We keep hearing that young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life.Their financial prospects are impaired—earnings for 25- to 34-year-old men have fallen by 20 percent since 1971.And yet there is one area in which men are very much in charge: premarital heterosexual relationships.When attractive women will still bed you, life for young men, even those who are floundering, just isn't so bad.But websites that promise to match older wealthy men with young attractive women have been thriving in America for years; one of the most popular – Seeking Arrangement.com, which bills itself as a place “where the attractive meet the affluent” – claims to have a million subscribers, with 10 women for every man.It has just launched in the UK, where it is already boasting 80,000 members.
To prepare, all of us on the team had to create a profile.
Instead, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (which collects data well into adulthood), none of these things is occurring. The terms of contemporary sexual relationships favor men and what they want in relationships, not just despite the fact that what they have to offer has diminished, but in part because of it. To better understand what's going on, it's worth a crash course in "sexual economics," an approach best articulated by social psychologists Roy Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs.