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‘Cheap Sex?’ Why Some Men May Be Turning Away from Marriage

Men in the U.S. are turning away from the altar because they have a greater access to sex, one author concludes.

In his book, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, sociologist Mark Regnerus argues that “cheap sex” is the reason for the declining rate of men who get married.

According to the New York Post, the share of Americans ages 25-34 who are married dropped 13 percentage points from 2000 to 2014. The term is rooted in economics and refers to sex that has very little cost in terms of time and emotional investment. This gives it very little value.

Regents arrived at his conclusions in part thanks to the work of British social theorist Anthony Giddens. Giddens argued that the birth control pill isolated sex from marriage and children. Online pornography as well as dating sites also make sex relatively easy and accessible for men.

As a result, “two overlapping (but distinctive) markets, one for sex and one for marriage, with a rather large territory in between comprised of significant relationships of varying commitment and duration,” Regnerus writes.

He further asserts that previously, women generally made men wait until marriage to engage in sexual activity.

“To get a wife (and, therefore, sex), men had to be clean and presentable and have a good job,” the NY Post wrote. “This, Regnerus reasons, gave men all the motivation they needed to become respectable members of society. Now with porn on demand and greater reproductive freedom, sex is a commodity available at any time. This has left men with little motivation for marriage …”


Do you think men are turning away from marriage because they’re able to have their sexual needs met without it? Sound off in the comments.

  • Robert

    Amazing but true in this day. Women who want to be seen as more than meat have lowered the standard to the chooser of meat. Blame cannot alone be laid at the feet of man.


      can’t blame women, technology, economics play a huge role. These are the things our women are competing with. fighting a losing battle. On a case by case basis, women need to just hold out, that right dude will come along.. he may not look as how you expected…….. a different article..

      • Hawkeye down

        Women dress more provocative act loose and unprofessional conduct at work, look this system is not built for eye candy it’s built for production. So unless they are in the entertainment industry they need to be more conservative. Men will seemingly always try to get more than they deserve at work.

  • Guest

    No one want to talk about the men esp. the many black men that are unemployed, under employed and do not get married because they have no income to support a family or were caught up in the mass incarceration of black males for crimes whites get a slap on the wrist and rehab for. The black unemployment is twice as high that of other races. If a man cannot get a decent job why would he marry if he can barely support himself?

  • PS1

    People aren’t getting married at previous rates because-brace yourself-they no longer have to.
    For millennia, marriage was women’s only way of leaving their parents’ homes. Now, they don’t have to settle for the loser down the block(as their mothers did), and can wait until they meet the man of their dreams/goals. As a consequence, that frees men to pursue the kind of women they really want, too.