Sunday, September 03, 2006

Incentives and Oral Sex

While Marginal Revolution won't talk about Oral Sex, this blog will. Tim Harford has a great short piece in Slate on the much talked about increase in teenage oral sex. From the article:

The rest is basic economics. When the price of Coca-Cola rises, rational cola-lovers drink more Pepsi. When the price of penetrative sex rises, rational teenagers seek substitutes. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that even as the oral-sex epidemic rages, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the percentage of teenage virgins has risen by more than 15 percent since the beginning of the 1990s. Those who are still having sex have switched to using birth-control methods that will also protect them from sexually transmitted infections. Use of the contraceptive pill is down by nearly a fifth, but use of condoms is up by more than a third. The oral-sex epidemic is a rational response to a rise in the price of the alternative.

Do you think this will raise the interest of an 18 year old undergrad in a principles class? Probably, too bad I can't send the link to my colleagues as a few of them are so uptight they might file a sexual harassment grievance against me. Its a shame really.

Keywords: Sex

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