When Will Women Tolerate Sex-Based Advertising? A Sexual Economics Perspective



This paper draws on Sexual Economics Theory (SET) to examine women’s instinctive attitudes towards the gratuitous use of sex in advertising. SET claims that sex is a resource that women possess and men want, and that women accordingly prefer sex to be thought of as rare, exclusive, and of high worth. In line with SET, women’s spontaneous dislike of sexual ads softened when the ad could be interpreted in terms of resources being offered by men to women, or when the ad associated sex with high worth (e.g., an expensive product). These results constitute the first empirical support for Sexual Economics Theory.
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Dr. B. Donkers