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Social Change: The Sexual Revolution

  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Nezih Guner

In 1900 only 6% of unwed teenage females engaged in premarital sex. Now, three quarters do. The sexual revolution is studied here using an equilibrium matching model, where the costs of premarital sex fall over time due to technological improvement in contraceptives. Individuals differ in their desire for sex. Given this, people tend to circulate in social groups where prospective partners share their views on premarital sex. To the extent that society's customs and mores reflect the aggregation of decentralized decision making by its members, shifts in the economic environment may induce changes in what is perceived as culture.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 893-923

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:51:y:2010:i:4:p:893-923
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