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Why buy the cow when the milk is free? That statement may be more true than ever. As marriage rates continue to decline for Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, one sociologist is putting the blame on cheap sex.

Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at University of Texas at Austin, published a book earlier this year called "Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy," in which he argues that the availability of cheap sex has resulted in men being less interested in getting married. Simply put, their motivation for marriage has disappeared.

In his book, Regnerus also blames cheap sex for a decline in employment and education rates among young men. And while women may think men just don't want to walk down the aisle because they have a fear of commitment, Regnerus argues in his book that it's cheap sex to blame. Many moons ago women and men wouldn't even dream of having sex before walking down the aisle. But now, men can get sex without having to wine and dine a woman first or make a commitment to her.

Regnerus also writes in his book that the availability of online porn has made access to sex a 24/7 reality.

In an interview with the Catholic World Report that was published in October, Regnerus said cheap sex has changed romantic relationships, and not for the better. "It has speed up how quickly relationships become sexual, slowed down the progress of those relationships toward marriage, and made many men and women less certain about the person they're with."

In this Forever 39 episode, we explore the issue of cheap sex and what women need to do if marriage is the goal.

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast —  How to make healthy habits stick. PLUS: Our paranormal experiences revealed. Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

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— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about ways to reduce stress during the holidays, why more attached Americans are living separately, and whether revealing your salary is a smart move in the workplace.

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