Creating a Great Dating Profile on Our What to do When You, Me and the Ex Makes Three?
Post-Divorce Dating Tips for Men Single in the Suburbs and Searching for Love?
Let's say you met an over-educated, underemployed, thirty-something man who seemed incapable of holding down a relationship, and who was known to date up to half-a-dozen women at a time after meeting them online.
If you had to come up with a single theory to explain his desultory love life, what would it be? His article in this month's Atlantic, "A Million First Dates," argues that online matchmaking services like OKCupid and e Harmony are so powerful that they are bound to infect us all with a collective case of romantic ADHD -- or, as he puts it, that "the rise of online dating will mean an overall decrease in commitment." The impulse to search for "an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse" will prove so intoxicating over the long term, he writes, that it could undermine the very notions of marriage and monogamy.
But in fact, social scientists have been researching the society-wide effect of sex ratios on marriages and relationships since the early 20th century, and some of the evidence suggests that when there are excess women around, young men are less likely to commit.
In 1983, Marcia Guttentag and Robert Secord posited the theory that in female-heavy populations, men would become more promiscuous, and that in male-heavy populations, they'd become more faithful.
The things is, there are much, much bigger social forces at work in this country that could explain Jacob's love life than the irresistible charms of a well-curated profile.
Take, for instance, the enormous shortage of college educated men in Portland, Jacob's hometown.
Much of their thinking seemed to be confirmed in an analysis of 117 countries by Scott South and Katherine Trent.
The pair found that, in developed countries, having a higher ratio of men led to more marriage for women, less divorce, and fewer illegitimate children.
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