Alagi Yorro Jallow
Fatoumatta: An alternative perspective to be enlightened and not have a closed mind. The writeup requires profound intellectual and matured understanding to decode the oldest human profession, prostitution. Not for closed the average mind! There have been too many social media debates recently on social media and at kitchen dining tables, mostly from emotional, religious, and moralistic views, on prostitution now the newly accepted rebranding word”sex workers” following recent social media commentaries and newspaper headlines about sex workers and their legality in our society. The problem with emotional, religious, and moralistic perspectives on anything is people’s dogmatic approach to a social phenomenon and their failure to accommodate alternative perspectives. This post is not about academic and professional perspectives on the subject. However, theoretical perspectives and sociological perspectives of sexual exploitation of sex workers from a historical perspective since women have a harsher attitude and tag towards prostitution than men, especially the heated debate in feminism circles.
Fatoumatta: There are many scholarly/professional perspectives on sexual and familial relations. The economic perspectives use the tools of microeconomic theory to explain sexual and familial relations. These theoretical and sociological perspectives are to be found in, among other things, Frederick Engels, Richard Posner, David Friedman, and Marina Adshade. According to their perspective, there is a market for sex and love. In this market, the buyers are predominantly men, while the sellers are predominantly women. Now, economics is founded on the concepts of rationality, demand, supply, and efficiency.
In the sex/love market, women, in their capacity as sellers and driven purely by the rational desire to maximize profit, tend to prefer arrangements that limit the supply of sex. On the other hand, men, driven purely by the rational desire to maximize utility, prefer arrangements that increase supply and lower the cost. This is why women in the sex workers industry generally tend to be more judgmental and critical of other men and women who supply sex quickly and cheaply. According to the economic perspective, the decision to date or marry someone has more to do with rational cost-benefit analysis than those emotional subterfuges called love, affection, and kindred sentiments.
Fatoumatta: Moreover, why do people demand faithfulness and long-term commitment in love and marriage? Again, it is purely for economic reasons. Your spouse’s or lover’s insistence on fidelity is driven more by the fear of the economic costs of polyandrous unions. Those costs include STDs and external children, all of which tend to diminish economic resources. In particular, the woman’s concern is that if the other woman conceives, the man will be constrained to commit a portion of his resources to maintain the other family, which would diminish the pool of resources available for her and her children.
Fatoumatta: On the other hand, the man’s concern has everything to do with the fear of spending his resources on the education and maintenance of children sired by other men. Both men and women want long-term commitments in these matters because of the recoverability of sunk costs and the diminished prospects of getting a suitable replacement if the spouse or lover attempts to bolt after the lapse of an extended period. It is for the same reason we prefer pensionable to non-pensionable employment arrangements. We want security in our less marketable post-retirement years.
Fatoumatta: In short, prostitution, sex working, and love have more to do with economics than you might think at first glance. That is why in most non-conservative societies, some rights activists hate anti-prostitution laws which they deemed and misogynistic and terms like whore, prostitute, digger, etc., as they unfairly discourage unmarried women from exploiting a resource (i.e., sex industry ) that married women exploit in precisely the same way. All of us, both men and women, are whores, hoes, and gold diggers in this game. So, the next time your spouse or sexual partner says that their decision to date or marry you was based exclusively on that thing they call love, or similar emotional nonsense, know you are sharing your life with a liar. Attributing women as prostitution is misogynist and discriminatory; it hurts women more than the men savvy prostitution in their object or effect.
Alagi Yorro Jallow