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Economics of Sex: Cost-Benefit Analysis


The article presents an application of the cost-benefit analysis to human sexual behavior. We suggest that an event or occasion which lowers the costs of sex – such as increasing free time, decreasing health risks of sexually transmitted diseases or lowering the probability of parenthood (or costs connected with parenthood) – usually leads to an increase in sexual activity. Although the reviewed studies concerning these effects confirm our predictions, findings are not robust, e.g. a vaccination against STDs does not always lead to an increase in sexual activity. In the conclusion, we make several socioeconomic recommendations resulting from the application of the economics of sex.

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Correspondence to Petr Houdek.

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Houdek, P., Koblovský, P. Economics of Sex: Cost-Benefit Analysis. Soc 54, 18–22 (2017).

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  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Sexual behavior
  • Opportunity costs
  • STDs
  • Natural disasters
  • Contraception
  • Abortion
  • Homosexuality