Laurie Rudman, Rutgers

Lecture title:

Myths of Sexual Economics Theory: Implications for Gender Equality


Laurie Rudman, Rutgers

Speaker(s) Web Pages:

Semester: Winter 2017

Date: Friday, April 7, 2017

Time: 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Venue: Room R1220, Ross School of Business

Additional Notes:

Laurie A. Rudman is a Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Her research examines how implicit and explicit biases deter gender and racial equality. The author of over 70 peer-reviewed publications and four books, including, The Social Psychology of Gender: How Power and Intimacy Shape Gender Relations (with Peter Glick) and Implicit Measures for Social and Personality Psychology, Dr. Rudman is the outgoing Editor for Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Her honors and awards include a National Research Service Award (National Institutes of Health), the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award (2015), and twice winner of the Gordon Allport Prize for the best paper on intergroup relations, given annually by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.


Sexual economics theory identifies women as solely responsible for suppressing female sexuality (Baumeister & Twenge, 2002; Baumeister & Vohs, 2004). This conclusion rests on women’s putative motives to protect the market value of their sexual favors, whereas men will resist anything that reduces the availability of sex, or raises its price. Direct tests of sexual economics theory reveal that, on the contrary, men are more supportive of the sexual double standard and sexual exchange compared with women, and that these gender differences are explained by men’s resistance to female empowerment (Rudman, Sanchez, & Fetterolf, 2013; Rudman & Fetterolf, 2014). Sexual economics theory mistakenly points the finger at women because its authors overlook men’s investment in patriarchy and women’s desire to overturn it.

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