Journal of Bioeconomics

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 193–201 | Cite as

Surrender Value of Capital Assets: The Economics of Strategic Virginity Loss

  • Alan Collins


This paper provides the first econometric analysis of rationalizations of virginity loss in terms of love. Data from the UK National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles are used to estimate logit equations to predict the claim that virginity loss was occasioned by being in love. The sample consists of 2,269 males and 1,476 females between the ages of 16 and 59. In economic terms, a dichotomy is found in terms of male and female virginity loss, such that to a degree it is possible to infer that sex is for males more of a consumption good, whilst for females it is more of a capital good.

virginity loss gender love 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Akerlof, George. 1970. The market for 'lemons': quality uncertainty and the market mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics 84: 488-500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barak, Yoram, Daniel Stein, Aliza Ring, Aharon Ticher, & Avenr Elizur. 1997. Patterns of first intercourse: a survey among Israeli women. Biological Rhythm Research 28(1): 36-41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basnayake, Sriana. 1990. The virginity test-a bridal nightmare. Journal of Family Welfare 36(2): 50-59.Google Scholar
  4. Batabyal, Amitrajeet A. 1998. Aspects of arranged marriages and the theory of Markov decision processes. Theory and Decision 45(3): 241-253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, Gary S. 1973. A theory of marriage: part one. Journal of Political Economy 81(4): 813-846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Becker, Gary S. 1981. Altruism in the family and selfishness in the market place. Economica 48(189): 1-15.Google Scholar
  7. Bekker, Marie H.J, Jany Rademakers, Ineke Mouthaan, Milleke Deneef, Wouter Huisman, Helma Vanzandvoort, & Anne Emans. 1996. Reconstructing hymens or constructing sexual inequality? Service provision to Islamic young women coping with the demand to be a virgin. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 6(5): 329-334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cameron, Samuel. 1994. A review of economic research on determinants of divorce. British Review of Economic Issues 17: 1-22.Google Scholar
  9. Cameron, Samuel & Alan Collins. 1999. Economics of dangerous liaisons: deliberate misrepresentation of preferences for entertainment. Rivista Internazionale di Scienza Economiche e Commerciali/International Review of Economics and Business 46(2): 285-300.Google Scholar
  10. Cindoglu, Dilek. 1997. Virginity tests and artificial virginity in modern Turkish medicine. Women's Studies International Forum 20(2): 253-261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cleland, John. 1748. Fanny Hill: memoirs of a woman of pleasure (reprinted in 1985) Penguin, London.Google Scholar
  12. Darling, Carol A & Kenneth J. Davidson. 1987. The relationship of sexual satisfaction to coital involvement the concept of technical virginity revisited. Deviant Behavior 8(1): 27-46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fair, Ray. 1978. A theory of extramarital affairs. Journal of Political Economy 86(1): 45-61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Folbre, Nancy. 1996. The economics of the family. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.Google Scholar
  15. Gibbons, Robert. 1997. An introduction to applicable game theory. Journal of Economic Perspectives 11(1): 127-150.Google Scholar
  16. Grossbard-Schechtman, Shoshana. 1993. On the economics of marriage: a theory of marriage, labor and divorce. Westview Press, Boulder CO.Google Scholar
  17. Herrera, Ana A. 1998. Virginity in Mexico: the role of competing discourses of sexuality in personal experience. Reproductive Health Matters 6(12): 105-115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keeley, Michael. 1979. An analysis of the age at first marriage. International Economic Review 2(2): 527-44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lehrer, Evelyn. 1995. The effects of religion on the labor supply of married women. Social Science Research 24: 281-381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lehrer Evelyn. 1996. Religion as a determinant of fertility. Journal of Population Economics 9: 173-96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lehrer Evelyn & Carmel Chiswick. 1993. Religion as a determinant of marital stability. Demography 30(3): 385-404.Google Scholar
  22. Lewis, Jane, Kathleen Kiernan & Helen Land. 1998. Lone motherhood in twentieth-century Britain: from footnote to front page. Clarendon Press, London.Google Scholar
  23. Lillard, Lee E. & Linda J. Waite. 1995. Til death do us part: marital disruption and mortality. American Journal of Sociology 100(5): 1131-1156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lommerud, Kjell. 1997. Battles of the sexes: non-cooperative games in the theory of the family. Pp. 44-64 In: Persson, Inge. & Christina Jonung. (eds.) Economics of the family and family policies. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  25. Markova, Dagmar. 1999. Love marriage and arranged marriage in India. Archiv Orientalni 67(1): 75-82.Google Scholar
  26. Meston, Cindy M., Julia R. Heiman & Paul D. Trapnell. 1999. The relation between early abuse and adult sexuality. Journal of Sex Research 36(4): 385-395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mincer, Jacob. 1962. Labor force participation of married women: a study of labor supply. In: H. Gregg Lewis (ed.) Aspects of labor economics. Princeton University Press, Princeton N.J.Google Scholar
  28. Nemecek, Ottokar. 1958. Virginity: pre-nuptial rites and rituals. Philosophical Library, New York.Google Scholar
  29. Pelin, Serap T.H. 1999. The question of virginity testing in Turkey. Bioethics 13: 256-261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Posner, Richard A. 1992. Sex and reason. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  31. Raine, Tina, Renee Jenkins, Sigrid J. Aarons, Kathy Woodward, Johnnie L. Fairfax, M. Nabil El Khorazaty & Allen Herman. 1999. Sociodemographic correlates of virginity in seventh-grade black and Latino students. Journal of Adolescent Health 24(5): 304-312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rodgers, Joseph, David C. Rowe & Maury Buster. 1999. Nature, nurture and first sexual intercourse in the USA: fitting behavioral genetic models to NLSY kinship data. Journal of Biosocial Science 31(1): 29-41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sawyer, Robin G. & Smith, Nancy G. 1996. A survey of situational factors at first intercourse among college students. American Journal of Health Behavior 20(4): 208-217.Google Scholar
  34. Scitovsky, Tibor. 1976. The joyless economy. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  35. Scott, George R. 1953. Curious customs of sex and marriage. Senate, London.Google Scholar
  36. Sheeran, Paschal, Dominic Abrams, Charles Abraham & Russel Spears. 1993. Religiosity and adolescents premarital sexual attitudes and behavior-an empirical study of conceptual issues. European Journal of Social Psychology 23(1): 39-52.Google Scholar
  37. Shorter, Edward. 1976. The making of the modern family. Collins, London.Google Scholar
  38. Smith, Adam. 1759. The theory of moral sentiments. 1853 edition reprinted 1976 with introduction by West, E. Liberty Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  39. Terrades-Saborit, Ignasi. 1972. Economic organization and the protection of virginity. Ethnica 3: 181-197.Google Scholar
  40. Trapnell, Paul, Cindy Meston & Boris Gorzalka. 1994. Gender differences in predictors of virginity status social dominance, self-rated attractiveness, and religiosity. Canadian Psychology-Psychologie Canadienne 35(2A): 149.Google Scholar
  41. Wilson, Edward O. 1975. Sociobiology: the new synthesis. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Collins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of PortsmouthHampshireUK

Personalised recommendations