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Does Television Kill Your Sex Life? Microeconometric Evidence from 80 Countries

Adrienne Lucas, Nicholas Wilson

NBER Working Paper No. 24882
Issued in August 2018, Revised in June 2019
NBER Program(s):Program on Children, Development Economics Program, Health Economics Program

The canonical consumer demand model predicts that as the price of a substitute decreases, quantity demanded for a good decreases. In the case of demand for sexual activity and availability of alternative leisure activities, popular culture expresses this prediction as “television kills your sex life.” This paper examines the association between television ownership and coital frequency using data from nearly 4 million individuals in national household surveys in 80 countries from 5 continents. The results suggest that while television may not kill your sex life, it is associated with some sex life morbidity. Under our most conservative estimate, we find that television ownership is associated with approximately a 6% reduction in the likelihood of having had sex in the past week, consistent with a small degree of substitutability between television viewing and sexual activity. Household wealth and reproductive health knowledge do not appear to be driving this association.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24882

Published: Lucas Adrienne M. & Wilson Nicholas L., 2019. "Does Television Kill Your Sex Life? Microeconometric Evidence from 80 Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(4), pages 1-16, October. citation courtesy of

 
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