That’s the one thing that always came up when I’d discuss theories on declining marriage rates or the rise of the hookup culture with my friends or family. In reality, these values have ebbed and flowed throughout history, often in conjunction with prevailing sex ratios. Multiple studies show that college-educated Americans are increasingly reluctant to marry those lacking a college degree. It’s not that He’s Just Not That Into You—it’s that There Just Aren’t Enough of Him.
Times have changed, and that is a good thing—especially the fading-away of cruel taboos that once stigmatized women who engaged in premarital sex or bore children out of wedlock. The values question assumes that sexual mores loosen naturally from conservative to liberal. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, there are 5.5 million college-educated women in the U. between the ages of 22 and 29 versus 4.1 million such men. Among college grads age 30 to 39, there are 7.4 million women versus 6.0 million men—five women for every four men.
Of course, tales of scarce men and sexual permissiveness in ancient Sparta won’t convince everyone, so I began to explore the demographics of modern religion.
According to the ARIS study, there are now 150 Mormon women for every 100 Mormon men in the state of Utah—a 50 percent oversupply of women.
On a lark, I emailed my friend Cynthia Bowman,* a devout Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake City and returns there often, and asked her whether Mormon sex ratios are as lopsided as the ARIS study claimed.
Premarital sex remains taboo for Mormons, but the shortage of Mormon men was pushing some women over the brink.
“There might actually be a more promiscuous dating culture than there otherwise would be in the Mormon culture because of this gap.” Months later, still neck-deep in Mormon research, I got lucky again.
[Editor’s note: “Cynthia Bowman” is a pseudonym, as are other names denoted with an asterisk.
Some biographical details have been altered to hide their identities.] Yes, she told me, the ratios are lopsided. “They wait for the next, more perfect woman,” grumbled Bowman, a veterinarian in San Diego.
Today, mainstream dating guides tell the everything-going-for-her career woman it’s her fault she’s still single—she just needs to play hard to get or follow a few simple rules to snag Mr. This bias is having a devastating impact on the dating market for college-educated women. Lopsided gender ratios don’t just make it statistically harder for college-educated women to find a match. According to sociologists, economists and psychologists who have studied sex ratios throughout history, the culture is less likely to emphasize courtship and monogamy when women are in oversupply.
Heterosexual men are more likely to play the field, and heterosexual women must compete for men’s attention.
I received an email from a hedge fund manager who wanted to talk to me about a job.