Which group has it worse when trying to find somebody to marry? Men or women? My wife says single women have it harder. I’ve been inclined to think the men do.
“But I know plenty of marriageable men/women and they can’t find woman/man,” we can both say.
This article doesn’t address the Christian context, but I suspect that simply narrows both pools by about the same amount, leaving the basics the same as discussed in the article. I was already familiar with differing priorities between men and women, obviously, and I had thought some about the education and income “problems.”
What I found most interesting, though, was the discussion of essentially supply and demand affecting the compromises that men and women are willing to make. It makes sense once you consider it.
On colleges with more men than women, such as Caltech, steady relationships are more widespread. Students go on dates, and men demonstrate commitment in partnerships. Men are more willing to do what women want in order to be with them. On the other hand, when there is a surplus of women relative to men, women are more likely to adapt to men’s preferences. They compete with one another to be what men want. And this is what we see on campuses with more female students relative to male students. On colleges with more women than men, such as Sarah Lawrence, casual sex is more widespread. Hookup culture is more prevalent, and men are less interested in entering committed relationships. Women are more willing to do what men want in order to be with them.
Another interesting tidbit:
Interestingly, the sex difference in the male preference for casual sex and sexual variety is more pronounced in more gender-egalitarian societies.
Video games are also mentioned:
For now, many young men understand that women want educated and successful partners. Why not work harder to adapt to this preference? In their book, The Demise of Guys , psychologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan suggest that the answer is twofold: fake war and fake sex. They argue that many young men have a natural desire for conflict, struggle, and accomplishment. Video games satiate this desire.
And from the conclusion:
There are far more educated women than educated men. Women generally prefer men who are at least as successful as themselves. This pool of men is small, and continues to shrink. And among couples in which the woman has more education, they tend to prefer men who earn more than themselves. But the reality is that fewer young men are graduating from college compared to women, fewer men are employed, and fewer men are seeking employment. In such an environment, hookup culture becomes more widespread, which women tend not to enjoy as much as men. The romantic landscape is rosy for educated and successful men, who are more open to dating both successful and less successful women. But for women, the situation doesn’t look as favorable. Research suggests in such an environment, sexual competition between women intensifies. In fact, a recent study found that the proliferation of “sexy selfies” may be due in part to economic inequality, as women compete to earn the attention of a shrinking pool of economically successful men…
The good news, though, is that among romantic pairings in which both individuals are educated, they tend to be happier. Their divorce rates are lower and their satisfaction with their marriages is higher. But as the incentives continue to shift, monogamous expectations dwindle, and imbalanced ratios continue to influence the dating pool for the educated, we may see fewer such couplings.
What say you? An open and shut answer to the disagreement I’ve had with my wife?