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“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.
The LDS church actually has one of the most lopsided gender ratios of any religion in the United States.“I don’t sleep at night anymore,” said Elefant, a shadchan—or Jewish matchmaker—affiliated with the Ohr Naava: Women’s Torah Center in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn.“My own sister is thirty-seven, educated, accomplished, attractive, and single.I wanted to show that god-fearing folks steeped in old-fashioned values are just as susceptible to the effects of shifting sex ratios as cosmopolitan, hookup-happy 20-somethings who frequent Upper East Side wine bars. One of my web searches turned up a study from Trinity College’s American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) on the demographics of Mormons.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.It’s total chaos.” For Orthodox Jewish women, as for Mormon ones, getting married and having children is more than a lifestyle choice.
Marriage and motherhood are essentially spiritual obligations, which is why the Orthodox marriage crisis is so hotly debated and why it has earned its own moniker.
I called back to thank him but explained I was busy writing a book.
He asked what the book was about, and I wound up telling him about the Mormon marriage crisis.
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. 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.
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.
And just as I predicted, lopsided gender ratios affect conservative religious communities in much the same way they affect secular ones.