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July 13, 2006

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The term Woman Shortage, at least in its capitalized sense, is sort of my creation. The most recent posting on Mr. Mangan's blog has my e-mail to him explaining the phenomenon. It's not so much that all men face a shortage of women, it's that so-called Alpha males take more than their fair share of women and leave lesser men out (via the processes of de facto polygamy and serial monogamy, as I explain in the e-mail).
Not that it's much consolation for the men who lose out, but there are strong evolutionary reasons why women flock to Alpha males; women's eggs are the limiting quality in reproduction, and basic human nature compels women to dole out their eggs (so to speak) to only the fittest men. Survival of the species, and all that. Of course this is somewhat obsolete today now that we're long past the Neanderthal stage. In strictly evolutionary terms, the Star Trek nerd whom women scorn is just as capable of ensuring survival of the species as is the BMW-driving former fratboy and current investment banker, whom women flock to like flies to a turd.
So the next time you turn on the TV and see one of those ubiquitous ads for e-harmony.com, with Dr. Neil Clark Warren and a series of happy couples, do not forget that the company's membership base is probably 90% male or more. And sadly that's not unusual.

True, but i think you have to take into account the "quality" of the singles, there are far more men than women who are/have been incarcerated, alcoholics, violent, people who you wouldn't want to raise your child.

True, but i think you have to take into account the "quality" of the singles, there are far more men than women who are/have been incarcerated, alcoholics, violent, people who you wouldn't want to raise your child.

There are a lot of fat women who men find physically unattractive, despite the fact that they aren't necessarily bad in any other way.

SFG's right -- and this seems to apply no matter what the guy looks like himself ;).

I know the 105-to-100 birth ratio, but I read elsewhere that it evens out by the 30s. More men die in childhood or early adulthood. I don't see how the gap can *increase* by adulthood to 117, a/t this guy.

Like Christy said, a lot more men are locked up. A lot of women write to these guys and have "relationships," but they're probably not women SFG would consider a loss to the pool. I wonder how many of the allegedly leftover guys are concentrated at the bottom of society. Like, for middle-class guys 28-35, is there the same shortage in the pool? If we defined "pool" as all the guys with that status, and all the women that age who might have sex with them without direct payment. Maybe we could make a further cut of those women for similar status. Would there still be a shortage?

IMO, one problem that creates a false shortage is that it's simply harder for women to get out than men. It's easier for a guy to get a wingman, or even go out alone, but a woman can't do the latter. If she doesn't have fun and cooperative friends, she's dead in the water.

My observation is that there are roughly the same numbers of men and women of similar age, status and appearance who are involuntarily single. The reason is always one of two things: 1 -- lack of social ties, or 2 -- don't want anyone at their level of desirability.

I don't see how the gap can *increase*

It can increase because men on average marry women considerably younger than they are. So *for a given age bracket*, the ratio can be further skewed, as for example some of the 20-30yr old single women are taken out of circulation by 30-40yr old men. I would assume that in the 40-50 and up brackets the ratio reverses, as many of the divorced men will have found younger women to marry while fewer of the women can do so. FWIW I believe that the ratio of single women to single men for 70-80+ yr olds is very high, though I expect that's not much consolation to the young.

Evo psych wise, contentment isn't a winning strategy. Your genes want you to pursue mates that are frustratingly at the limit of your ability to obtain :-P.

P.S. If that many women in their 20s and 30s are marrying substantially older men, they must be concentrated in some group or geographic area I'm not around. Maybe wealthy people? When I've seen older men marry younger women, it's usually like, a guy who's 55 marries a woman who is 42.

That is why Alpha males favor war to get rid of even more young male at lower end of social class. This will leave more young fertile females for alpha males to play with.

This is just a question as I assumed, perhaps wrongly it seems that boys/men died younger due to car accidents, work related accidents, being more of a daredevil than most girls/women, which would make the ratio much closer as the men got older. Also, of course war plays a part in the stats as well.

I also know that that lifestyles have changed over the last 20+ years. More women are taking on more dangerous jobs, they are entering the military, they are becoming more adventurous in life than their mothers and grandmothers. This would make the gap close a bit more. Also, women are waiting to marry and marrying younger men instead of older men. This seems to be a new trend.

Where do you find your info? Thanks!

I wish someone would define the characteristics of a *human* alpha male. My understanding is, "alpha male" refers to the biggest and most successfully physically aggressive male in a group of animals, like chimpanzees. Yet, in human males, being the biggest and most physically aggressive seems to lead to prison more often than it leads to success. Especially outside the very lower classes. Men gain more desirability through making or having money, an option not open to other monkeys.

Wouldn't Bill Gates count as an alpha male? He's no knuckle-dragger. How about that Duke lacrosse player Colin Finnerty (scandal aside)? He looks like Clay Aiken, yet his dad's rich, he goes to a fairly prestigious school, plays a contact team sport and has a mean temper. For that matter, isn't Clay Aiken an alpha male?

I saw a study that said women have evolved to search for the best provider/protector -- then, *cheat* on him with the best-looking, fittest guy. Thus, the children have both resources and good genes. So, you have two different types of guys getting sex. Is the "woman shortage" a shortage of women just to have sex with, or to settle down and have children with?

If you can afford hamburgers, there's always Third World pussy. Just ask the Bulletproof Pimp.

If that many women in their 20s and 30s are marrying substantially older men

The difference doesn't need to be all that substantial to get a 1.2:1 ratio. Average age difference is about three years in America; median age for first marriage is 25 for women and 27 for men. This alone doesn't give enough information to calculate an age bracket singles ratio, but if you draw some curves on a napkin you can pretty easily show that the ratio is plausible based on those figures.

spungen - yeah, the 'alpha male' thing (as applied to humans) is kind of overdone. Somehow millions of everyday men and women get it on and have kids without chest-beating rituals of dominance entering the picture. Between having a grain of truth in it and being a useful excuse for all sorts of behavior it seems to stay in currency, though.

women have evolved to search for the best provider/protector -- then, *cheat* on him with the best-looking, fittest guy.

So they say. Given that historical levels of female fidelity seem fairly high based on genetic data (like 90-98% depending on culture), it doesn't seem like this is really the primary strategy - more like a useful alternate strategy under certain circumstances.

"I wish someone would define the characteristics of a *human* alpha male."
Rich and powerful guy. Being a beer-swilling fratboy helps you get rich and powerful, but as in the case of Gates there are compensating factors. Keep in mind that only the founding member of the dynasty has to be bloody, bold, and resolute; the descendants can be cautious guys who safeguard their capital. Bill Gates can be a geek because one of his ancestors wasn't. Remember that everyone is a mix of genes, and geeky guys can have jocky sons or vice versa. Also note that since the optimal mix of traits is probably some sort of intermediate range in many areas (ie you want to be smart but not too smart) so it's possible for successful guys to have sons who don't fit the successful phenotype. Stupid example, say A is the smart allele, a is the dumb allele. aa makes you too dumb to get into college, AA makes you too smart to schmooze. Aa is the proper medium. Two Aa people marry and have four kids, and they have two Aa offspring but one AA and one aa. But they're rich, so their kids have money.

Also note that the optimal personality, etc. varies from social class to social class. Among the poor, a studious personality will get you into college whereas an aggressive personality will get you killed. Among the rich, a studious personality will make you a professor and an aggressive personality will make you an I-banker. So it's quite possible that you have alpha males who don't fit the typical profile. But on average, there aren't that many millionaires who could tell you how many eyes a beholder has. But there are some.

I'd bet female fidelity is lower, based upon this. If 10 percent of children have different fathers than the putative father, there were probably a lot more lucky misses.

http://www.canadiancrc.com/articles/Globe_and_Mail_Moms_Little_secret_14DEC02.htm

Oh, if you're looking for 'percentage who have never cheated' rather than 'percentage of kids whose dad is the spouse/primary partner', then yes of course the percentages are much different. Nonetheless, the high percentage of kids who are actually fathered by their fathers, so to speak, speaks to the difficulties and risks of pursuing the 'cheat on the provider' strategy, good as it might look on paper.

Still trying to reconcile the stats with my personal observations.

"For white people aged 30-39, there are 117 single men for every 100 single [wo]men. "

Lots more white guys, especially techies, seem to date Asian women, than white women date Asian men. I bet this reduces the shortage. I wonder how the stats look for Asian guys?

I also suspect this shortage is not a problem for middle-class men and above, due to their greater ability to draw the desirable women from the lower classes. The alleged shortage seems like an economic issue, rather than a biological one.

I am East Asian who is dating mostly white females who happen think I am `attractive'. Well, I really think I have achieve alpha position in white dominant world. I absolutlely support more war with rest of world to reduce competitive young males in this country. Young white girls are really smart about their choice. I love white gals.

Asian guys tend to be kind of handicapped in the American dating market. Steve Sailer wrote about this at length. If you want to look at cross-racial dating and how it affects the effective size of the mate pools, the short version is that white men and women aren't that much affected. A few more white women than white men date blacks, a few more white men than white women date asians. The effects are biggest for black women and asian men, who are the losers in the shuffle, and asian women and black men, who are the winners.

As you say middle-class men can draw on lower-class women. My own opinion on the whole situation is that I sympathize more with women simply because they have to play against time while facing most of the same issues as men in the dating game. If a man goofs around until he's thirty and then puts his life together and gets a middle-class job, he's still a decent match at thirty-five, and can work further to improve his status and chances. A woman who waits until she's thirty-five to marry faces much tougher odds, with little path to improvement.

It's not always easy to define an Alpha male. Having a high-paying job in business and finance helps, as does playing a lot of "cartball," owning NFL season tickets, and having been in a college fraternity. Not to mention having a forceful, take-charge, dominate-the-room personality.
On the other hand, if you're a total introvert who's devoted to Star Trek, science fiction in general, D&D, or dressing up in costume for Civil War re-enactments or renaissance faires, you're definitely NOT Alpha.

It's not always easy to define an Alpha male. Having a high-paying job in business and finance helps, as does playing a lot of "cartball," owning NFL season tickets, and having been in a college fraternity. Not to mention having a forceful, take-charge, dominate-the-room personality.
On the other hand, if you're a total introvert who's devoted to Star Trek, science fiction in general, D&D, or dressing up in costume for Civil War re-enactments or renaissance faires, you're definitely NOT Alpha.

It's not always easy to define an Alpha male. Having a high-paying job in business and finance helps, as does playing a lot of "cartball," owning NFL season tickets, and having been in a college fraternity. Not to mention having a forceful, take-charge, dominate-the-room personality.
On the other hand, if you're a total introvert who's devoted to Star Trek, science fiction in general, D&D, or dressing up in costume for Civil War re-enactments or renaissance faires, you're definitely NOT Alpha.

Peter, if a drama guy rules his Renaissance Faire clique and all the chicks in it want him, is he still a beta? Musicians don't fit your profile, but they tend to be popular. Whereas, any slob can buy football tickets and go to games with his male friends. I don't see how having a high-paying job in finance is more alpha than a high-paying job in any other field; there's certainly no physical fitness required. Lots of fraternities take dorks and geeks, given a basic level of sociability.

Guys with a variety of interests and abilities can be popular with women, based on looks and competence/success in their chosen field. The important thing is that the group they're in is not *so* undesirable that it attracts no desirable women who will have sex with the guys in that group.

Never heard of cartball. Is that one of those Kennedy sports?

"On the other hand, if you're a total introvert who's devoted to Star Trek, science fiction in general, D&D, or dressing up in costume for Civil War re-enactments or renaissance faires, you're definitely NOT Alpha."

Unless you're rich. Such people are less likely to be rich, but it does happen, and if they are then they're alpha.

Sorry for the triple post above

Peter, if a drama guy rules his Renaissance Faire clique and all the chicks in it want him, is he still a beta? Musicians don't fit your profile, but they tend to be popular. Whereas, any slob can buy football tickets and go to games with his male friends. I don't see how having a high-paying job in finance is more alpha than a high-paying job in any other field; there's certainly no physical fitness required. Lots of fraternities take dorks and geeks, given a basic level of sociability.

Regarding your first point, Michael Blowhard of the 2Blowhards culture blog, whom I believe works in the higher education field, maintains that the male college students who score the most are the "arty" types involved in theater, music, performing arts etc. Straight males are at somewhat of a premium in those areas, and he also points out - hopefully not in a bad way - that the girls in these arty fields tend to be somewhat less resistant to male advances than the c***-teasing sorority and cheerleader types that the athletes and fratboys pursue.
Whether Mr. Blowhard's theory is true, I couldn't say, it having been a number of years since I left college.

I don't see how having a high-paying job in finance is more alpha than a high-paying job in any other field; there's certainly no physical fitness required. Lots of fraternities take dorks and geeks, given a basic level of sociability.

It's all a matter of tendencies. Yes, there are nerdy investment bankers and dorky fratboys, but most of them are much more macho and definitely NOT like that.
As for frats, the "basic level of sociability" is a high barrier to many nerdy, introverted young men, the sort who'll face the hardest times finding women.

Guys with a variety of interests and abilities can be popular with women, based on looks and competence/success in their chosen field. The important thing is that the group they're in is not *so* undesirable that it attracts no desirable women who will have sex with the guys in that group.

Being a man interested in certain fields is a guaranteed turn-off to most women. Trek, sci-fi in general, D&D, comic book/baseball card collecting, certain video games (I've heard Warcraft mentioned a lot), Civil War re-enactments and renaissance faires, and other things too. And it's not just because those are overwhelmingly male areas of interest. Men who are into cars or sports usually have little trouble finding women despite those being "guy things."

Never heard of cartball.

Golf, when played with the electric cart. The favorite pastime of upscale men nationwide.


Looks like the real problem for young men is that men have more money than women. So, women have to care about money more, so guys of all ages gain advantage with money, and of course older guys tend to have more money than young, so they swell the competitive pool for young women. How ironic, that men's financial advantage leads to *less* sex for those in their physical prime.

Peter, I dispute that sorority girls are less slutty than the artsy ones. Unless maybe you're talking Ivy. As for sports, we should distinguish between guys who play them and guys who just watch. Athletes no doubt score more bc men and women appreciate a fit body. Liking sports might at least get one out to a sports bar where there would be drinking women to meet. W/video games, you don't leave the house. Severe introversion will always be an obstacle, bc how will you meet anyone? But, some women have that problem.

Renfair used to be a big chick thing (albeit, lots of larger women), but maybe it's changed. IMO, the problem with the interests you've mentioned is not that they repel women per se, but that they don't require physical fitness and have minimal barriers to entry, therefore they draw a high percentage of the physically unattractive. I don't know why more unattractive *women* aren't involved, but women tend to go out less in general (thus creating a false shortage). This one really good-looking comic book artist I knew never lacked for attractive females, even when living with parents and working at Trader Joe's.

I'd restate the "alpha" complaint as simply a winner-take-all problem. Both women and men are reaching up, so a disproportionate share of action accrues to those at the top (the most desirable). Women are more desirable young and skinny, men are more desirable rich. I don't think being an aggressive a**hole confers advantage to men -- but, rather, highly desirable people can get away with being a**holes.

Renfair used to be a big chick thing (albeit, lots of larger women), but maybe it's changed. IMO, the problem with the interests you've mentioned is not that they repel women per se, but that they don't require physical fitness and have minimal barriers to entry, therefore they draw a high percentage of the physically unattractive.

You might be right about the Renaissance Faire. A few years ago the family and I went to the New York Renaissance Festival, one of the country's largest such events, and there seemed to plenty of women participating - something I noticed because quite a few of them were wearing costumes that exposed a lot! I think I would've noticed if it had been a proverbial sausage party. So I might be wrong about that activity.
You are probably right that things like Trek and D&D tend to attract the sort of men whom women don't find appealing.

Severe introversion will always be an obstacle, bc how will you meet anyone? But, some women have that problem.

Both men and women can be introverted, but men seem to be disproportionately represented among the really bad cases. And because men are usually expected to take the initiative in terms of approaching women, introversion can be more of a problem for a man than for a woman.

For white people aged 30-39, there are 117 single men for every 100 single women.

As we see, dating life is much harder for under-40-year-old men than it is for women.

If this ratio is because of older men dating younger women (and surely it is), then the second sentence does not follow. It might be true that dating same-aged women is harder. Actually, since the rest of the men are dating younger women, the competition might not be bad.

I guess that's just repeating bbartlog, but I wanted to stress that them men don't have a problem, not just that the women have a worse problem.

"I went to the New York Renaissance Festival, one of the country's largest such events, and there seemed to plenty of women participating - something I noticed because quite a few of them were wearing costumes that exposed a lot!"

Amusingly, I heard a renfaire chick say she went into fantasy because she couldn't fit into a skintight Trek uniform.

Hierarchy of nerds?

SFG, I don't know about the nerd hierarchy, but I did find a
geek hierarchy.

Douglas Knight, good for you for pointing out that double standard. Seems like in any discussion of finding women, it's assumed without argument that the relevant men are *all* men, but the relevant women are not *all* women, just the subset of young and hot.

spungen,
Actually, I seem to have been endorsing that asymmetry. The age gap is obviously bad for younger men and older women. HS was drawing the wrong conclusions because he was looking at older women.

The big issue is fertility. Guys put a premium on young, fertile women, even if they don't consciously want to get married and have kids, we straight guys are sort of hardwired to be attracted to young women. So a woman under 30 definitely, and to a lesser extent under 40, is the target for men from 18 up to infinity (wasn't Tony Randall in his late 70's when he married a woman in her 30's, and became a father for the first time?)

I've been out with a girl I met via match.com a few times. She's in her mid 20's and was astonished she had received literally hundreds of emails, the age range was college students to senior citizens. The volume and variety of the responses really creeped her out (some guys were sending irate emails after she had failed to immediately respond to their first couple of emails). Incidentally, I'm no Lorenzo Lamas, I just had first mover advantage. I happened to be online when she put her profile up and sent her an email, she was naive enough (lucky for me!) to offer her phone number in her first response email. I suspect (hope?) she didn't do the same for the next 700 guys who emailed her.

The flip side of it is, if you're not interested in starting a family anytime in the foreseeable future, there are a LOT of attractive, very nice older women who are not getting their mailboxes blasted by the entire male population of their city. Men who want kids are all looking for a 26 year old, but if you don't want kids, the world is your oyster. A hot 46 year old beats a not hot (or not interested) 26 year old any day.

yeah but even given the odds. it seems the older male still will not consider dating in thier age bracket. most lie about thier age on dating websites by several years up to decades (saying they are 35 when they are 45, seeking women in thier early 30s and twenties) i am a 48 yr old female, who wieghs 128lbs at 5'6''. i am mistaken for being in my early 30's all the time, but men my own age have shunned me. they somehow think they are better and deserve younger women NOT THIER EQUALS BUT 5'S EXPECTING TO DATE 9'S WHO ARE ALSO AT LEAST 10 YRS YOUNGER THAN THEMSELVES. its good this phenomenon has occurred giving men a reality check and hopefully teaching them a lesson. i bring so much to the table but men who bank building thier egos on a number (age) now have to stand in line behind much younger men these days. the hollywood trend now is younger male older woman and we are taking advantage of that trend. gone are the days of the older guy pulling in chicks, the younger ones he pulls in now need him........ for a place to live and lifestyle upgrade! or in the case of the ethnics who are flooding the dating pool, they need legitimatacy brought about by dating someone lighter, who are take the stima away. lol not loved, need.
talk about dysfunction, here it is. men trying to date out of thier league and age range generally derranged away but this trend will put a stop to thier games and playtime. its good to see them scramble. heres the proof just about all my 40 something friends are now all finding husbands!!!!!!!!!!! men see that playtime is over and they cant have it all.
ps i am now dating a man my own age..... first time ever. i have been divorced 20 yrs. no men my age wanted me all this time, i have been dating younger men.

for the male posters....... I AM 48 AND CAN STILL HAVE CHILDREN. LIKE MOST WOMEN in my age bracket.
getting a younger woman for purposes of childbearing is not a good reason, its an excuse for dysfunction.
plus women in the 40 yr age range are not looking for a dating situation (to be used until something better comes along) more a life partner/husband. so save you dating for ethnics or dsyfunctional non marriage material. come to us women your age when your ready for a real relationship and a future based on equality respect rationale and healthy living and maturity.

sorry i have to say this........
TRAVEL THE WORLD. america is the about the only place that puts a premium on younger women and values women based on age......merely because of the media brainwashing. its not hardwired into your system, its not in your genes, its not science, its nothing but the media. a history lessone will teach you that, read the the oldest writings in the world and you will see none of the male race makes those claims nor feels the way brainwashed USA males do. up until 50-100 yrs ago most americans thought for themselves and none thought like the typical USA male of today does. these claims are excuses and lies they tell themselves and others to make what they do seem ok. if you traveled you would know that. the age thing is an american phenomenon. go to a cemetary, look at the tombstones... most have been marrying women thier own age since time began. see the census. most men marry women within 2 yrs of thier age above or below. a very small number marry women 5 years or more younger, and same goes for older. same stats for women, although the younger male trend is actually shaking up the census lately. women have not been able to land men thier own age and instead of going up 10 yrs they have seen more value in going 5-7 years lower! its a beautiful thing

ps women who make thier own money get to choose whatever they want. being one of those types i have been able to date the younger brad pitt, matt damon (every woman's dream)types. sometimes i even shocked myself at the men whom i could date as i went down the age ladder. while the men my own age who were 4's did not want me, i found it easy to land a 9 who was 10 yrs younger and who did not have a divorce or child support payment. he also knew how to dress and did not need viagra or have e.d. problems. i did not need the male for money so i could purely date based on looks and character. i also found that i made more money that men in my own age group anyway so the money they had was not a selling point.
most of the younger men found me fascinating and liked being able to discuss art, gourmet cooking, physics, history, politics, religion, and every other topic a benefit.
once i was dating a 22 yr old while i was 35. everyone thought he was older than me, he looked like leo dicaprio in titanic. we dated 3 yrs. he was rich with a trust fund.
there are plenty of younger men who have it all including money!!!!!!!!!! so all you 40+ men, remember your wallet can be competed with by younger men and women. you better find something else to sell yourself on, if you banking on just having a wallet and a bowflex machine!
for the record the trust funder married and older woman and a 30 came into his money!

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