Welcome to my scientifically informed insider look at mental health topics if you find this video to be interesting or helpful please like it and subscribe to my channel well this is dr grande today's question asks if i can explain the concepts of s-e-t and smv .
So i'll explain what these acronyms stand for in a moment but first i want to talk about the debate around this concept in general so the debate here is around how we exchange product services ideas and behaviors according to an economic model as opposed to other popular ways like .
Biological or political models and really the acronyms sct and smv are a little confusing because sct actually stands for two different things so sct can stand for sexual economics theory and that's what i'm really talking about here .
But it can also stand for social exchange theory which is really an overarching philosophy that covers sexual economics theory and smv stands for sexual market value so really this is just the value set assuming that sct explains the economics accurately .
So what that means is i'm really just going to focus on sct and not smv because you can figure out smv once you understand sct so this particular theory sct is something we see used by the men going their own way philosophy mgtow philosophy and .
Sometimes by the involuntarily celibate philosophy the incel community so we see they take different components of sct but i've rarely seen the whole theory really explained out and then the alternative viewpoint kind of put in the same place .
So i'm really going to focus here more on the sct and not the components that refuted not the different theorists that refute it but i will cover both to some extent so i'll look at the primary theory and then some of the i think more cohesive rebuttals against the .
Theory so what sexual economics theory does is it takes the private activity of sex and treats it as something that occurs in a marketplace and essentially what we see here is that men and women play the roles of being the buyer and the seller .
And market forces influence the price just like they would in any market so we see principles like supply and demand exclusivity and collusion among buyers and sellers so i'm going to explain this theory i used a number of articles to help me do this there have been many articles written on this topic i'll .
Put the references for the articles that i used in the description for this video again some of these articles support this theory and others counter it now these papers really aren't experimental in nature they are theoretical although they do cite experimental studies to support .
Some of their arguments so another way of putting this we see that there are researchers that have put something forward and others that have argued against what they put forward and it's based on really a potential explanation for observations but not necessarily something derived .
From an experiment like we think of with like treatments for instance if we're using a treatment we want to see if it's more effective than doing nothing or another treatment that would be experimental this is more theoretical but again we do see a lot of evidence presented from other studies so they .
Cite a lot of other studies in these articles that support the researchers point of view so those that refute this particular theory of sct do make a lot of good points they accuse sct of having patriarchal overtones they also present points in favor of .
Feminist theory which would be a major theory that opposes sct but because of really the time constraints and just the amount of material covered i'm going to focus this video much more on sct and just touch on the feminist theory that opposes this .
At the end a little bit again there's just simply too much material to cover even in presenting the sct argument i'm only using really a fraction of what's available to explain this so in taking a look at this construct of sct this theory we see that the field of .
Sexuality is driven by two major theoretical domains the biological and we call social construction and a lot of this social constructionist theory is really based on feminist theory feminist theory argues that women are subjugated by men and women respond to this oppressed .
Position so essentially when we talk about sexuality we see biology and politics and then with sct we see a new domain added to this economics so economics with human behavior of course is not new we see this in prior literature this theory is talked about .
And we see four major assumptions in the general theory so this would be again economics and human behavior people are connected in a market and individual choices are influenced by costs and benefits when desirable resources become scarce we see a price change sellers compete .
With one another and occasionally buyers do as well and individuals look to maximize their outcomes so again this conceptualization is not new this is generally considered social exchange theory and it's been used to conceptualize sexual activity before as well but with .
The prior discussions we don't see exactly what we have here with sexual economics theory because sex wasn't treated as belonging to a man or a woman now sct looks at this differently it essentially says that culture assigns female sexuality value whereas male .
Sexuality is thought of as worthless so essentially in order for sex to happen under this theory something needs to be exchanged for it right so if one side has value another side does not have value that's going to facilitate an exchange a number of different constructs can be exchanged consideration .
Affection respect commitment material gifts and of course sometimes money but this is more or less moving away from this theory this theory is thought of as somewhat relational and not strictly transactional although the money part does play a role in it .
So when we see the term price of sex they're not necessarily talking about money like for example with prostitution so as i mentioned before this is a pretty controversial theory and it's easy to see why what we really see here with sct is again this part about sex being a female resource so what .
Evidence supports this kind of crucial part of their theory well first we see the principle of least interest this is where someone gains power in a relationship by wanting a connection less than somebody else and of course it can be used outside the context of relationships as well but really this .
Is a lot like avoidance and approach when we talk about attachment theory the person who avoids in a relationship has more power the person who approaches has less power now second we see that research indicates that men have a greater sexual motivation .
Of course this is refuted by other studies but this is what we see with sct and we see that looking at the research this argument is supported on almost every way of measuring the construct of sexual motivation what evidence supports this what results do we see from studies .
Well men desire sex more at every stage of a relationship early late and even outside of the relationship men are less successful when they attempt to be salvate and this speaks more over to that mgtow community i was talking about before the men going their own way community .
We see that men desire a higher number of partners they expend more resources to obtain sex they take more risks to obtain sex they refuse sex less often they have more frequent fantasies about sex and they're less prone to report a l
ack of desire .
For sex so now looking at the factors under sct the assumptions for this market to be in place we see four assumptions here we see this assumption that generally men want sex more than women generally women want the resources that men have we see that women are free to make .
Decisions about sex that's important to this economics theory and we see that information about the sexual activities of others must be known at least to some degree so the price can be known so with that in mind what factors would influence the price .
Under this theory well there are two main types of factors individual factors and market factors and then two things that can happen we can see the price increase or decrease so the price would be raised or lowered so in terms of individual factors that would raise the .
Price we see factors like a woman being attractive competition among men for a specific woman and a woman who has had few or no prior sexual relationships individual factors that would lower the price a woman's age being past young adulthood .
If a woman lacks alternative access to resources or if a man has a much higher status than a woman in terms of market factors market factors that raise the price monopolistic manipulation so collusion to restrict access to women and a larger pool of men than women again that would raise the .
Price in terms of market forces that lower the price permissive sexual norms men having access to low cost substitutes including prostitutes and fewer men than women so there are a few keys here in terms of this particular theory with this theory a woman is looking for .
One optimal mate whereas men may or may not be we see sex here is essentially a renewable resource but reputation is not meaning it's more about how a woman is perceived as opposed to what they actually do when a man is accused of having too many partners .
That doesn't matter but it does matter to a woman so here we see kind of an interesting intersection between sexual economics theory and feminist theory feminist theory says that men seek to subjugate women which includes denying women economic opportunity .
And furthermore this theory says that this is motivated primarily for a desire for power and secondarily for sex what sct says is that men do this to keep the price of sex low so essentially sct agrees with feminist theory in some ways including on this point but .
Rather men aren't primarily looking for power but rather sex so what we see is that again men are trying to keep this price low and if women have a lot of resources that would raise the price so certainly this is an interesting and controversial theory but what does the research literature .
Say what do we see that supports this theory and again i'll talk about what contradicts the theory a little later so there are a number of elements that we see put forward as support for this again i'm only covering just a few of these so the first would be the gender imbalance .
Around the construct of prostitution we see with prostitution that the vast majority of clients are men and the vast majority of prostitutes are women if we were to contradict this part of the theory we would have to find examples of women paying for sex for example in the .
Research literature but we can't looking at studies we don't see really any examples of this happening so what about areas where this exchange of money would be more disguised so not prostitution but rather in something like a marriage right so again making this argument there's a .
Gender imbalance here but we have seen studies where women who lack their own independent means of financial support were less willing to refuse sex from their husbands to refuse those advances so again more support around this one point .
But what about something like infidelity does infidelity support the idea of sct again with sct male sexuality has no value and female sexuality does so with female infidelity essentially something valuable is being given away whereas with male infidelity nothing of .
Value is being given away and this is actually consistent with what we see across many cultures women are judged much more harshly for infidelity than our men moving over to courtship factors we see that some of these are fairly straightforward we see this expectation .
That men will buy gifts pay for dinner spend time and issue a declaration of love also there are other courtship rituals that seem to support sct research has looked into the correlation between when people thought sex should start in a relationship and when it actually began .
And what we see for women here is the correlation is very high sex began when they preferred whereas men wanted sex to commence much earlier than women did what about supply and demand aspects around like a shortage of mates while we see in situations where there .
Are fewer women cultural values tend to change moving more toward discouraging premarital and extramarital sex looking at sexual attitudes we see that men hold more favorable attitudes towards casual sex than women do and one of the most cited .
Studies that kind of illustrates this point involves research on a college campus that used what are called confederates so confederates are individuals who are going along with the researchers they work for the researchers so you have .
Participants who participate in the study and then you have confederates so we see here that confederates approached members of the opposite sex on a college campus and they had one of several offers the one that really stands out is they made an invitation .
To have sex that same night with that person so just like all of sexual economics theory we're talking about heterosexual relationships here so you have a female confederate approaching a male and a male confederate approaching a female so what we see here is that 75 percent .
Of the male participants so those approached by a female confederate agreed to have sex that same night now of course this was a research study so no sex actually took place but they agreed to it in terms of the males approaching females and asking the same question .
Zero percent of the females agreed to that same offer another factor we see put out in support of sct is the idea of sex as a benefit studies show that men describe sex as a benefit to participating in a romantic relationship where women generally do not rate sex .
As a benefit at all men report that one of the benefits to cross-sex relationships is the potential access to sex but again it's not listed as a benefit for women who talk about cross-sex relationships in research studies so the last area i'll cover here and again there are several others that i did not cover .
In terms of factors that are used to support sexual economics theory this last one is female aggression we see that of course men get involved in physical fights more often than women but when we do see fights between women the physical fights are often preceded by comments related to promiscuity .
And attractiveness and this is not the case in terms of precipitating factors in fights between men and female to female aggression is more common when there's a relative shortage of men so again just a few of the factors that .
We've seen put forth supporting sct so what about some of the counterpoints to sexual economics theory well most of the counterpoints come from individuals who study the feminist theoretical point of view so that's the one i'm going to use here in terms of .
Again the research literature that i read so this is really a brief argument again compared to what i presented in terms of supporting sct so we see here in terms of the counterpoints sct dehumanizes women so essentially it paints this picture that female bodies are really just a commodity .
We see that most heterosexual c
ouples have similar interests they have mutual attraction similar goals and values so this wasn't stated in the research but another way you could put this is that there's this idea that people really do fall in love .
And maybe that's really explaining what's happening as opposed to some really behavioristic economic model we also see here in terms of the counterpoints that patriarchal societies deny women equal personhood and really force women into this sexual exchange .
Model or this sexual economics model so under this point feminist theorists aren't really denying that sct might explain some of what's going on but they're saying women are forced into it by another theory feminist theory also disputes some of the assertions made in sct directly around .
This idea that women repress female sexuality feminist theorists argue that men generally have more sexist attitudes and that research consistently shows this is true across many cultures we see the feminist theorists dispute the research methodology that says women are more in favor of the sexual .
Double standard they actually cite research that shows that men are more in favor of the standard now remember women being more in favor of a double standard is consistent with sct we also see that the feminist theory disputes the idea that men .
Are more interested in sex than women so this one i think is more of an uphill battle if we look at a lot of the research that's out there right especially some of the points i mentioned before which seem to be fairly solid in terms of demonstrating the interest in sex is much stronger for .
Men but one of the factors here in terms of disputing this is they look at specifically that study that showed that 75 percent of those male participants agreed to sex that same night with one of the confederates they conclude from the same research .
That men are simply perceived as less trustworthy sexual partners so is the unknown element that really caused the female participants to say no essentially and there's some other research studies that would support that disputing of this other study so .
I don't really have time to go through all the other studies they talked about but they put forth some good studies i think that made this point more debatable at first it doesn't seem like it's easy to win at this point but one of the papers specifically i think made a good argument here to neutralize this .
Point in favor of sct and really put this on more level ground now the last point i'll mention here in terms of the counterpoints is that sexual economics theory is hostile to gender equality now this is kind of interesting because really sct just is what it is right like .
It's a theory and we see that the feminist theorists acknowledge that theorists can't be responsible if somebody appropriates their theory and i think that is what happened here right some people take sct and they turn it into something it's really not .
And they use it to kind of wage a war against gender equality right so this point really isn't saying necessarily that sct is wrong it's saying that people have misinterpreted sct right so still a good point we have to be careful about how theories .
Are interpreted and used right we want to make sure that people accurately understand what a theory says and what it doesn't say so those are some of the counterpoints and of course before i made some of the points that are put forth to support sct this is such a controversial topic .
I'd like to see more objective research in this area when you read all these papers and i read quite a bit to get to this point for this video you do get this sense that from really all these articles that there's this bias on each side a bias by those who wrote the papers on sct .
In terms of towards supporting it which seems obvious and a bias towards feminist theory by those offering counterpoints bias is really universal and even scientists can't escape it which is unfortunate because it makes it harder to find the truth i think in terms of sexuality .
It's likely that it can be explained by taking components from all these theories biological social construction as well as economics which is actually acknowledged in the literature that i read sexuality is an extremely complex construct and as we start to try to unravel it .
It just seems like it creates more and more different theoretical approaches and we just get so much information it can be really overwhelming i don't know if this debate will ever be settled by the scientific literature but again i would like to see more researchers try and move toward the truth of how these .
Different dynamics actually function now one last interesting point i want to mention is that when i was working on the videos for the mgtow philosophy or community or whatever it's referred to as and the incel community .
I saw really you know a lot of vitriol and some good points as well but a lot of enthusiasm and energy and really kind of negative feelings being spread kind of all over those forms and of course directed toward other people and what i find interesting is that the .
Scientific literature does actively debate these topics right you see from this community there's this idea they've been shut out they're on the outside and they need to really argue for their point by being hostile and aggressive but they don't they could join the scientific community .
And study this like a researcher now i know that's not available to everybody as an option but i think there's this anti-science bias that i've seen where they might look at some of these studies and kind of cherry pick points in their favor but i don't get this feeling they're really reading these studies .
And interpreting them as entire articles and the context of what we know from the scientific literature anti-science bias seems to be very popular especially among people who start to adopt extremist views now i've talked before about how not everybody in mgtow has an extremist view and not everybody who considers .
Themselves a part of the in-cell community has an extremist view either but some certainly do and when people adopt these extremist views the first thing out the window is science right i mean there's again such a lively .
Debate that we can engage in whether somebody wants to become a researcher or not they can still read these articles and really get involved in the debate at that level what do we know from actual scientific findings but we don't see that really happening and i'm disappointed in a way because it just cuts off a lot of people from .
Access to information that i think is fairly interesting and much more accurate than just guessing and again becoming enthusiastic and exciting and just acting on emotions so i think that what would help understanding would be to reduce the emotional output a bit right and read more .
Right my solution is read more read more and bring kind of intelligent cohesive points to the table for discussion and argument arguing can be fun even if it's based on science right it doesn't have to be something that's miserable where everybody starts .
Getting threatening and hateful and all that that type of behavior really doesn't help anyone and it doesn't help anyone to establish the points they want to make even if inside those points there's some legitimate aspect they get erased .
When emotions are high people don't want to listen to the vitriol and i understand why so just some thoughts in terms of like these communities again especially people on the extreme edges of these communities and what we see in the scientific literature and what we can discover from .
Science so i know whenever i talk about topics including sexuality and sexu
al economics theory they're going to be a variety of opinions people who agree with me and disagree with me and who have other thoughts please put those opinions in the comments section they always generate a .
Really interesting dialogue as always i hope you found this description of sexual economics theory to be interesting thanks for watching