In my review of Mark Regnerus’s book, Cheap Sex, I wrote: “The book is an extended rant on the theme, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ wrapped in a misogynist theory about sexual exchange masquerading as economics, and motivated by the author’s misogynist religious and political views.”
Someone just reposted an old book-rehash essay of Regnerus’s called, “The Death of Eros.” In it he links to my post documenting the decline in sexual frequency among married couples in the General Social Survey. In marriage, Regnerus writes, “equality is the enemy of eros,” before selectively characterizing some research about the relationship between housework and sex. (Here’s a recent analysis finding egalitarian couples don’t have sex less.)
But I realized I never looked at sexual frequency in married couples by the relative education of the spouses, which is available in the GSS. So here’s a quick take: Married man-woman couples in which the wife has equal or more education don’t have sex less frequently.
I modeled sexual frequency (an interval scale from “not at all” = 0 to “4+ times per week” = 6 as a function of age, age-squared, respondent education, respondent sex, decade, and relative education (wife has lower degree, wife has same degree, wife has higher degree). The result is in this figure. Note the means are between 3 (“2-3 times per month”) and 4 (“weekly”). Stata code for GSS below.
OK, that’s it. Here’s the code (I prettied the figure a little by hand afterwards):
*keep married people keep if marital==1 * with non-missing own and spouse education keep if spdeg<4 & degree<4 recode age (18/29=18) (30/39=30) (40/49=40) (50/59=50) (60/109=60), gen(agecat) recode year (1970/1979=1970) (1980/1989=1980) (1990/1999=1990) (2000/2008=2000) (2010/2016=2010), gen(decade) gen erosdead = spdeg>degree gen equal=spdeg==degree gen eros=0 replace eros=1 if spdeg<degree & sex==1 replace eros=2 if spdeg==degree replace eros=3 if spdeg>degree & sex==1 replace eros=1 if spdeg>degree & sex==2 replace eros=3 if spdeg<degree & sex==2 label define de 1 "wife less" label define de 2 "equal", add label define de 3 "wife more", add label values eros de reg sexfreq i.sex i.agecat i.decade i.degree i.eros [weight=wtssall] reg sexfreq i.sex c.age##c.age i.degree i.eros##i.decade [weight=wtssall] margins i.eros##i.decade marginsplot, recast(bar) by(decade)
Note: On 25 Dec 2018 I fixed a coding error and replaced the figure; the results are the same.