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From Shame to Game in One Hundred Years: An Economic Model of the Rise in Premarital Sex and its De-Stigmatization

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  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Greenwood, Jeremy

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Guner, Nezih

    (CEMFI, Madrid)

Abstract

Societies socialize children about many things, including sex. Socialization is costly. It uses scarce resources, such as time and effort. Parents weigh the marginal gains from socialization against its costs. Those at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale indoctrinate their daughters less than others about the perils of premarital sex, because the latter will lose less from an out-of-wedlock birth. Modern contraceptives have profoundly affected the calculus for instilling sexual mores, leading to a de-stigmatization of sex. As contraception has become more effective there is less need for parents, churches and states to inculcate sexual mores. Technology affects culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2010. "From Shame to Game in One Hundred Years: An Economic Model of the Rise in Premarital Sex and its De-Stigmatization," IZA Discussion Papers 4708, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4708
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    stigmatization; socialization; children; church and state; contraception; culture; parents; premarital sex; out-of-wedlock births; technological progress;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models

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