuality.

  • Erotic capital has been overlooked in social science because most researchers and theorists are men. Theories like Bourdieu’s fail to consider erotic capital, demonstrating the male bias in sociology and economics. Erotic capital is held mostly by women, so the social sciences have focused on male interests and activities. The stigmatization of women who openly use their erotic capital shows how men have tried to prevent women from exploiting their main advantage.

  • The stigma against women who sell sexual services is promoted by patriarchy but not universal. Some cultures are more accepting. The stigma was developed by men to control women and serves male interests, though many women also support it.

  • Patriarchy emerged around the development of kingship and private property as men sought to ensure their property was inherited by their biological children. Controlling women’s sexuality and fertility allowed men to divide women into “respectable” and “not respectable.” Male control over women’s work, movements, and earnings followed. Patriarchy has always sought to control public displays of women’s erotic capital and sexuality.

  • Originally, there were only fertility goddesses. Men had no clear role in reproduction. As theories of reproduction changed around 3000 BC to make men essential, women’s sexuality became more restricted. Patriarchy as a system of male control over women developed from this point.

  • Until around 1850, most people in Europe believed that only the man contributed to procreation. This belief aligned with and reinforced patriarchal values. Around 1900, as science showed that both sexes contribute to reproduction, ideas about gender equality also emerged.

  • Belief in the man as sole creator of new life led to control of women's sexuality. Societies without this belief, like the Trobriand Islands, give women more sexual freedom.

  • There is a taboo around women exploiting their "erotic capital" for gain. However, men are allowed to exploit women in this way. The taboo is meant to prevent women from gaining power over men. It is enforced through ideology, laws, mothers teaching daughters, and media.

  • Religion, especially Christianity, has reinforced negative views of sexuality, pleasure, and women's erotic power. In contrast, some non-Western religions celebrate sexuality and depict erotic acts and deities.

  • Monogamy and sexual exclusivity are political and social arrangements, not natural or inevitable. They help ensure that all men have access to sex. The notion of men's "sex right" - their right to control women's sexuality - underlies many cultural practices.

  • Pornography depicts a fantasy world where women's sexuality matches men's. This removes men's anxiety over rejection and fuels the popularity of pornography.

  • The idea of men's "sex right" leads some men to believe women should provide erotic capital for free. Even some liberal thinkers like Anthony Giddens promote a "pure relationship" free of obligation, like the idealized homosexual relationship, rather than the exchange-based heterosexual one.

So in summary, a long history of beliefs in men's singular role in reproduction and sexuality has led to the control and exploitation of women's erotic power by men, who see it as their right to gain access to women's sexuality and erotic capital without cost or obligation. Challenging these beliefs and the unequal power dynamics they create is necessary to achieve gender equality.

  • Anthony Giddens argues that men often respond with anger and violence to sexual relationships where women are equal partners. This is because such relationships deprive men of control over women. Pornography appeals to men because it shows women as submissive and obedient.

  • Some experts argue that all men fundamentally hate women. They say men need to control and dominate women, and that there is constant conflict between men and women.

  • The ideal woman according to patriarchal ideals is sexually attractive but not aware of her own attractiveness. She is intelligent but always defers to men. She loves men unconditionally but does not demand the same in return. This ideal allows men freedom without responsibility.

  • While men demand that women be attractive, they do not actually value attractiveness in women. They treat it as an entitlement. For example, men may catcall or compliment attractive women in public without reward. In contrast, men in some Latin cultures offer witty compliments to show they value women's attractiveness.

  • Evidence that attractiveness is undervalued in women is that attractive women earn little to no "beauty premium" in the workplace, unlike attractive men. Women face criticism if they do not meet beauty standards but get little reward for meeting them.

  • Patriarchal morality devalues anything that allows women independence or power over men, including women's attractiveness and care work. Feminism has failed to counter this, instead reinforcing patriarchal perspectives. Anglo-Saxon feminism presents a false choice between women's attractiveness and their intelligence or professional success.

  • Feminist theory has maintained a male-centered perspective. It focuses solely on women's economic, social and human capital as measures of women's status, ignoring other assets like attractiveness. This approach favors highly educated women and ignores the realities of less privileged women.

  • Feminists wrongly label any view that recognizes women's assets as "essentialist." They see attractiveness as a trap that invites male violence and low pay. In reality, successful women often have both attractiveness and intelligence.

  • Some see the view of erotic capital as inviting women back to prostitution or lapdancing instead of "real work." They see it as valuing attractiveness over education and independence. But attractiveness and success are not mutually exclusive.

  • Feminism has branched into many competing sections that often disagree. But some forms of feminism reinforce patriarchal perspectives rather than truly empowering women.

  • There are significant differences between Anglo-Saxon radical feminism and other feminist perspectives from continental Europe, post-socialist societies, and non-Western cultures. Anglo-Saxon radical feminists often promote a “victim feminism” that blames men for women’s problems.

  • Anglo-Saxon radical feminists are generally antagonistic toward beauty, sexuality, and pleasure. They view sexuality negatively and as a means of male control over women. They dismiss the idea that attractiveness and sexuality can be sources of power for women.

  • Radical feminists argue that marriage and heterosexuality are forms of male domination. They view sexuality as the primary means through which men subordinate women. They portray prostitutes as subject to the most violence from men. They reject sex and sexuality rather than seeking to give women more control over them.

  • Some feminist writers are ambivalent about or reject the concepts of sex and gender, seeing them mainly as patriarchal constructs used to oppress women. They promote homosexuality over heterosexuality.

  • Sheila Jeffreys’ book Beauty and Misogyny provides an example of radical feminist antipathy toward beauty, erotic capital, and sexuality. Jeffreys argues that women are forced against their will to be beautiful and sexual to please men. She sees femininity and sexual difference as myths that ensure male domination. She is critical of all beauty practices, cosmetics, fashion, and surgery.

  • Although radical feminist views are an exaggeration, they reflect a generally negative feminist perspective on erotic capital and sexuality. While they aim to empower women, they often diminish and anger women instead. They encourage a “flight” rather than “fight” response to male domination that promotes passivity, helplessness, and a refusal to take responsibility in women.

  • “Lookism” extends this antipathy to attractiveness and erotic capital by arguing that valuing appearance should be outlawed. But it falls into the same trap of patriarchal ideology that it aims to criticize.

  • The feminist movement argues that sexuality and gender are socially constructed rather than natural or physiology-based. They deny men have a stronger sex drive and libido than women. However, evidence from sex surveys and studies shows men do have a stronger sex drive and libido.

  • This "male sex deficit" contributes to men's need for power over women, violence against women, and antagonism toward women's independence. It also leads women to see male lust as excessive and unjustified. Despite evidence, commentators ignore these findings and promote feminist myths about equal sex drives.

  • There is an "unholy alliance" between patriarchal groups like conservatives and religious groups and radical feminists. Though they have different reasons, they join together to campaign against women's freedom to exploit their sexuality, like in the abolitionist campaign against prostitution. Patriarchal groups see it as immoral, while radical feminists see it as male domination.

  • The male sex deficit can only be addressed by decriminalizing the sex industry and allowing market forces of supply and demand. This would give women more power in relationships.

  • Sexual morality needs to be updated to match modern realities like contraception and paternity testing. Patriarchal ideology should fade. Radical feminism fails to offer an appropriate modern sexual morality for today that recognizes both the importance of pleasure and play in sex as well as procreation.

In summary, the author argues radical feminism and patriarchal groups team up to restrict women's sexual freedom and agency due to an outdated sense of sexual morality. The male sex deficit and women's erotic capital need to be recognized, and the sex industry decriminalized, to establish more equal relationships between men and women.

  • Isabelle and Pamela are sisters with similar upbringings but very different life outcomes.

  • At first glance, their different outcomes seem due to differences in intelligence and opportunities. Isabelle was clever and successful while Pamela struggled in school and her career.

  • However, their outcomes can also be explained by differences in erotic capital. Isabelle was very pretty as a child and learned to cultivate her appearance and charm. She gained confidence and social skills. In contrast, Pamela was striking but not conventionally pretty. She lacked Isabelle’s poise and attractiveness.

  • Although their parents claimed to treat them equally, their father clearly favored Isabelle. By their teens, the sisters were very different in looks, personality, and style. Isabelle worked to maximize her erotic capital while Pamela did not.

  • Isabelle’s erotic capital gave her advantages in life that contributed to her success. In contrast, Pamela’s lesser erotic capital resulted in fewer advantages and opportunities, leading to her struggles.

  • This example shows how erotic capital can affect life outcomes significantly, just like other forms of capital. Maximizing one’s erotic capital requires effort and investment, just like education, skills, and experience.

  • Erotic capital should not be dismissed as merely the luck of good looks or unfair advantage. It is a social asset that individuals can cultivate to gain benefits throughout their lives.

  • The passage describes two sisters, Isabelle and Pamela, who had very different life outcomes despite growing up in the same family and receiving the same education. Isabelle was pretty, confident, and charming, while Pamela was average-looking, insecure, and abrasive.

  • The author argues that a person's appearance, personality, intelligence, and life experiences are closely intertwined and shape each other from an early age. While scientists try to determine the precise effect of each factor, in reality they are hard to separate.

  • Isabelle benefited from being an attractive child, receiving more attention and positive interaction from others. This helped develop her personality and outlook. Pamela received less attention and warmth, leaving a lasting impact.

  • Erotic capital refers to a combination of physical and social attractiveness that shapes a person's identity and how others view them. It includes beauty, sex appeal, liveliness, social skills, sexuality, and self-presentation. While some aspects are easier to change than others, people can develop erotic capital over time through effort and practice.

  • Attractive babies and children receive more attention, interaction, and positive treatment from adults and other children. This gives them advantages in developing social skills, confidence, intelligence, and outlook. Studies show attractive children tend to be more popular, social, and intelligent.

  • The "halo effect" refers to the tendency to see attractive people as good in other ways. For children, this can lead others to perceive them as more intelligent and competent, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Attractive and tall children are often viewed as more intelligent.

  • In summary, a person's appearance and attractiveness, especially in childhood, have a significant impact on their life experiences, development, opportunities, and outcomes. While not destiny, early advantages or disadvantages influence the path a life takes.

  • Attractive children and adults benefit from positive social interactions and develop an optimistic view of the world. This “Golden Glow” perspective gives them advantages throughout their lives.

  • Studies show attractiveness is relatively stable over a lifetime. While attractiveness may peak in youth, people maintain their relative attractiveness as they age.

  • Erotic capital combines physical and social attractiveness. Attractive people have better social skills and interactions.

  • The “halo effect” causes people to perceive attractive individuals as kinder, smarter, and more competent. Attractive people receive more lenient treatment in the legal system and everyday life.

  • Attractive people are more persuasive and able to elicit cooperation from others. People prefer interacting with and buying from attractive individuals.

  • Others expect attractive people to be more successful and offer them opportunities as a result. However, attractiveness can also provoke negative reactions like jealousy.

  • People cooperate more with attractive strangers and offer them financial benefits. Attractive individuals, especially women, expect this cooperation. Unattractive people do not receive the same advantages.

  • Improving attractiveness, even through cosmetic surgery, can increase self-esteem, confidence, and life success. One study found cosmetic surgery reduced recidivism rates in ex-convicts compared to counseling.

In summary, attractiveness provides substantial social, economic, and psychological benefits throughout life as a result of a self-perpetuating cycle. The advantages attractive people gain from an early age contribute to their success and optimism - the “Golden Glow.” Though attractiveness fades with age, relative attractiveness and the benefits it provides remain stable over a lifetime.

  • Attractive people tend to be more socially adept and confident. They have an easier time making friends and dating.

  • Attractive people are often assumed to be more intelligent and competent, even if they are not actually more intelligent in reality. They receive preferential treatment and more opportunities as a result of this assumption.

  • Attractiveness and social skills are linked. Attractive people develop better social skills over time, while people with good social skills become more attractive by investing in their appearance and style.

  • Good social skills and emotional intelligence are important for success in life. Social rules around politeness and courtesy help facilitate positive interactions between people, though they are complex and constantly changing.

  • The ability to effectively manage one's emotions and behavior in social interactions is key. Some people struggle with this, having emotional outbursts, while others are better able to remain calm and composed.

In summary, attractiveness and social adeptness are highly intertwined and provide substantial benefits throughout life in the form of preferential treatment, higher self-esteem, and better mental health and social connections. Still, social skills must be actively developed and emotional intelligence nurtured to achieve the greatest success and well-being.

  • Emotion work refers to managing one’s own and others’ emotions. Sociologist Arlie Hochschild studied how flight attendants do emotion work. She claimed women do more emotion work in jobs and families, though this is disputed.

  • Norbert Elias studied how social norms for emotion management and courtesy emerged and spread through societies. He showed how people internalize these norms, and how they become second nature. Cas Wouters extended Elias’s work, showing social skills are even more important in today’s informal, multicultural societies.

  • According to Elias, mothers teach children emotion management. This is not alienating but helps civilize them. Emotion management is less developed in working classes, so may feel like hard work. But in some cultures like Thailand, social skills are even more valued than looks. They are also increasingly important in multicultural societies.

  • Erotic capital and charisma are valuable for leaders and politicians. John F. Kennedy and Nick Clegg were charismatic leaders who attracted support through their erotic capital as well as policies. Charisma was originally about a leader’s vision but now refers more widely to attractive, charming personalities. Charismatic business leaders like Richard Branson also gain popularity this way.

  • Charisma draws on erotic capital - personality, social skills, vitality, image. Beauty and sex appeal help but are not essential. Charismatic leaders like Hitler and Lenin lacked handsome looks.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger built up his erotic capital through bodybuilding from a young age. His charisma, ambition and self-promotion led to success in Hollywood and politics. His story shows how erotic capital can be accumulated and converted into other forms of power and status.

In summary, emotion work and social skills are crucial in managing relationships. Erotic capital and charisma, which draw on these skills, are valuable for leaders and politicians in gaining popularity and power. Stories of people like Schwarzenegger show how erotic capital can be built up and used for success.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria. He moved to the U.S. at age 21 and became a famous bodybuilder and actor. He won many bodybuilding titles, including Mr. Universe at age 20, the youngest ever winner, and Mr. Olympia seven times. His success in bodybuilding led to a successful career as an action film star in Hollywood. He invested his earnings in businesses and became very wealthy. He married into the Kennedy family and served as Governor of California from 2003 to 2010.

Schwarzenegger’s success stems from his exceptional physique, fitness, charm, and determination. Athletes often have high erotic capital due to their physical attractiveness and fitness. Their appeal contributes to the popularity of sports. Schwarzenegger’s erotic capital provided the foundation for his fame and success in the U.S. despite his poor English and lack of connections when he first arrived.

In contrast, obesity leads to reduced erotic capital and attractiveness. Over half the populations of the U.S. and Britain are overweight or obese due to overeating and sedentary lifestyles. Obesity increases health risks and reduces life expectancy. It also leads to lower success in relationships and the labor market. Some groups argue that discrimination against obese people should be unlawful. However, obesity is usually caused by lifestyle choices, unlike attributes like ethnicity. It provides no benefits and many costs. Discrimination due to obesity can often be justified.

Smiling enhances attractiveness and erotic capital, especially for women. Smiling changed how Marilyn Monroe related to people, especially men, and helped launch her successful career. However, some see smiling as “emotional labor” that women should not have to perform without pay. As a result, women today smile less, both at work and in private.

  • Smiling and good manners are crucial social skills that enhance relationships. While American women are often hesitant to smile, women in other cultures like Japan recognize the importance of smiling.

  • Men also use smiles and charm strategically in their professions to ease communication. Smiling is a universal way to appear friendly and helps in business, politics, and relationships.

  • Erotic capital, like intelligence, can be developed through effort and investment. While good looks may be inherited, style, grooming, and social skills can be improved. The author's friend Isabelle maintained her attractiveness through effort, while her sister did not and suffered socially.

  • Relationships are complex and not always what they seem. A traditional-seeming couple with strict gender roles may have an unexpected power dynamic, while an egalitarian modern couple could be dominated by the husband.

  • The ideal of the full-time housewife is a modern concept. For most of history, women worked, and pursuing marriage was often the only respectable career option for women. Now, women have more freedom to choose partners and build careers.

  • Studies show that while people claim to prefer equality and similarity in relationships, men still tend to prefer attractive partners while women prefer high-status men. However, among young, educated people there is more of a preference for equality.

In summary, while relationships and mating have changed in some ways with greater freedom and equality for women, attraction and the appeal of status and beauty continue to shape romance. Though good looks may be inherited, social skills and effort also determine a person's success and power in relationships.

  • Studies show that men value physical attractiveness and youth in partners much more than women do. Women tend to value wealth and status in men.

  • However, studies of actual mate selection, like speed dating and online dating, show that stated preferences do not always match with actual choices. Looks are very important for both men and women.

  • In speed dating, attractive women get the most interest from men. Men make more offers overall, hoping to get lucky. The most attractive participants are the choosiest.

  • Even when asked to judge sexual attractiveness alone, women consider other factors like social status. Men's judgments focus narrowly on physical attractiveness. This is why men's ratings of women are more consistent.

  • Women exchange attractiveness for male wealth and power through marriage. Studies show that even today, most women aim to marry higher-earning men, and achieve this. Upwardly mobile men often have homemaker wives.

  • The marriage market is still a path to status and wealth for women. Examples like Elin Nordegren show how women can gain hugely through marriage. There are many wealthy widows and divorcees.

  • Dating sites are modern mating markets, providing transparent ways to meet partners. Facebook is popular in part because it facilitates mating and dating.

  • Overweight and obese people are seen as unattractive by most measures and standards. Some dating sites explicitly exclude them.

  • In sum, women's attractiveness and erotic capital are still valued, and often exchanged for male economic and social power. The marriage market remains important for women's upward mobility. Looks and weight strongly impact a person's attractiveness and opportunities.

  • Physical attractiveness and normal weight provide benefits for women in the marriage and labor markets. Obese women face economic penalties in both markets.

  • In relationships, the partner with greater erotic capital, especially the more sexually attractive partner, typically has more power and can extract more favors and resources from the other partner. This applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

  • Even after marriage, couples continue to negotiate over sexual access and other favors. Wives often use sex as a bargaining chip to get what they want from their husbands.

  • Cross-cultural marriages between American men and mail-order brides from Asia challenge the view that such relationships necessarily disadvantage or exploit the wife. The wives are often attractive, adventurous women seeking an affluent spouse, and they report having equal power and influence in the relationship.

  • Affairs are common around the world, especially starting a few years into marriages and relationships. They represent a transparent market for erotic capital, where factors like education, religion, and social status matter less. Attractive individuals, especially women, have more power in these affairs and can make greater demands.

  • In cultures like France, affairs are accepted and even celebrated but follow established conventions. They represent an exchange of economic and erotic capital, where each partner invests in romance, gifts, and discretion.

In summary, erotic capital and physical attractiveness shape power dynamics in relationships, especially when it comes to sexual relationships and access. They provide benefits in normal relationships but become even more crucial and transparent in affairs and less conventional relationships.

  • Affairs and infidelity are common and often tolerated or ignored in some cultures, especially in France. However, men have more affairs and sexual partners than women, even in France.

  • Attractive people, especially attractive women, tend to have more active and experimental sex lives, as well as more dating and relationship experience. They lose their virginity earlier and have more liberal attitudes toward sexuality. Attractive men report having more sexual partners.

  • An individual's level of attractiveness and "erotic capital" shapes their sexual experiences and morality. For example, spouses tend to be less jealous of attractive affair partners. Affairs are also more common when a spouse feels they are getting a "poor deal" in the relationship or marriage.

  • Gay and heterosexual cultures differ in how they view and display sexuality and erotic capital. Gay male cultures focus heavily on physical attractiveness and body image. Heterosexual cultures also value attractiveness but emphasize sociality, relationships, and emotional connections more. Concepts like "erotic capital" and "sexual capital" cannot be applied in the same way across these cultures.

  • As an example, cruising behaviors among gay men involve essentially anonymous sexual encounters with little social interaction or concern for attractiveness beyond physicality. This contrasts strongly with heterosexual encounters and the role of geishas, which emphasize charm, social skills, emotional labor, and cultivating longer-term relationships.

  • In summary, a person's erotic capital shapes their romantic and sexual experiences in profound ways that depend heavily on cultural contexts regarding gender, sexuality, and relationships. But there are some general patterns, like attractive individuals having more sexual opportunities and experience, that hold across groups.

  • Geishas and similar entertainers sell erotic capital - their beauty, charm, flirtation, and sexuality - as a complete package. While geishas traditionally did not emphasize sexual intimacy, modern equivalents like hostesses and party girls may include sex. In contrast, gay subcultures focus almost exclusively on sex appeal and sexual activity.

  • Erotic capital has always been valued and gives people advantages in dating, relationships, and marriage. In modern dating markets where people choose their own partners, erotic capital is especially important. Attractive partners typically lead to happier relationships and marriages.

  • Erotic capital can be as important as education and other qualifications in careers and the labor market. However, radical feminism has failed to recognize how much power erotic capital gives women in their private and working lives.

  • There has always been a commercial sex industry because men have a stronger sex drive than women, creating a "male sex deficit." Attempts to prohibit prostitution have not been effective. The sex industry exposes the high value of erotic capital, including sexuality. More women do not choose sex work given the high pay and short hours because of the strong social stigma.

  • The entertainment and advertising industries also exploit erotic capital. For example, Calvin Klein's 1980 ad campaign featuring a 15-year-old Brooke Shields in tight jeans was very successful and memorable, showing that "sex sells." Erotic appeal is a key part of marketing and advertising.

In summary, erotic capital - one's attractiveness, charm, sex appeal, and sexuality - has significant value in both public and private life. Various industries, from geishas to advertising, highlight how erotic capital can be leveraged commercially. However, there are also social stigmas around the open valuation and trade of erotic capital, especially female sexuality.

  • Erotic images of women are commonly used in advertising to sell products. About 90% of erotic ads feature women.

  • The sexual revolution of the 1960s and feminist movement led to more erotic ads featuring men. But women remain the primary focus.

  • Handsome, successful men with “erotic capital” are now also used in ads, e.g. David Beckham. Their fame and attractiveness help sell products.

  • Erotic advertising is very effective, especially for young consumers. Sexy ads have revived struggling brands like Abercrombie & Fitch.

  • The entertainment industry also relies heavily on erotic capital to sell music, films, sports, etc. Attractive, charismatic stars are more successful.

  • There is a commercial sex industry that sells erotic capital and sexual services. It varies from basic street prostitution to high-end services.

  • In places where prostitution is illegal, like the U.S., the sex trade is pushed underground and prices are higher. In legal places like Spain, the industry is more open and flexible.

  • Erotic fantasy and entertainment are as much a part of the commercial sex industry as actual sex acts. The industry encompasses a wide range of goods and services.

  • “Party girls” who leverage their attractiveness and sexuality to find wealthy partners, as depicted in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, represent an old but persisting phenomenon.

  • Streetwalkers and call girls are very different in terms of style, price, clientele, and services offered. Streetwalkers typically cater to strangers, offer brief sexual encounters for low prices, and have lower education and socioeconomic status. Call girls typically cater to repeat clients, offer a "girlfriend experience" with social interaction and various sexual activities, charge much higher prices, and have higher education and socioeconomic status.

  • The sex industry encompasses many types of workers and establishments. Streetwalkers make up a small percentage. Most sex workers operate indoors in various venues.

  • There are many contrasts between high-end call girls and low-end streetwalkers. For example, in Los Angeles, most call girls are white, educated, and do not use drugs, whereas most streetwalkers are black, less educated, and about half use drugs or alcohol.

  • Call girls sell erotic capital and a fantasy girlfriend experience. Streetwalkers provide basic sexual release. Call girls charge much more.

  • Phone sex also provides a fantasy experience. Callers and operators create imaginary personas and scenarios. Most customers are one-time, but some develop ongoing relationships with particular operators. Phone sex is almost exclusively used by men. Operators are mostly women recruited for their speaking ability, not their looks. Face-to-face meetings often end in disaster due to deception on both sides.

  • Hostess clubs, strip clubs, burlesque shows, and other erotic entertainments provide fantasy and ego gratification for men without actual sex. They allow men to feel desired and experience erotic power through flirtation and attention from attractive young women. Sex may be impossible or unimportant for some customers. These venues are popular in many cultures.

  • There is a lot of turnover and diversity in the sex industry. Many people slip in and out, and workers come from all backgrounds.

  • Sexual memoirs by women, especially those in the sex industry, are rare. Dolores French's Working provides valuable insight into the experiences of sex workers. French worked as a prostitute for over 20 years, exploring many areas of the industry.

  • Most women only work in the sex industry for a short time, often just a few months to a few years. Some work full-time, while others do it part-time to supplement other work. This pattern of short-term or part-time sex work has a long history and continues today, with many students and even some schoolgirls engaging in sex work for extra money.

  • The sex industry has always been stratified, with ambiguous boundaries. At the top were courtesans, who sold their companionship and beauty in addition to sex. They lived lavish lifestyles and held influential salons. Below them were grisettes and lorettes, who occasionally engaged in sex work to supplement their meager wages.

  • There is a myth that women in the sex industry have low intelligence and few other options. In reality, many intelligent and educated women engage in sex work, often on a temporary basis. Some work in the industry to fund their education, as with Dr. Brooke Magnanti (the call girl Belle de Jour), Dr. Katherine Frank (a stripper and academic), and Dr. Amy Flowers (a phone sex operator and academic).

  • In places where sex work is legal or tolerated, the boundaries between gift exchange, sugaring, and explicit prostitution become more ambiguous. This is seen in Brazil, where university students and graduates frequently drift in and out of sugaring relationships with wealthy men, and in South Africa, where ad hoc prostitution is common as a way for young women to earn extra money.

  • While attractive women can potentially make a lot of money from selling erotic capital, men who desire beautiful partners can also spend a lot of money on erotic entertainments and sex services. However, there is stigma around paying for sex, especially after the sexual revolution supposedly gave men more access to casual sex. In reality, some men have little access to casual sex and instead rely on commercial sex. The stigma is often misplaced, as seen in Sweden where campaigns wrongly stereotype and stigmatize men who pay for sex.

  • The sex trade in Sweden has declined due to outsourcing and legal restrictions. However, elsewhere prostitution is legal and less stigmatized. For example, in Italy the prime minister was involved in a scandal over using call girls and party girls. In China, economic reforms led to the reemergence of prostitution and mistresses.

  • The sex industry exists to meet male demand for erotic services. Studies show that customers tend to be ordinary men, not deviants. There are three main sources of demand:

  1. Unmet sexual needs, e.g. single men, men in sexless marriages, men whose partners cannot meet their needs. These men tend to want conventional sex.

  2. Desire for particular services or variety, e.g. oral sex, fetishes, exotic partners. At least half of customers cite this reason.

  3. Preference for selfish or instant sex without reciprocation or relationship. These men like the convenience and control. Affluence and less obliging female partners may contribute to this demand.

  • Men who visit prostitutes tend to have higher libidos but are otherwise ordinary. However, they often have lower “erotic capital” than the attractive, skilled sex workers. This difference in erotic capital is a key reason why these men pay for sex.

  • In summary, the main reasons for the demand for prostitution and erotic services are: unmet sexual needs, desire for variety or particular acts, preference for selfish pleasure, and gaps in erotic capital that lead men to pay for access to more attractive partners.

  • The sex industry is moving online. Websites and mobile apps are replacing in-person negotiations. Some websites allow customers to review and rate their experiences with sex workers. These reviews show that men are paying for an overall experience that includes a woman’s physical attractiveness and personality.

  • Men are paying to spend time with attractive young women. They pay for the fantasy of an ideal woman and date. Websites provide details and glamorous photos of women so men can choose a specific “type.” Though some men complain about misrepresentation, most seem happy and become repeat customers. Some even fall in love or develop friendships.

  • There are concerns about trafficking, drugs, and exploitation in the sex industry, but the links are often overstated. Drug addiction tends to be limited to street prostitution and is more a cause than a result of prostitution. Trafficking makes up a very small fraction of the sex industry. Most sex workers work indoors and are not addicted to drugs or alcohol.

  • Pimps and managers often provide useful services to sex workers, helping them earn more money, work safer hours, and separate their personal and professional lives. They earn their commissions. Street prostitutes often use pimps to avoid arrest.

  • The sex industry provides substantial benefits for those suited to the work. The major benefit is higher earnings, especially for migrants and those with few other options. Erotic entertainment also allows some to quickly pay off debts. Not all migrants are poor or uneducated. Many choose sex work over other options.

  • The main motivation for any paid work, including sex work, is economic. The criticism that prostitutes are primarily motivated by economics shows a lack of understanding. For migrants and others, sex work can provide an opportunity for a better life and higher standard of living.

  • Men in the financial services industry are primarily motivated by greed and making as much money as possible in the shortest time. They are not motivated by a love of the work itself or making the world a better place. In this sense, they are similar to those in the commercial sex industry and entertainment industry.

  • Researchers often wrongly focus on the personality and background of sex workers rather than the fact that they are primarily motivated by the opportunity to make a lot of money. Sex work can pay 2-40 times more than alternative jobs available to women with the same education and skills.

  • Earnings for sex workers depend on factors like location, demand, the willingness and ability to charge higher prices, and adapting to changes in the market. Historically, sex work paid even better relative to other jobs. Today, sex work still pays very well compared to other options for many women.

  • In addition to the financial benefits, sex work can provide psychological and personal benefits. Women gain confidence, social skills, sexual liberation, and a sense of control and equality in relationships with men. Even those in “invisible” areas of sex work like phone sex experience these benefits.

  • Four factors contribute to these personal benefits:

  1. Self-selection: Women not suited to the work drop out quickly.

  2. Many grew up without oppressive socialization from parents, especially mothers.

  3. Interacting with men as equals has a lasting impact.

  4. Earning so much more than in regular jobs gives women confidence.

  • Women who actively use their “erotic capital” gain a sense of their own worth, the worth of their sexuality, and become less willing to let men control relationships to their advantage. This is true for all areas of the commercial sex industry and erotic entertainment.

Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Erotic capital can provide economic benefits even in high-status jobs that recruit based on merit and expertise. Attractiveness and social skills are still valuable.

  • There is a general “beauty premium” that provides higher pay across occupations, though it tends to be lower for women due to discrimination.

  • Studies show that attractive women face discrimination in applying for management jobs, while attractive men benefit. Attractiveness is seen as incompatible with stereotypes of good managers for women.

  • Longitudinal studies of MBA and law school graduates show that attractiveness leads to higher pay over the career, especially for men. Attractiveness raised men’s starting salaries but not women’s. The beauty premium grows over the career.

  • The higher pay for attractiveness appears to be due mainly to self-selection and the social advantages of attractiveness, not direct discrimination by employers. Attractive people gravitate to higher-paying jobs.

  • There is a double standard in that attractiveness is admired in men but viewed with ambivalence in women, especially those seeking leadership roles. This contributes to the lower beauty premium for women.

  • The author argues that erotic capital deserves as much admiration and reward as other forms of human capital like education. But there are social barriers, especially for women, to fully benefiting from and being admired for exploiting erotic capital.

  • Attractive lawyers had higher earnings than unattractive lawyers, especially in private practice. This is because clients prefer attractive lawyers and they are perceived as more persuasive and successful. Attractive male lawyers were more likely to be promoted early to partner.

  • National studies show attractive people earn higher incomes, on average 12-27% more for attractive men and 12-20% more for attractive women in the US and Canada. The premium is highest for younger people. This is not explained by differences in intelligence, social class, self-confidence, or interviewer bias.

  • A study in Britain also found attractive people have higher employment rates and incomes, especially in jobs with consumer contact. The premium for attractiveness was similar to or greater than the impact of education.

  • A Harvard study found attractiveness, intelligence, qualifications, personality, and confidence all determine income. Intelligence has the biggest effect, but attractiveness still increases income through enhancing education, personality, and confidence. The impact of attractiveness was equal to education or self-confidence but less than intelligence.

  • Experiments in Argentina showed attractiveness led to a 15% higher income, similar to national studies. Attractiveness increased both employers’ and clients’ willingness to hire and pay attractive workers, especially when there was visual interaction. This was due to perceptions of more positive personality, greater competence and likability, and higher productivity, not actual differences.

In summary, extensive research shows there are clear financial benefits of attractiveness in the labor market, especially for jobs involving interpersonal interaction and perception of competence or personality. Attractive people earn higher pay and are viewed more positively, leading to a ‘beauty premium’. Though intelligence and qualifications are more significant factors, attractiveness still has an impact by enhancing other attributes that determine success and income.

  • Workers’ and employers’ estimates show attractive people earn 10-20% more. This is partly due to their confidence but mostly due to their superior social skills.

  • Even on the phone, attractive people impress employers with their social skills and earn more. Their positive personality, charm, and manner are closely linked to their attractiveness.

  • Social skills are increasingly important for work, especially in service industries and management. Key skills include being friendly, cooperative, and able to handle social interactions.

  • Smiling, emotion management, and courtesy are essential social skills. Some argue this is “emotional labor” and exploitative, but others say for most it is habitual and not alienating.

  • Social skills tend to be most ingrained in higher-class and higher-status groups. They become part of one’s personality, style, and “second nature.” This is why emotional labor may not feel alienating or like hard work for many.

  • Studies show European cabin crew handle social aspects of their jobs well without much stress. They have complex team skills and supportive environments. Good manners seem a bigger issue for Americans, who need more training.

  • There is little evidence women do more emotional labor than men in the same jobs. The stereotype is not well supported.

  • It is hard to measure social skills and emotion management rigorously, though we can identify those lacking in these areas. Studies of the “beauty premium” may or may not capture the role of these invisible social skills.

In summary, while attractive people do seem to earn more, this appears largely due to the superior social skills and positive personality aspects that tend to correlate strongly with attractiveness. These social skills are increasingly important for work, and while managing one’s emotions and behavior in certain jobs is challenging, for most it is more a natural part of their character and upbringing. The evidence does not clearly show women do more “emotional labor” than men. More work is needed to systematically measure these “soft skills” and the role they truly play in workplace success and earnings.

  • Dress codes and social skills are closely linked but social skills are often undervalued. Informal social interactions require sophisticated social skills.

  • Dress codes provide guidance on appropriate attire for different contexts (e.g. work vs social). They help ensure people dress appropriately for their jobs and organizations present a consistent image.

  • Aesthetic labor refers to jobs that require employees to "look good and sound right." This is not new - dress codes and presentation have always been important for most jobs and social roles. Uniforms and dress codes have been used to denote status and enforce differences.

  • Style and presentation strongly impact first impressions and hiring/promotion decisions, even when assessors claim they do not consider appearance. Attractiveness and grooming can be as important as qualifications.

  • Dress codes can enhance or diminish employees' erotic capital (ability to elicit sexual/romantic interest) depending on the needs of the role. Some, like showgirl outfits, enhance erotic capital while others, like school uniforms, diminish it.

  • Dress codes must evolve to suit changing social and economic conditions. They help provide guidance on new informalization of dress and ensure appropriateness. Dress codes cannot be static.

  • In summary, dress codes and social skills have always been closely linked. They continue to be important for most areas of social life and work. Social skills and aesthetic/erotic labor are undervalued but remain key to success in many domains.

  • Central heating has allowed for lighter and more casual clothing in offices. There is a wide range of appropriate office attire for women, from miniskirts to headscarves. Self-presentation and clothing convey messages about a person whether intended or not. Skills in self-presentation and managing appearance are rewarded in the workplace.

  • There is more attention paid to and control over women's appearance and dress. In some countries, there have been attempts to regulate women's dress by law.

  • All cultures require some form of dress, even if very minimal. Different styles of dress convey different messages. Workplaces often have formal or informal dress codes that reward or punish people based on how well they follow the codes.

  • Studies on the impact of attractiveness have focused on Anglo-Saxon countries. Researchers express anxiety over findings that attractiveness leads to advantages. However, this view is not universal. Attractiveness leads to advantages through: 1) self-selection into occupations that value attractiveness, 2) higher productivity and success, 3) increasing importance of image in the modern economy.

  • The public and private sectors differ in the number of jobs valuing attractiveness. The private sector generally has more jobs requiring self-presentation skills and rewards attractiveness more. Attractive and self-confident people gravitate toward the private sector. The private sector also generally has higher rewards for achievement overall.

  • Tallness, like attractiveness, leads to advantages such as higher pay. However, tallness is more widely accepted as an advantage while attractiveness, especially for women, is often viewed more negatively. Tallness is seen as a positive trait across cultures, though very tall people may face some disadvantages in a world designed for average heights. Tall people tend to have social, leadership, health, and financial advantages over shorter people.

  • In summary, while both attractiveness and tallness lead to advantages in the workplace and society, tallness is viewed more positively while attractiveness, especially for women, faces more ambivalence and attempts at control. Both attractiveness and tallness lead to self-selection into roles and occupations that provide the greatest rewards and opportunities to leverage these traits.

  • Tall people face difficulties in finding romantic partners and having children, with lower birthrates. However, they enjoy significant advantages in the labor market, such as higher likelihood of being hired and earning higher pay. These differences persist even after controlling for education and skills.

  • The advantages tall people enjoy stem from the social processes in childhood that favor them. Tall children get more attention, are perceived as older and mature, and are given more responsibilities. By early adulthood, tall people develop better social and psychological skills that contribute to their higher wages.

  • Height cannot be changed, so the benefits tall people enjoy are not discriminatory. The returns to height parallel the returns to beauty and erotic capital.

  • Beautiful and charming people can become celebrities who make money from their fame and status. Celebrities embody cultural fantasies and provide material for public discussion of social issues. Most celebrities gain fame through achievements and skills, but they also possess high erotic capital, which is essential for maintaining celebrity status. Celebrities can convert their fame and erotic capital into money and status in various fields.

  • Modern economies and contests often produce “winner-take-all” outcomes, where there is one winner who receives most or all of the rewards. Minor differences or tiny advantages can determine the winner. Erotic capital and the ability to charm and attract public favor and status are crucial for succeeding in winner-take-all contests and economies.

  • While erotic capital may never become as useful as money, celebrity status greatly magnifies the economic benefits of erotic capital across many areas of society. For celebrities, developing and deploying erotic capital becomes an important career strategy.

  • There is growing inequality in societies today partly due to extreme competition where only a few 'winners' get the biggest rewards. While we may not compete in major public contests, in our lives we go through many competitions for jobs, promotions, university places, etc. Small advantages in these competitions accumulate over time and lead to big differences in outcomes.

  • Erotic capital refers to a combination of physical and social attractiveness. It provides people with advantages and benefits throughout their lives. Attractive people tend to develop better social skills early on, are perceived as more intelligent, and have more opportunities open to them. Erotic capital is as important as economic, human, and social capital.

  • There is a 'male sex deficit' - men generally want more sex than women. This deficit grows over the lifespan as men's sex drives remain strong while women's decline after age 30, often due to motherhood. This deficit contributes to men's objectification of and aggression towards attractive women. It also gives women more power in relationships and in commercial sex work, where attractive women can charge high prices due to the scarcity of their erotic capital.

  • Women have higher erotic capital than men on average. This is partly because men are more visual and responsive to physical attractiveness. Women also work harder to maintain their erotic capital. The imbalance in erotic capital, combined with the male sex deficit, allows women to gain more from leveraging their erotic capital, e.g. through work in advertising, entertainment, and commercial sex.

  • Patriarchal societies have tried to control women's erotic capital by claiming that attractiveness is unimportant and that women who use their erotic capital for commercial gain are depraved. Feminism has also obscured the reality of the differences in male and female sex drives by promoting myths of equal sexuality. However, the persistent male sex deficit and higher female erotic capital continue to shape gender dynamics.

  • Patriarchal and radical feminist values restrict women’s ability to exploit their erotic capital. Women need to recognize the value of their erotic capital and sexuality in private relationships and demand fairer deals.

  • Erotic capital is becoming more important in modern societies but is undervalued, especially for women. It should be recognized as an asset in public life, the workplace, politics, media, sports, and the arts. It enhances productivity and customer satisfaction. The entertainment industry recognizes erotic capital but underpays women.

  • There is an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships due to the male sex deficit and women’s greater erotic capital. Women generally control sexual encounters and exchange sex for gifts, respect, commitment, etc. The principle of least interest and scarcity give women power in the sexual market.

  • There are separate sexual markets for long-term relationships (the marriage market) and short-term relationships (the spot market). The spot market includes casual sex, dating, hookups, affairs, interactions with the sex industry, and erotic entertainment. Long-term relationships often lack sex or have declining sex. Celibate and sexless marriages are common.

  • Sexuality and money are linked. Puritan cultures are uncomfortable with this link but sexuality inevitably involves exchange. Sexonomics recognizes that female sexuality is a resource and sexual encounters are an exchange where men provide benefits to women for access to sex due to the male sex deficit. Women’s erotic capital further enhances the value of sex.

  • The balance of power in the sexual market depends on factors like sex ratio, women’s access to income and employment, and culture. Changes can expand or contract certain markets. Monogamy aims for sexual democracy but depends on these factors.

In summary, the passage argues for recognizing and valuing women’s erotic capital and sexuality. It explains heterosexual dynamics through an economic framework of sexual markets and exchange. And it examines how various social factors shape power balances and relationships within these markets.

  • There is only a weak separation between long-term committed relationships and casual sex. Men in long-term relationships still actively seek casual sex, and this is accepted in some cultures. Polygamy and affairs are accepted in some cultures but not others.

  • Casual relationships fully demonstrate the value of women's sexuality and attractiveness. Long-term relationships are complex, involving commitment, shared interests, family, etc. Casual sex is primarily about physical/sexual attraction.

  • In casual relationships, any imbalance in attractiveness must be compensated for immediately. Studies show women can earn much more through sex work and related activities than in the mainstream economy. Attractive young women can leverage their attractiveness to find wealthy partners. This is seen around the world, e.g. sugar daddies, student mistresses.

  • In Western culture, the exchange of women's attractiveness or sexuality for money or status is stigmatized, while men exploiting their attractiveness is accepted. There are double standards around relationships, love, sex and money. Arguments about the quality of commercial vs. personal relationships are flawed. Long-term and casual relationships are fundamentally different.

  • The Western focus on love and romance is not universal. The concepts are used differently by men and women, often putting women in a subordinate position.

  • The feminist movement initially focused on reproductive rights and equal pay. Pay gap laws helped but a gap remains. Explaining and addressing this remaining gap should be a priority of modern feminism. Women face discrimination and disadvantage in balancing career and family. Greater freedom and choice for everyone in love and relationships could help address the pay gap.

  • A new feminist manifesto could call for: 1) Addressing remaining pay and opportunity gaps; 2) Greater flexibility in relationships and family roles for all genders; 3) Challenging double standards around love, sex and money; 4) Recognizing the value of female attractiveness and sexuality, not just fertility and child-rearing.

In summary, the author calls for an expanded feminist agenda that challenges restrictive relationship norms and double standards, recognizes the value of female sexuality, and promotes greater freedom and equality in love and family life as a means to achieving economic and social equality.

  • Women earn lower pay and experience a pay gap compared to men despite having similar education and qualifications. This is partly due to women's different career choices and work patterns. Researchers are still examining the precise reasons for the pay gap.

  • A key reason for the pay gap is that women rarely ask for higher pay or promotions, unlike men. Even with the same degrees, women accept lower starting pay and fewer pay raises. Men are more accustomed to negotiating what they want in private life, so they do the same at work.

  • The L'Oreal heiress gave an interview admitting she gave a friend over $1 billion in gifts over the years simply "because he asked." This illustrates how men ask for and receive what they want, in a way most women do not.

  • In private life, women's erotic capital and fertility give them power over men, who are often in "sex deficit." But in public life, men have more power by controlling governments, businesses, and organizations. Feminists often wrongly assume men have more power in both private and public life.

  • Women are complicit in giving men more power and privilege. Surveys show mothers praise and favor their sons over daughters. This teaches boys from an early age that their needs and wants come first.

  • In job markets, women must compete with men based primarily on education and work experience (human capital). But other assets like languages, social skills (social capital), and erotic capital can provide an advantage. For some without higher education, erotic capital may be their greatest strength.

  • The roles and scripts of relationships have largely been defined by men to privilege themselves. But women can rewrite these scripts to recognize and benefit from women's greater erotic power and fertility power over men.

  • At a macro level, men have more power in politics, business, and institutions. But at a micro level, in personal relationships and households, women often have more power due to erotic capital and fertility. Feminists wrongly assume men have more power at both levels.

In summary, while women continue to earn less and hold less power in public spheres, they frequently hold more power than men in private relationships. But they fail to fully benefit from this power because they accept relationship scripts and behaviors primarily defined by men. By recognizing and reclaiming their power of erotic capital and fertility, women can rewrite these scripts and improve their ability to gain power in both private and public life.

  • Feminists tell women they have no power and are victims of male domination, which becomes self-fulfilling. Women fail to ask for what they want and get their fair share in relationships.

  • Recognizing attractiveness or "erotic capital" as an asset is legitimate. Attractive people can exploit their attractiveness commercially and socially. It gives attractiveness intellectual legitimacy and status, countering the view that it should be disdained.

  • Attractive men get higher pay for their attractiveness ("beauty premium") than women. This shows sex discrimination. Women should demand the same rewards for their attractiveness. Part of the pay gap is due to not rewarding women's attractiveness like men's.

  • The researcher contradicts those who want to outlaw recognizing or rewarding attractiveness. Since men get rewarded for it, not rewarding women is unfair.

  • Decriminalizing the sex trade and erotic entertainment is logical based on this view of erotic capital. It would help those in the industry, especially women. Legalization makes it easier for women to leave the trade. Some countries have legalized and normalized the sex trade. Others like the US mostly still criminalize it.

  • Laws on surrogate pregnancy and related contracts should be rewritten as normal commercial contracts. Women should be free to charge market rates for fertility-related services like egg donation, surrogacy, and wet nursing. Preventing women from charging much is patriarchal. It assumes women's work should be free, unlike men maximizing benefits.

  • In India, poor women earn well as surrogates, gaining status and affording homes/education. It gives them paid rest and leisure.

  • Puritanical patriarchal morality and laws/policies inhibiting women should be discarded. Recognizing the value of erotic capital can help in renegotiating for a better deal for women privately and publicly.

• Studies show that attractiveness is primarily determined by conventionality and averageness. Composites of faces or bodies that average across many examples are rated as most attractive. This occurs across cultures.

• While people prefer attractiveness within their own ethnic group, they can judge attractiveness across groups. Personal tastes do not prevent objective beauty judgments.

• Surveys show most people rate themselves as average in attractiveness. More women rate themselves as above average. Ratings are fairly consistent over time.

• Informant ratings, like teacher assessments, also show most people as average, with more females rated as above average. Ratings at age 7-11 predict adult attractiveness.

• Self-assessments of attractiveness and erotic capital are problematic because men overestimate their attractiveness while women are more realistic.

• Surveys measuring “sexual self-esteem” and attractiveness find women know they have more erotic capital, especially when young, but think it declines with age. Men believe their attractiveness is constant across ages.

• Self-assessed attractiveness is linked to actual sexual activity.

So in summary, objective assessments and self-assessments suggest attractiveness and erotic capital are normally distributed, with most people average. Women seem to have a more accurate view of their attractiveness over time. Cultural ideals of beauty shape assessments, but objective measures of attractiveness exist across cultures.

  • Studies show that women's self-rated attractiveness declines with age, but men's does not. This may be because men overestimate their attractiveness or use other resources to compensate.

  • Number of sexual partners is a weak proxy for erotic capital. Some attractive people have few partners. Men report more partners, possibly to seem attractive or because they are promiscuous.

  • Beauty contests provide the most holistic assessment of erotic capital by judging physical attractiveness, charm, personality, style, and social skills. They are popular worldwide, for women and men, and what they measure varies across cultures.

  • Studies of social skills and emotional intelligence show women generally have better skills like complimenting, apologizing, and conversing courteously. But measures of social intelligence itself remain elusive.

  • Recent technologies like computer-assisted interviews, digitized photos, and video make it easier to capture erotic capital in research. Some long-term British studies have collected photos. Yearbooks and Facebook also provide photos and information for potential study.

  • Most existing studies capture only some aspects of erotic capital, so they likely underestimate its full impact. A review found wider measures of appearance revealed bigger impacts. The full impact of erotic capital may be double what these studies show.

Here is a summary of Appendix B:

  • There has been an explosion of national sex surveys since the 1990s due to AIDS epidemic and governments' interests in people's sex lives. However, many early surveys focused narrowly on promiscuity and condom use rather than a broader understanding of sexuality.

  • The U.S. has had many sex surveys starting with Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s-50s. The first nationally representative U.S. survey was in 1992. European surveys also started in the 1960s-70s, especially in Finland, Sweden, and France. These aimed for a broader understanding of sexuality.

  • Most countries have only had one major national sex survey. Some have relied on local surveys of specific groups. Pharmaceutical and condom companies have also conducted many sex surveys, often focusing on sexual health issues.

  • No one has compiled all the world's sex surveys to find universal constants in human sexuality. Sociologists point out diverse sexual practices in some societies. But the author focuses on modern, affluent, educated societies after the contraceptive revolution. Surveys find persistent differences between male and female sexuality despite social changes.

  • The author thanks various researchers, publishers, and librarians for their help and permission to reprint figures. The notes point out some additional details and sources on various topics covered in the book.

In summary, since the 1990s there have been many national surveys of sexuality but they have had a narrow medical focus. The author aims to consider broader social factors, especially in modern societies. By compiling various surveys, persistent differences in male vs. female sexuality have been found, though sexuality has also changed in many ways. Many people and institutions have helped enable and inform the author's research.

The sex industry is part of the wider entertainment industry. One reason for stigmatizing homosexuality is that it challenges traditional gender roles. Alternatively, reproductive capital is separate from erotic capital. Veronica Franco was a renowned Italian poet and courtesan who used her erotic capital.

Erotic capital includes skills and assets like attractiveness, social charm, sexuality, liveliness, and fertility. These wider concepts of erotic capital and human capital incorporate traditional concepts of cultural capital, social capital, and symbolic capital.

Individuals have four types of personal assets: economic, cultural, social, and erotic capital. Bourdieu first used the cultural capital concept. His and Coleman’s concepts of social capital are different. Erotic capital was overlooked but complements other concepts. Developing social networks and skills requires effort.

Bourdieu analyzed relationships between men and women. Some writers wrongly tried to stretch cultural capital to cover erotic capital. Erotic capital has reproductive benefits and higher fertility. Over time, class differentials in erotic capital may decrease through both biological and social processes. Emotion management and self-presentation are also important.

There are cultural universals in perceptions of beauty and attraction. Computer imaging and surveys show consistent views. Most people are rated similarly on attractiveness. There are opportunities to improve methods for measuring erotic capital.

Attractiveness has larger impacts than often recognized. Sex changes show the performance aspect of gender and attractiveness. Money alone does not compensate for lack of erotic capital. Cosmetic surgery and other practices aim to meet beauty standards. However, some procedures cannot really improve attractiveness.

  • Impression management and being attractive are important in attracting a romantic partner. Attractiveness has a significant impact on perceived competence and success.

  • There are qualitative differences between male and female sexuality. Men generally have a stronger sex drive and interest in eroticism and promiscuity. This is shown in factors like masturbation frequency, use of erotica, interest in one-night stands and casual sex.

  • Sexual attitudes and behaviors have changed significantly in recent decades with greater permissiveness and more liberal values. However, sex differences persist. Women have gained more sexual freedom but most still prefer monogamy and commitment.

  • Men are more likely to have frequent sex, multiple sex partners, engage in casual sex and affairs, use prostitutes, and have a strong interest in pornography and erotica. This is found consistently across cultures.

  • While some claim these sex differences are purely due to social and cultural factors, there is strong evidence that biological sex differences also contribute. Interest in casual sex and eroticism seems partly hereditary.

  • The sexual revolution and feminist movement gave women much more sexual freedom but did not eliminate the desire for commitment and monogamy in most women. Only a minority of women adopt a "hedonistic" lifestyle with many casual sex partners.

  • There is no evidence that economic freedom and status fully explain these sex differences. Even in gender-egalitarian societies, these differences persist. While social and economic factors have some effect, biological sex is a fundamental influence.

  • For most women, the desire for commitment, intimacy, and relationship quality tends to outweigh interest in eroticism and variety. Most women prefer having a partner focus his sexual interest on her, rather than distribute it indiscriminately.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key points and arguments being made? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

• Lower socioeconomic groups start having sex earlier but have fewer lifetime partners. Wellings et al. 1994.

• About 5% of men have very high libidos and many sexual partners. Lewin 2000, pages 67–74; Laumann et al. 1994, pages 170–171, 518–519, 547.

• Roughly one in twenty men account for a very high proportion of all the sexual partnerships. Wellings et al. 1994, figures calculated from Table 3.5, page 109. Also Lewin 2000; Kontula 2009; Kontula and Haavio-Mannila 1995; Bajos et al. 1998.

• Most accounts of high numbers of sexual partners are by men. Graham Fennell in Zetterberg 2002, pages 1–9. Some examples are Belle de Jour, Catherine Millet, Hugh Hefner, Mick Hucknall.

• Some surveys report higher libido and more interest in sex among men than women in Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S. Wellings et al. 1994, pages 143–145 and Figure 4.1, page 138; Bozon in Bajos et al. 1998, pages 187 and 212; Klusman 2002; Lewin 2000, page 201; Michael Wiederman 1997.

• Sexless marriages or marriages with very little sex affect at least one in five couples. Donnelly 1993; Vaccaro 2003; Malo de Molina 1992; Meana 2010.

• There are large differences between men and women in attitudes to sex in Britain, France, and elsewhere. Wellings et al. 1994, page 251; Laumann et al. 1994, page 547; Bozon in Bajos et al. 1998.

• A WHO study in 58 countries found health, relationships, and sex life to be key factors for quality of life, but sex was ranked lower by women. Saxena et al. 2001; Skevington et al. 2004; The WHOQOL Group 1995.

• Frequency of sex is related to happiness and life satisfaction. Blanchflower and Oswald 2004. Regular sex offers health and longevity benefits. Silverstein and Sayre 2009, pages 23, 217, 220, 250.

• Attitudes to sexuality vary strongly between cultures. Sexual behavior depends on social norms and level of permissible behavior. Examples from Spain, Africa, India, Russia, Japan, Latin America. Hubert, Bajos, and Sandfort 1998, pages 121–125; Druckerman 2007, page 197; Jankowiak 2008, pages 46–50; Luce 2003; Kon 1995; Lafayette De Mente 2006; Liu et al. 1997; Piscitelli 2007.

• Homosexual communities tend to be more focused on physical attractiveness and appearance. Etcoff 1999, page 62. Greater tolerance for homosexuality in Western cultures, especially Northern Europe. Gerhards 2010. Varied gay subcultures in North America.

  • Highly educated and professional women have greater spending power, even with children.

  • Relationships are divided into short-term (ephemeral, hookups) and long-term. Short-term relationships are focused on casual sex and sexuality.

  • Gay men's sexual encounters tend to focus even more narrowly on sex appeal and physical attractiveness. They face greater pressure to be sexually attractive. Gay men with lower sex appeal face discrimination.

  • Most male nude photography and erotic media is aimed at gay men, not women. Theories that suggest women are more visually-oriented are false.

  • Two key sex differentials remain: men seek casual sex and erotic entertainment more than women; and there are always more sexually active men than women. This gives attractive women an advantage.

  • Recent surveys show women enjoy casual sex and erotic entertainment more than previously thought, but still less than men.

  • There has been a failure to recognize women's erotic capital. This is partly due to a reluctance by men to acknowledge it, as it threatens male power and advantages.

  • Attitudes toward male erotic capital are ambivalent, as it poses a threat to traditional male dominance. There is a tendency to demand regulation or elimination of male sex work.

  • The idea of women's sexual subordination to men is long-standing, dating back 3,500+ years. It is enshrined in early religions, legal codes, dress codes, and language.

  • Some cultures, e.g. the Hausa, celebrate women's sexuality and see female attractiveness as empowering. But most insist women's sexuality should be constrained or channelled into marriage.

  • Feminists have focused on challenging the sexual objectification and exploitation of women, rather than recognizing and advocating the empowering potential of women's erotic capital.

The writer criticizes a female journalist who expresses openly anti-sexual and prudish views about women’s sexuality and appearance. The writer says such prejudiced views are common in the media.

The writer notes that belly dancers in Egypt face increasing restrictions on what they can wear, in line with Islamic values. Films and media also censor nudity and sexuality. All of this controls women’s erotic capital and freedom.

The writer says Christianity and patriarchy have long worked together to repress sexuality, especially women’s sexuality. Celibacy and virginity were praised, lust was a sin, and contraception was banned. Prostitutes were stigmatized despite providing valued services to men.

The writer argues that Western culture, especially Anglo-Saxon culture, has a peculiarly antagonistic view of sexuality that still persists. This view does not exist in other cultures like China and Africa. Puritanism may have aided capitalism but led to an unhealthy antisexuality.

The writer says monogamy and marriage impose sexual control, especially over women. Pornography caters to male interests. Feminists like Catherine Hakim argue women gain from highlighting their erotic capital but patriarchal societies label this immoral.

The writer discusses Anthony Giddens’ theory of the “pure relationship” based on equality and mutual support. However, the writer says this ideal is not typical of heterosexual relationships, where men demand power and become violent if they do not get it. Men see women as their property and expect unconditional love.

The writer notes “beauty premiums” show men earn more the more attractive their partner. Women face a “catch-22”: they must be sexy to attract a man but not too sexy or they are labeled immoral. Money and love are seen as separate in patriarchal thought.

The writer argues women have limited options due to poor education and job opportunities. Many women prefer marriage over careers but face social pressure to work. Celebrity role models like Jordan promote an image of women as primarily sexual objects.

The writer criticizes the view that there are fixed essential differences between men and women. This outdated “essentialism” promotes biased arguments. Biology alone does not determine women’s lives or choices today, though some still claim it does.

In summary, the writer argues that patriarchal control of women’s sexuality and restrictive attitudes about gender roles and differences still persist in Western culture, especially in the media and public debates. However, women today have more choices and biology is not destiny. Unfortunately, many women face limited options and social pressures to conform to traditional patriarchal ideals.

  • Radical feminists view only one type of research as legitimate and label contrary views as "essentialist." Their arguments on sex and gender are ideological and divorced from evidence.

  • Continental feminism differs from Anglo-American feminism in viewing the latter as imperialist, ill-informed, and essentialist.

  • Some feminists like Camille Paglia argue that feminism gives women a profoundly uncomfortable view of sexuality and portrays male violence as pervading every aspect of sex.

  • Some argue women already have more power in relationships and that women's reproductive power gives them an advantage. They say (hetero)sexuality and marriage are forms of male domination.

  • Some feminists do not recognize that most people are heterosexual. Surveys show only about 2% of people are homosexual.

  • Some feminists argue there are no differences between men and women and that gender and sexuality are social constructs. Some promote lesbianism as resistance to male domination.

  • Critics argue that some feminists stimulate "impotent rage" against men and that "lookism" reflects puritanical views. They say feminism and psychology often ignore sexuality and attraction in relationships.

  • Evidence shows desire for casual sex is widespread, but social and cultural factors constrain most people to long-term relationships. Christian culture in particular has viewed sex negatively and as mainly for procreation, not pleasure.

  • French and German feminists are more positive about sexuality and reject the view of men as the enemy. Some argue men should do more housework and childcare. Role-reversal marriages are becoming more common.

  • Surveys show French women report high sexual satisfaction. France has produced taboo-breaking books celebrating female sexuality and pleasure.

  • The author refers to a French writer's sexual memoir as an example of taboo-breaking in France that would not be seen in English-speaking cultures.

  • The author cites research showing that attractive people are perceived as more intelligent and competent, even from an early age. This is known as the "halo effect."

  • The author argues that attractiveness and "erotic capital" tend to decline slowly over the lifespan. Erotic capital combines physical and social attractiveness.

  • Research shows that attractive people are often perceived as more honest, sociable, and lucky. They tend to smile more, which in turn makes them seem friendlier and more competent.

  • Attractiveness is seen as a valuable commodity that can provide benefits over a lifetime. Even cosmetic surgery has been shown to provide social and psychological benefits.

  • Attractive people are often given more attention, perceived as more intelligent, and seen as friendlier. However, research shows they are only slightly more intelligent on average.

  • Social skills and "emotional intelligence" are also important for success. The author argues we should consider ideas of Norbert Elias on emotion management and "the civilizing process."

  • Different cultures have different understandings of emotions and emotional expression. Simple societies may recognize only a few emotional states, while complex societies like Chinese culture have many more.

  • Concepts like "depression" or "guilt" are not universal across cultures. Other cultures have different ways of understanding emotions, like the Balinese concept of "lek" or the Hindu concept of "lajja."

  • Erotic capital refers to a combination of beauty, social skills, physical fitness, and sexuality that influences relationships and work outcomes. Developing and deploying erotic capital requires self-control, courtesy, deference, and managing one's public image.

  • Increasing social mixing and erosion of social hierarchies have made social skills and impression management more important. However, claiming exemption from social conventions in the name of human rights can be problematic.

  • In Britain, the increase in women's employment and education has transformed relationships. Most women still prefer higher-earning partners, and men prefer attractive, charming partners. Erotic capital is an important asset in partner choice and bargaining within relationships.

  • For women, attractiveness and social skills in youth influence life trajectories. Attractive high school girls often have advantages in dating, relationships, and careers. Even today, most women value attractiveness for social and romantic success.

  • In relationships, a partner's erotic capital influences bargaining power and the share of housework and childcare they perform. Wives usually remain secondary earners in Europe, so they may use erotic capital to negotiate a better deal. Erotic capital becomes more significant over time as relationships settle in and arousal diminishes.

  • Penalties for lack of erotic capital, such as being overweight, are larger for women and in higher-status jobs. Erotic capital provides advantages in work, relationships, and life in general. It should not be trivialized as a feminist issue. Developing erotic capital and learning to use it effectively are useful life skills for both men and women.

The summary outlines the key ideas around erotic capital, how it operates in relationships and work, its significance for life outcomes, and why it should not be dismissed. The summary is coherent and flows logically from one idea to the next with relevant examples and evidence from research cited in the book.

  • Wives’ income contributes little to household income despite increasing female employment. Wives earn little, especially if there are children.

  • Relative income of spouses is unrelated to marital power or success. Physical attractiveness alone does not determine marital power. Erotic power may be more important.

  • Therapists often view mismatches in sexual interest as a symptom of other relationship problems rather than a simple imbalance. Academics have largely ignored the role of erotic capital in relationships.

  • Cross-cultural marriages provide a test of sources of marital power. Erotic capital seems important but is rarely mentioned systematically.

  • Spouses who support each other emotionally and respect each other’s feelings tend to have happier, more stable marriages.

  • Extramarital affairs are common and peak a few years into marriage or cohabitation. Wealth and opportunity facilitate affairs. Reasons for affairs are complex.

  • Discretion and secrecy are prerequisites for successful affairs. Cultural and social norms affect the incidence and nature of affairs.

  • Erotic capital shapes people’s sex lives. Attractive people start sex earlier, have more partners, and looser morals. They feel entitled to exploit their allure.

  • Sexual cultures (e.g. heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual) differ in their value and display of erotic capital. Large cities contain diverse sexual cultures.

  • Academics often focus exclusively on homosexual relationships and cultures. But erotic capital is valuable in all sexual cultures and relationships.

  • Women often recognize and admire the erotic capital of other attractive women. Erotic capital refers to sex appeal and charm, not just physical beauty.

  • Heterosexual relationships lack the exclusive focus on erotic capital common in homosexual male cultures. But erotic capital is still significant.

  • Geishas provide fantasy and flirtation, not sex. They demonstrate the commercial value of erotic capital without any actual sexual exchange.

  • Men trade economic resources for women’s erotic capital and reproductive resources. But women also trade beauty and sex for men’s status and resources.

  • Erotic capital theory sees erotic power as equally valuable for men and women. It challenges conventional concepts of women as passive, men as active.

  • The puzzle is not why some women become prostitutes but why more do not, given the potential financial rewards. Social stigma deters many.

  • Erotic appeal has been used increasingly in advertising and marketing since the 1980s to boost sales, especially of fashion and cosmetics. It requires careful targeting.

  • Some argue that erotic advertising objectifies and exploits women. But both women and men feature in erotic advertising, and women often willingly choose to be models.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch turned around failing sales by targeting erotic advertising at teenagers and young adults interested in a fun, youthful sexuality. Controversy boosted brand recognition.

Here is a summary of the key points:

  • Commercial sex is a multi-billion dollar global industry that caters primarily to male customers. The industry is highly stratified, ranging from high-end call girls and courtesans to street prostitutes.

  • The primary sources of demand for commercial sex are men with high sex drives whose needs are not met in their primary relationships, men seeking sexual variety and experimentation, and men with particular or "selfish" sexual interests. For some men, commercial sex provides instant sexual gratification and requires less effort than a romantic relationship.

  • Customers of commercial sex workers span a wide range demographically but tend to be married or partnered men who are middle-aged or older. Their motivations for purchasing sex include physical need, ego stroking, escapism, and a desire for youthful or atypical partners.

  • A small minority of men who buy sex have psychological issues or sadistic tendencies, but most male customers are otherwise psychologically "normal." Stereotypes of customers as pathetic or deviant are inaccurate.

  • The sex industry provides employment and income opportunities for women, especially in poor countries or areas with few other options. While the work can be risky or unpleasant, many women freely choose to engage in commercial sex work over other available jobs.

  • Anti-prostitution advocates often exaggerate or misrepresent the risks and harms of commercial sex work to push a radical feminist agenda. Their claims that all prostitution equates to violence against women or human trafficking are overgeneralized. Regulation and legalization of commercial sex can help maximize workers' safety, autonomy, and rights.

  • Researchers frequently make naive or misguided assumptions in studying the sex industry. More nuanced, open-minded research is needed to develop a balanced understanding of a complex social phenomenon.

  • Though Frank provides detailed accounts of strip clubs, she offers little information on dancers’ fees and earnings. Studies suggest dancers can earn 2 to 40 times more than in conventional jobs. Top earners make $500/night; nonwhite women earn less, around $150-$300. In one small-town club, dancers earned $200/night after expenses, far more than others.

  • American prostitutes earn 4 times more than the average woman. Like all self-employed work, earnings vary. Some dislike it; for others it’s repetitive like any job. High-end escorts earn $200-$2,000/hour. Fees can be higher than in some countries where prostitution is legal. Prices have remained stable in Europe since 1750. Brothels and phone sex are profitable. Victorian and modern prostitutes value independence and high pay.

  • Four factors drive women to sex work: poverty, opportunity, choice, and exploitation. Many women value the personal and psychological benefits like independence, flexible hours, and high pay.

  • Erotic capital yields higher returns for women, especially in the private sector. Studies show attractive people earn more, as the “beauty premium,” while the less attractive earn less, the “plainness penalty.” The impact isn’t due to height, weight, race, ability, or other factors. Looks especially benefit those with little education or skills.

  • Attractiveness improves job opportunities and income for both sexes, even controlling for many factors. The unattractive earn less—for men, 15% less; for women, 11% less. But for the attractive, the boost ranges from 1 to 13% more for women, not as much as some studies claim.

  • A 2009 study found household income, not just personal earnings, is higher for the intelligent and attractive, especially women, who may marry well. Even controlled experiments show attractive people are judged as more competent and intelligent, and offered higher pay.

So in summary, while data on sex workers’ precise earnings is limited, various studies suggest looks and erotic capital generally provide economic benefits and higher pay for both sexes, especially for women. How this operates depends on the type of work and sector, but it generates a beauty premium and advantage for the attractive along with a penalty for the unattractive. For some, sex work offers significantly higher pay; for others with little else to market, erotic capital and attractiveness can supplement or replace education and skills in boosting opportunity and income.

  • The study found a substantial sex difference in performance of a task. This was accounted for in the analysis.

  • Evidence shows that attractiveness becomes part of someone's personality and skills, including social skills. This explains why attractive people may earn more.

  • Smiling and managing emotions are seen as "emotional labor," especially for women. However, studies outside the U.S. contradict this view. Emotional labor depends more on social class than gender.

  • There is little evidence that women inherently do more emotional labor. Many higher-level jobs requiring social skills are held by men. Measuring social and emotional skills is difficult.

  • Strict rules about dress and appearance are relaxing. But appearance still impacts hiring and job success. Attractive, well-groomed applicants are more likely to be hired, even if less qualified.

  • Dress codes are most strict for women. Women's appearance receives greater scrutiny. This can lead to unfair discrimination.

  • There is debate over whether "erotic capital" provides advantages. While attractive children may have some benefits, attractiveness does not determine life success.

  • Tall, attractive men tend to earn more and advance higher in careers. They are seen as more competent and authoritative. Shorter people and women face discrimination.

  • Appearance is measured more easily than actual competence. This can benefit those like celebrities who are famous primarily for their attractiveness and media exposure.

  • Extreme economic inequality is linked to "winner-take-all" markets, where a few top performers dominate rewards. This affects careers where appearance and popularity are highly valued.

Overall, while attractiveness and social skills provide some advantages, there are also downsides like discrimination. Appearance does not define a person's worth or abilities. Strict judgments based on attractiveness or dress are unfair and limiting. Economic structures that provide huge rewards only to a few "winners" also contribute to inequality.

  • Erotic capital typically contributes a small amount to earnings according to studies. However, erotic capital can strongly impact other life outcomes.

  • Lucky and attractive people tend to lead charmed lives. This is partly because they are more confident, outgoing and optimistic. They are able to turn bad luck into good and create positive self-fulfilling prophecies.

  • The two main sources of friction in marriage are sex and money. A third source is child-rearing. Women face difficulties in balancing work and family responsibilities.

  • There is a deep cultural hostility to sexuality in Western, specifically Anglo-Saxon, cultures. Sexuality and money are deeply intertwined but Puritan cultures are uncomfortable with this. In contrast, French law requires couples to decide on their financial arrangements.

  • The author proposes the concept of “sexonomics” - the economics of sexuality and relationships. The principle of least interest and sex ratios strongly impact sexual bargaining power. There are long-term and short-term sexual markets. Even in monogamous societies, people participate in both markets.

  • Cultural attitudes to sexuality vary widely. There is a market approach to sexuality that views people exchanging sexuality and relationships. However, some disagree that the market metaphor is appropriate for relationships. The key distinction is between short-term and long-term sexual markets.

  • There are many examples of short-term transactional sexual relationships across cultures, e.g. velho que ajuda in Brazil, jineterismo in Cuba, student-mistresses in China, expensive girlfriends of tourists in Vietnam. Although prostitution is illegal in many places, transactional sex in the form of gifts is common.

  • Beautiful women and men with sex appeal are able to marry up due to their higher sexual or erotic capital. However, many hold contradictory views that deny this. The Western view of love and relationships is not universal. Transactional relationships were once common and normal throughout the world.

In summary, the key ideas are: the power of erotic capital, the role of sexonomics and luck, the distinctions between short-term and long-term sexual markets, cultural attitudes to sexuality and evidence of transactional relationships across cultures.

The central unifying focus of the various surveys and studies is assessing and analyzing people’s sexual activities, attitudes, and relationships.

Here is a summary of the surveys and studies mentioned:

The 1996 Swedish survey of 60-80 year olds found that sexual expression, including intercourse, was common in this age group. Over 80% of men and 50-60% of women were sexually active.

Many non-European surveys have found a greater diversity and fluidity of sexual practices across cultures. For example, surveys in Cuba and the Dominican Republic found sex work and transactional sex common, often facilitated by tourism. Several surveys in India have looked at the lives of courtesans and sex workers. Surveys in Japan have explored male patronage of hostess clubs.

A review of 37 cultures found some universal sex differences in mate preferences but also many culture-specific preferences. For example, a preference for youth and physical attractiveness in mates, especially for women valuing men, was found in most cultures. But preferences for traits like ambition and industriousness depended more on ecology and social organization.

Several surveys have found a diversity of sexual practices within Western cultures, including swinging, kink and BDSM communities. Surveys of personal ads and online dating profiles have found both sex differences and changes in mate preferences over time.

Anonymous surveys and interviews have explored motivations for and experiences of extramarital affairs in many Western cultures. Reasons include sexual desire, excitement, emotional connection and relationship dissatisfaction.

Surveys of sex workers have looked at working conditions, health and safety risks, and relationships with clients. Some studies have compared sex workers’ traits and experiences across sectors like street prostitution, escorting and stripping.

There have been many surveys of sexual behavior, attitudes and values in Western cultures. Some look at trends over time, especially in relation to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s-90s. Surveys have also explored taboo topics like incest, fetishism and paraphilias.

Several studies have looked at the relationship between attractiveness, body size and occupational outcomes like income and hiring decisions. In general, they find appearance and body shape can influence perceptions of competence, work performance, generosity, health, morality and suitability for various jobs.

Does this help summarize the scope of surveys and studies mentioned? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of this summary.

Here is a summary of the references:

Almeida, R. V., et al. (2002). Emotional distress among women seeking infertility treatment: The role of marital adjustment and social support. Family process, 41(2), 313-27. This article examines the relationship between emotional distress, marital adjustment, and social support in infertile women. Chancer, L. S. (1998). Reconcilable differences: confronting beauty, pornography and the future of feminism.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. This book explores tensions between feminist and liberal views on beauty, pornography, and sexuality. The author argues for developing a feminism that embraces complexity and nuance.

Cohen, A. (2009). The tall book: A celebration of life on high. New York: Bloomsbury. This book explores the experiences of very tall people in society and culture. It covers topics like health issues for tall people, tall heroes and villains, and advantages and disadvantages of being tall.

Cole, J. (1999). After the affair: How to build trust and love again. London: Vermilion. This self-help book provides advice for couples on rebuilding trust and intimacy after an affair. It covers topics like managing emotions, reconnecting with your partner, avoid future infidelity, and forgiving yourself and your partner.

Constable, N. (2003). Romance on a global stage: Pen pals, virtual ethnography, and “mail order” marriages.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
This book provides an ethnographic study of the mail order bride industry in the Philippines. The author corresponded with and met Filipina women and their American husbands to explore issues of gender, sexuality, and globalization.

Copas, A.J., et al. (2002). The accuracy of reported sensitive sexual behavior in Britain: Exploring the extent of change 1990-2000. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 78(1), 26–30. This epidemiological study assessed whether people in Britain have become more accurate and less stigmatized in their reporting of sensitive sexual behaviors over time. The study found improved reporting of same-sex behavior and slightly improved reporting of multiple partners.

This covers a range of references related to gender, sexuality, relationships, body image, feminism, and culture. The references span from self-help books to academic social science and cover a diversity of topics.

Anthony Giddens (1992) The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality,

Love, and Eroticism in Modern Societies, Cambridge: Polity
Press. Timothy Gilfoyle (1994) City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution
and the Commercialization of Sex 1790–1920, New York: Norton. Joanna de Giovanni (2009) “We will teach you to make love
again,” Guardian, 26 March 2009. ______ (2011) “Sleeves up, ready to work,” Guardian G2, 14 January 2011, pages 16–17. Shirley P. Glass and Thomas L. Wright (1992) “Justifications for
extramarital relationships: the association between attitudes, behaviors and gender,” Journal of Sex Research, 29: 361–385. Norval Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt (2001) Hooking Up, Hanging Out
and Hoping for Mr. Right: College Women on Dating and Mating Today, New York: Institute for American Values .
Norval D. Glenn, Allen A. Ross and Julianna C. Tully (1974)
“Patterns of intergenerational mobility of females through marriage,” American Sociological Review, 39: 683–699. Claudia Goldin (1990) Understanding the Gender Gap, New York: Oxford
University Press. Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz (2002) “The power of the pill: oral
contraceptives and women’s career and marriage decisions,” Journal of Political Economy, 110: 730–770.
Daniel Goleman (1995) Emotional Intelligence, New York: Bantam Books.
Victoria de Grazia with Ellen Furlough (1996) The Sex of Things:
Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective, Berkeley: University of California Press. Adam Isaiah Green (2008a) “The social organisation of desire: the sexual fields approach,” Sociological Theory, 26: 25–50.
______ (2008b) “Health and sexual status in an urban gay enclave: an application of the stress process model,” Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 49: 436–451. Barnaby L. Green, Robert R. Lee and Neil Lustig (1974) “Conscious and
unconscious factors in marital infidelity,” Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, pages 87–105. Virginia Griffin (1999) The Mistress: Histories, Myths and Interpretations
of the “Other Woman,” London: Bloomsbury. Natalie Griffiths and Jane Davidson (2006) “The effects of concert
dress and physical appearance on perceptions of female solo performance,” paper presented at 9th International
Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Bologna, August 2006. Groupe ACSF (1998) Comportements Sexuels et Sida en
France: Les Données de l’Enquête ACSF, Paris: INSERM. Helen Gurley-Brown (1962/2003) Sex and the Single Girl, New York: Random House.
Marcia Guttentag and Paul F. Secord (1983) Too Many Women? The Sex Ratio Question, Beverly Hills CA: Sage. Allen Guttmann (1996) The Erotic in Sports, New York: Columbia University Press. Elina Haavio-Mannila and Osmo Kontula (2003) Sexual Trends in
the Baltic Sea Area, Helsinki: Population Research Institute, Family Federation of Finland. Elina Haavio-Mannila, Osmo Kontula and Anna Rotkirch (2002) Sexual
Lifestyles in the Twentieth Century: A Research Study, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Elina Haavio-Mannila and Anna Rotkirch (1997) “Generational and gender differences in sexual life in St Petersburg and urbanFinland,” pages 133–160 in Yearbook of Population Research in Finland, No. 34, Helsinki: Population Research Institute. ______ (2000) “Gender liberalisation and polarisation:comparing sexuality in St Petersburg, Finland and Sweden,” Finnish Review of East European Studies, 3–4: 4–25. ______ and Elina Kuusi (2001) Trends in Sexual Life Measured by National Sex Surveys in Finland in 1971, 1992 and 1999, and a Comparison Sex Survey in St Petersburg in 1996, Working Paper E 10 for the Family Federation of Finland, Helsinki: Population Research Institute. Elizabeth Haiken (1997) Venus Envy: A History of Cosmetic Surgery, Baltimore: John Hopkins Press. Catherine Hakim (1995) “Five feminist myths about women’s employment,” British Journal of Sociology, 46: 429–455. ______ (2000a) Work-Lifestyle Choices in the 21st Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ______ (2000b) Research Design, London: Routledge. ______ (2004) Key Issues in Women’s Work, London: Glasshouse Press. ______ (2006) “Women, careers, and work-life preferences,” British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 34: 279–294.
______ (2008) “Is gender equality legislation becoming counter-productive?,” Public Policy Research, 15: 133–136.
______ (2010a) “Attractive forces at work,” Times Higher Education, No. 1950, 3–9 June 2010, pages 36–41.
______ (2010b) “Erotic capital,” European Sociological
Review, 26(5): 499–518. ______ (2011) Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine, London: Centre for Policy Studies. Nicholas Hall (2010) “French Assembly votes by big majority to ban full-face veil,” Financial Times, 14 July 2010, page 7. Joan Halper (1988) Quiet Desperation: The Truth About Successful Men, New York: Warner Books. Daniel S. Hamermesh and Jeff E. Biddle (1994) “Beauty and the labor market,” American Economic Review, 84: 1174–1194. George Eric Hansen (2002) The Culture of Strangers: Globalization, Localization and the Phenomenon of Exchange, New York: University Press of America. Sally Harkness (2008) “The household division of labour: changes in families’ allocation of paid and unpaid work,” pages 234–268 in Women and Employment (eds) J Scott, S
Dex, H Joshi, Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar. Bronwyn Harper (2000) “Beauty, stature and the labour market: A British cohort study,” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 62: 771–800.
John Harris (1985) The Value of Life, London: Routledge.
______ (1992) Wonderwoman and Superman, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
______ (1998) The Future of Human Reproduction, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Elaine Hatfield and Richard L. Rapson (2005) Love and Sex: Cross- cultural Perspectives, Lanham MD: University Press of America. Elaine Hatfield and Susan Sprecher (1986) Mirror, Mirror . . . The Importance of Looks in Everyday Life, New York: State University of New York Press.
Elaine Hatfield, Jane Traupmann and G. William Walster (1979) “Equity and extramarital sex,” pages 309–322 in Love and Attraction (eds) M Cook and G Wilson, Oxford: Pergamon Press. Kate Hausbeck and Barbara Brents (2000) “Inside Nevada’s brothel industry,” pages 217–244 in Sex for Sale (ed)R Weitzer, New York: Routledge.
Paul Heelas (1986) “Emotion talk across cultures,” pages 234–266 in The Social Construction of Emotions (ed) R Harre, Oxford: Blackwell. Hugh Hefner (2010) Hugh Hefner’s Playboy 1953–1979, Taschen. Charles Herbert Killblane (1914) The Ritual of Love, New York: Medical Art Agency.
Human: Here is a summary of the ty Press:

Anthony Giddens examined the transformation of intimacy and sexuality in modern societies. Timothy Gilfoyle explored the history of prostitution and commercial sex in New York City between 1790 and 1920. Joanna de Giovanni discussed relationships and dating in two newspaper articles.

Shirley Glass and Thomas Wright studied justifications for extramarital relationships. Norval Glenn, Elizabeth Marquardt, and others explored dating, relationships, and marriage patterns.

Claudia Goldin analyzed the gender pay gap and women's careers. Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz found that the birth control pill impacted women's career and marriage choices. Daniel Goleman popularized the concept of emotional intelligence.

Victoria de Grazia and Ellen Furlough examined the relationship between gender and consumption. Adam Green applied Bourdieu's theory of fields to sexuality and studied the health of gay men. Barnaby Green and others looked at factors in marital infidelity.

Virginia Griffin explored the historical figure of the mistress. Natalie Griffiths and Jane

This reference list covers a wide range of topics related to sexuality, culture, relationships and related areas. Some of the major themes include:

  • Physical attractiveness and its relationship to intelligence, income, and other factors. There are debates around whether attractiveness provides advantages in these areas.

  • Cultural variations in sexuality, relationships, and gender roles across societies. This includes topics such as polygamy, transnational relationships, prostitution, and sexuality in countries like China, Japan, India, etc.

  • Historical changes in sexuality and relationships. This includes topics such as changes in sexual behavior, dating practices, cohabitation, attitudes toward homosexuality, etc.

  • Psychological and sociological perspectives on various aspects of sex, sexuality, and relationships. This includes topics such as mate selection, infidelity, intimacy, desire, emotions, etc.

  • Political and social debates around various topics like prostitution, pornography, sexuality education, gender roles, etc.

  • Demographic and public health issues related to sex and relationships. This includes topics such as trends in marriage and divorce, teen pregnancy, STD rates, sexuality among older adults, etc.

So in summary, this reference list provides a broad interdisciplinary perspective on human sexuality, relationships and culture. The sources cover a wide range of social science disciplines and a variety of historical and cross-cultural contexts.

Here is a summary of the sources:

The sources cover a wide range of topics related to sexuality, relationships, gender, and work. Some sources focus on dating, relationships and marriage, providing advice and insights into heterosexual dynamics and interactions (R and Copeland 1998, 2000). Other sources take a sociological perspective, examining sexuality and relationships through theoretical frameworks like Norbert Elias’s theory of civilizing processes (Loyal and Quilley 2004) or providing overviews of sexuality in particular cultural contexts (Nye 1999; Mossuz-Lavau 2002).

Some sources focus on gender differences and gender inequality, especially in the workplace. Several studies look at how physical attractiveness and sexuality are commodified in some jobs, especially service work—a phenomenon labeled “aesthetic labor” (Nickson et al. 2003; 2005). Other sources examine gender inequality in the workplace more broadly (Padavic and Reskin 2002; Papanek 1973).

Several sources focus on sex work and commercial sex, including studies of prostitution, strip clubs and the lives of sex workers in various cultural contexts (Miller 1986; McLeod 1982; Price-Glynn 2010; Murray 1991; Parker 1991). Some sources examine sexuality and relationships from an evolutionary psychological perspective (Miller and Kanazawa 2007; Pinker 2002; Buss 1994).

Other sources explore topics like sexual motivation (Meston and Buss 2007, 2009), virginity loss (Paul et al. 2000), sexual lifestyles and practices (Mullan 1984; Raboch and Raboch 1989), and sexual wellbeing (Mulhall et al. 2008). Several sources take the form of memoirs, autobiographies or anthologies in which people recount their personal experiences with relationships and sexuality (Cline 2001; Millet 2001/2002; Muller 2009; Nin 1980).

In summary, the sources encompass a diverse array of perspectives on sexuality, gender, relationships and work from sociological, psychological, anthropological and popular genres. While predominantly focusing on heterosexual dynamics, the sources examine these topics in a variety of cultural settings.

Here is a summary of the sources:

  • Raza S M and Carpenter B N (1987): A model of hiring decisions in real employment interviews. Journal of Applied Psychology, 72: 596–603.

  • Reddy G (2005): With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Réage P (1975): Histoire d’O. Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert.

  • Reichert T (2003): The Erotic History of Advertising. Amherst NY: Prometheus Books.

  • Reinhard M-A, Messner M, Sporer S L (2006): Explicit persuasive intent and its impact on success at persuasion—the determining roles of attractiveness and likeableness. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 16(3): 249–259.

  • Rhode D L (2010): The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Rich G J and Guidroz K (2000): “Smart girls who like sex: telephone sex workers,” in Sex for Sale, (ed) R Weitzer, New York: Routledge.

  • Richters J J and Rissel C (2005): Doing It Down Under: The Sexual Lives of Australians. Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin.

  • Roehling M V (1999): “Weight-based discrimination in employment: psychological and legal aspects,” Personnel Psychology, 52: 969–1016.

  • Rosewarne L (2007): Sex in Public. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.

  • Rothblum E and Solvay S (2009): The Fat Studies Reader. New York: New York University Press.

  • Rounding V (2004): Grandes Horizontales: The Lives and Legends of Four Nineteenth-Century Courtesans. London: Bloomsbury.

  • Rouse L (2002): Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United States: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Relationships in Social Context. New York: Haworth Clinical Practice Press.

  • Saeed F (2001): Taboo! The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Sarlio-Lähteenkorva S, Silvennoinen K, Lahelma E (2004): “Relative weight and income at different levels of socioeconomic status,” American Journal of Public Health, 94(3): 468–472.

  • Saxena S, Carlson D, Billington R, Orley J (2001 ) “The WHO quality of life assessment instrument (WHOQOL-Bref): The importance of its items for cross-cultural research,” Quality of Life Research, 10: 711–721.

Here is a summary of the key points about erotic capital by Catherine Hakim:

  • Erotic capital refers to a combination of beauty, sexual attractiveness, liveliness, social skills, and presentation. It is a personal asset that can be useful in social and romantic interactions as well as the workplace.

  • Erotic capital is an important and undervalued form of power and influence in modern societies. It needs to be recognized and harnessed.

  • Erotic capital is unequally distributed in the population based on factors like genetics, culture, socialization, and personal effort. Some people invest in developing their erotic capital through exercise, dress, cosmetics, social skills, etc.

  • Erotic capital gives women an advantage over men in some domains like the service sector. However, women face discrimination and their erotic capital is often not valued or taken seriously.

  • Erotic capital needs to be seen as equally legitimate as other forms of capital like economic, social, and cultural capital. It produces tangible benefits and should not be dismissed or moralized.

  • Policies and laws should prohibit discrimination based on factors like appearance that relate to erotic capital. Erotic capital needs to be considered in areas like education, health, employment, and public policy.

  • There are large cross-cultural variations in how erotic capital is developed, perceived, and utilized in different societies. It is shaped by cultural, religious, and social norms about sexuality, relationships, and gender roles.

In summary, Hakim argues for recognizing and legitimizing erotic capital as an important personal asset and form of power in modern society. Erotic capital produces real benefits but is often overlooked, undervalued, and moralized, especially for women. Harnessing erotic capital can empower individuals and benefit society and the economy. But policies and cultural changes are needed to prohibit discrimination and allow people to reap the rewards of their erotic capital.


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