Summary of Erotic Capital

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Erotic Capital book summary


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Catherine Hakim’s theory of “erotic capital” is controversial, not least because women tend to believe that relying on looks and charm to catch a man or get a promotion are subterfuges best left behind in the 1950s. Hakim, a social scientist, proposes that all women should become as attractive as possible and then exploit their sexual power. She explains that the “male sex deficit,” the idea that men always want more sex than they get, raises the value of women’s erotic capital. Hakim claims that radical feminists, religion and patriarchal society currently foil this feminine advantage. Although the beauty bias is not a new concept, Hakim’s reinterpretation raises the stakes. Alas, though she supports women in general, Hakim proves consistently unkind to males, Americans, lesbians, feminists, the overweight and the religious. Nonetheless, for a new perspective on the advantages of attractiveness and on the gender conversation, getAbstract suggests Hakim’s thought-provoking thesis.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How you can employ “erotic capital” to your advantage,
  • How the “male sex deficit” effects the power balance between men and women, and
  • Why women in Western societies don’t exploit their advantage over men.

About the Author

Catherine Hakim, a British sociologist and expert on women’s issues, is a professor at the London School of Economics.



A Tale of Two Sisters
The story of sisters Isabelle and Pamela illustrates the power of “erotic capital.” The girls grew up in a loving, privileged home and received the same advantages in education and extracurricular activities. The siblings are now in their 40s, and their differences...

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