Dollars and Sex

Non-fiction, published 2013, author Marina Adshade

4 stars (out of 5)

The title may give the false impression that this non-fiction work only addresses relationships in terms of exchange of money (it does discuss the topic of prostitution), but this Freakonomics-style book actually attempts to explain how we choose our dating, marriage, and sex partners through the rubric of supply and demand.

In one chapter, armed with data provided by an online dating website, the author analyzes how users choose the partners they do.  What is the influence of race? income? height? beauty?  How do some users sabotage their own chances?

This is a very fast-paced book, with clear and concise summaries of the relevant research, presented in a page-turning fashion, reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell’s style.  I appreciate that the author was careful to describe the research in such a way that did not distort the findings (eg. the author never makes sloppy conclusions, like mistaking correlation for causation).  My only complaint is that the pace is so fast that I need a second read to fully digest all the interesting facts.