And just as I predicted, lopsided gender ratios affect conservative religious communities in much the same way they affect secular ones.At first glance, the state of Utah—60 percent Mormon and home of the LDS church—looks like the wrong place to study what I like to call the man deficit.“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.
“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.She shared stories of devout Mormon women who wound up marrying outside the religion—officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—simply because they had no other options. ”—who gave up on finding a husband and decided to have children on their own.Said Hunt, “My heartstrings are pulled daily.” wo thousand miles away in New York City, Lisa Elefant knows exactly what Hunt is feeling.I told her to freeze her eggs.” Secular-style dating is rare in the Orthodox community in which Elefant lives.
Most marriages are loosely arranged—“guided” is probably a better word—by matchmakers such as Elefant.But lurking beneath the Census data is a demographic anomaly that makes Utah a textbook example of how shifting gender ratios alter behavior.The LDS church actually has one of the most lopsided gender ratios of any religion in the United States.Shidduch is the Hebrew word for a marriage match, and Orthodox Jews (including the more assimilated Modern Orthodox) now refer to the excess supply of unmarried women in their communities as the Shidduch Crisis. Or maybe it’s the women who are holding out for the Mormon or Jewish George Clooney?Mormon and Orthodox Jewish leaders alike fear that their respective marriage crises reflect some failure to instill proper values in young people. In fact, the root causes of both the Shidduch Crisis and the Mormon marriage crisis have little to do with culture or religion. The fact is that there are more marriage-age women than men both in the Orthodox Jewish community and in the Utah LDS church. 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.