Apps like Tinder are a symptom of gender imbalance in the dating market. He, in turn, is baffled by her unwillingness to carry on a casual affair.
Given the shortage of young men in post-World War I Europe — 10 million soldiers died and 20 million were wounded, many grievously — Bernard wonders why any bachelor would want to settle down. In , 34 percent more women than men graduated from American colleges, and the U.
Department of Education expects this gap to reach 47 percent by The imbalance has spilled over into the post-college dating scene. In other words, the dating pool for straight, millennial, college graduates has four women for every three men. When there are plenty of marriageable men, dating culture emphasizes courtship and romance, and men generally must earn more to attract a wife.
But when gender ratios skew toward women, as they do today among college grads, the dating culture becomes more sexualized. The good news, at least according to the work of psychologists and sex-ratio pioneers Marcia Guttentag and Paul Secord , is that people tend to have better sex when ratios skew female.
Women frequently wind up being treated as sex objects, and men are more inclined to exercise the option to delay marriage and play the field. But according to separate research by University of Pennsylvania economist Jeremy Greenwood and by UCLA sociologists Christine Schwartz and Robert Mare , educational intermarriage is less common today than at any point over the past half century.
Because the pool of college-educated women is much larger, the unwillingness of college-educated men to consider working-class women as life partners has little statistical effect on their marriage prospects. But for college-educated women, excluding working-class guys makes their dating math much more challenging. If there is an undersupply of men in the college-educated dating pool, there is going to be an oversupply of men in the non-college-educated one.
Indeed, there are 1. The dynamics, and numbers, shift when we expand the conversation from different-sex to same-sex dating. Obviously the lesbian dating market is unaffected by how many men there are, just as the dating market for gay men is unaffected by how many women there are. However, gender ratios within the LGBT community do affect different-sex dating, oddly enough.
Consequently, the different-sex dating markets in these cities are worse for women than the overall census numbers imply. Regardless of orientation, not all women, of course, place a premium on marriage, or even monogamy. But for the straight, college-educated woman who is eager to get married and start a family, the question becomes how best to deal with a dating market in which men have too much leverage. Call it the musical chairs problem: Nearly everybody finds a chair in the first round.
Similarly, in a dating pool that starts out with women and men, the gender ratio among those still single soars from 1. Another solution at least for the frustrated women interviewed by Vanity Fair would be to quit Manhattan, which is one of the worst dating markets in the country for educated young women. California and Colorado, for example, each have 20 percent more college-grad women than men age 22 to 29 compared with 36 and 41 percent, respectively, in Illinois and North Carolina.
Consider Santa Clara County, Calif. Among college-grad women in their 30s, 4 percent are separated or divorced vs. Just goes to show that demographics trump technology, even in the land of a million apps. Your subscription supports journalism that matters.