Pilar Gonalons-Pons, GSWS/APC Steering Committee Member, critiques “Sexist Cheap Shots”

April 2, 2019

Pilar Gonalons-Pons critique on Mark  Regnerus' theory about how casual sex undermines families, masculinity, and the economy:

"Reading the news today one cannot help but notice that the gendered sexual order is in crisis. As shockwaves of the #MeToo movement run through different occupational sectors, we scholars of gender, sexuality, and family look on with ample curiosity and cautious hope. The enormous shift in public attitudes toward sexual harassment—dare we remember what happened when Anita Hill testified about sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas in the early 1990s?—provides the backdrop for the release of Mark Regnerus’s Cheap Sex, helpfully subtitled The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy. Indeed, Regnerus focuses his book on social transformation that verges on crisis.

But it may not be the crisis that readers expect.

At the heart of Cheap Sex is the argument that contraceptive technologies (i.e., the Pill), the rise of online pornography, and online dating eased access to sex, flooding the modern mating market with “cheap sex.” But more than merely observing this shift, Regnerus raises an alarm: cheap sex, in his estimation, is responsible for declining marriage, men’s falling economic achievement, and women’s relational dissatisfaction. At its core, this book advocates for the return to a conservative social order. Lest this sound too much like the “elegy for a lost era” (p. 6) he denies he is writing, Regnerus at least wants to recast delaying sex until marriage as the true feminist panacea. Cheap sex, he says, is not a reflection of women’s empowerment in society, but a result of women’s “subjugation to men’s interests” (p. 214)."

Read the rest of the review.