Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Study Suggest Hobby Lobby About Maintaining Women's Economic Dependence on Men

New Study Helps Explain Why Hobby Lobby Supporters are so Fiercely Opposed to Birth Control

According to new research published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, the attitude that women shouldn’t be having sex can at least partly be traced back to the idea that women are supposed to be economically dependent on men.  The researchers suggest that this link may drive conservative religious communities’ insistence on sexual purity....


The researchers conclude that this outdated attitude toward women’s pregnancy risks and financial needs hasn’t totally gone away, despite the fact that modern contraception, legal abortion rights, and greater workplace equality have created an entirely different society.


“The beliefs may persist due to cultural evolutionary adaptive lag, that is, because the environment has changed faster than the moral system,” the paper concludes. “Religious and conservative moral systems may be anti-promiscuity because they themselves arose in environments where females depended heavily on male investment.”

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