Heterosexual men are more likely to play the field, and heterosexual women must compete for men’s attention.Most marriages are loosely arranged—“guided” is probably a better word—by matchmakers such as Elefant.The shadchan’s job has been made exceedingly difficult, she said, by a mysterious increase in the number of unmarried women within the Orthodox community.Of course, tales of scarce men and sexual permissiveness in ancient Sparta won’t convince everyone, so I began to explore the demographics of modern religion.
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.
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