Why Marriage is Not Like Prostitution

What's more, most males could not possibly afford to buy a woman's reproductive potential if courtship were a simple economic exchange. What would be an appropriate market price for a nine-month pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, the exhaustion of breast-feeding, and twenty years of maternal care? At least half a million dollars at a basic salary of $25,000, one would think. How much do men spend on courtship in the first few months? Perhaps a tenth of 1 percent of the proper market price. Their generosity might continue after a baby arrives, but it might not. One could do the same sort of analysis for hunter-gatherers, in terms of the calorie cost of pregnancy and maternal care versus the calorie value of the meat that males offer. Are women just undervaluing themselves by a factor of a thousand? It seems unlikely that evolution could have produced such low female self-esteem, if the reciprocity theory is correct. Mutant women who demanded more should have replaced those who demanded so little, since their offspring would materially benefit.


No amount of gifts and showy displays can pay for the investment a female would have to make in offspring.

Folksonomies: evolution mating

/family and parenting/motherhood/pregnancy (0.509212)
/science/biology/breeding (0.459731)
/family and parenting/babies and toddlers/baby clothes (0.439521)

maternal care (0.936206 (positive:0.275133)), simple economic exchange (0.859372 (neutral:0.000000)), market price (0.855388 (positive:0.319325)), appropriate market price (0.825678 (positive:0.319325)), low female self-esteem (0.800008 (negative:-0.577182)), proper market price (0.787274 (neutral:0.000000)), showy displays (0.613649 (neutral:0.000000)), calorie cost (0.562829 (positive:0.275133)), calorie value (0.560711 (positive:0.275133)), nine-month pregnancy (0.553209 (positive:0.319325)), basic salary (0.533325 (negative:-0.387885)), reciprocity theory (0.525531 (neutral:0.000000)), Mutant women (0.491412 (negative:-0.429780)), courtship (0.369252 (negative:-0.263724)), offspring (0.324210 (positive:0.201935)), males (0.263042 (negative:-0.262422)), breast-feeding (0.238877 (negative:-0.594453)), Prostitution (0.226629 (neutral:0.000000)), exhaustion (0.222812 (negative:-0.594453)), generosity (0.217714 (positive:0.386403)), hunter-gatherers (0.213147 (neutral:0.000000))

Prostitution:Crime (0.889314 (neutral:0.000000)), million dollars:Quantity (0.889314 (neutral:0.000000)), twenty years:Quantity (0.889314 (neutral:0.000000)), nine-month:Quantity (0.889314 (neutral:0.000000)), 1 percent:Quantity (0.889314 (neutral:0.000000)), $25,000:Quantity (0.889314 (neutral:0.000000))

Woman (0.970200): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Reproduction (0.875859): dbpedia | freebase
Infant (0.848145): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Human (0.812437): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Female (0.729749): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Oxytocin (0.701191): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Childbirth (0.698120): dbpedia | freebase
Breastfeeding (0.669579): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The Mating Mind
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Miller, Geoffrey (2011-12-21), The Mating Mind, Random House Digital, Inc., Retrieved on 2013-06-24
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: evolution science sexual selection