Restricting access to female sexuality to increase its value

By Serge Kreutz

Florida University professor Roy Baumeister in 2004 published research showing that women themselves regard female sexuality as a value to be traded for non-sexual benefits. The findings of Baumeister and colleagues also indicated that cultural restrictions to the availability of female sexuality are often imposed and maintained not by men but by women themselves in order to preserve a high exchange value for their sexuality.

In line with this research, it has been observed that in countries as diverse as Turkey and Indonesia, women elect to wear veils without being under pressure from social institutions. The governments of Egypt, Tunesia, and Turkey even prohibit veils in public places. However, women wear it in spite of social discouragement because a veil signals that the wearer is not sexually easy. Thus, the exchange value of the sexuality of this particular girl or woman rises.

Women in Western countries have other strategies to protect the sexual market value of female sexuality. One such strategy is to limit male access to a wide range of what otherwise would be attractive options. Age-of-consent limits, conjugal property rights, high costs of divorce, restrictions on prostitution, the stigmatisation of promiscuity, regulations on Internet dating, the threat of prosecution on rape charges, the concept of marital rape, activism against pornography, the exclusion from university jobs for disrespectful comments about women… all of these have one thing in common: they protect the exchange value of female sexuality even of unattractive and older women who, in case of inflationary access to more attractive females, would be very low indeed.

From another perspective, it is considered sensible and natural, that a woman will engage in sexual activity with a man she loves, even when the woman herself is not sexually aroused at that time. She still can derive satisfaction from such conduct. The satisfaction, however, is not strictly sexual. The satisfaction is her awareness that she provides something very important to the man she wants to bind to herself, and indeed, a man who experiences sexual bliss is usually a good provider and protector.

This is the context in which women want to be sexually desired even when they are not sexually aroused, and this is why women have a sense of fulfillment when willingly granting sexual access in exchange for commitment.

“Collusion – women working together – would be the most rational way to elevate the ‘market value’ of sex.”