I think we are in rather desperate need of a sharp, rigorous cooperative/empathic economics that goes after this kind of thing with intellectual brutality and compassion for all of us struggling with love relationships:
This research tests new theory, entitled Sexual Economics, which seeks to predict differences in heterosexual sexual behavior as viewed from a social exchange framework (Baumeister and Vohs, 2003). The theory starts with the premise that sex is a commodity that women possess and that men want. Because women are the gatekeepers of sex (Baumeister, Catanese, and Vohs, 2001), men must offer resources (e.g., time, money, respect, attention, commitment) to obtain it from women. From this perspective, women act like sellers and men act like buyers and each gender’s behavior can be understood as individual and gender-wide attempts to maximize utility. Three studies tested the model and its implications.
On the other hand, this piece could be very helpful for anyone wanting to explain what “commodification” means.
Download the file below.