Date-onomics is a breathtaking review of how gender ratio (men to women) affects dating behavior. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand human’s behavior -and dating-.
- Gender ratio heavily affects dating behavior
- Men refuse settling down when there are many women
- There are far more women than men holding a college degree (bad news for women)
Jon Birger makes a compelling case that the falling marriage rates, hook up behavior and a chronic lack of good caliber men willing to commit in the college-educated cohort are all byproducts of lopsided gender ratio (ie.: too few men compared to women).
Not Enough Men With Degrees
The issue for women holding a college degree is that, historically:
- Women with a degree don’t often marry men without one
- There are more and more women compared to men who finish college
I laughed hard when the author quips that “it’s not that He’s Just Not That Into You, it’s just that there aren’t enough of him”.
Why So Few Men With Degrees?
The author says that:
- Men can get good paying job without degree
- Women need it more: the pay gap between high school and college is bigger for women
- Women mature earlier, giving them an advantage in school
- Men are more prone to disciplinary issues (from ADHD to criminality)
Where Does It Happen?
Birger says the issue is present in almost every developed country.
What it Does to Dating
Birger draws parallel with other nominally monogamous animal species and notes that the effects of changing the gender ration are stunningly similar.
Scientists seem to agree that albeit changes impact both gender, they affect men more than they affect women (you can see similarities here with evolutionary psychology literature such as The Selfish Gene and The Moral Animal).
Changes in Men
When there more women than men, men are:
- More likely to cheat
- Less likely to form long term relationships
- More likely to entertain more sexual partners at once
Changes in Women
When there are more men than women, women also are more likely to cheat. But most importantly, they tend to become choosier. Their focus is on screening men harder as they look for the best they can get.
The author quotes the book “too many women” -which I’m planning to review soon- in assessing the cultural changes of gender ratio.
More men bring a culture of courtships, romance and men doting on women. But when women outnumber men, women are more likely to become sexual objects.
Other consequences of fewer men:
- Quantity and quality of sex improves for everyone
- Women more likely to bridge the gender’s gap (they want to decrease men’s power)
- Women less sensitive to male’s look (can’t be too picky) but:
- more attentive to other women’s looks and (competition)
- Women are more likely to forgive cheating
Other consequences of fewer women:
- Lower teen pregnancy
- Lower sexual assaults (the study’s author say women are more protected and respected)
- Men value girlfriends and wives more
- Men more likely to work hard (need money to attract mates)
- Men more likely to spend and go in debt (to show off for women)
Feminism of Disgruntled Women
The author links the rise of feminism to the woes those same women face with men.
Since men are hard to come by, women are more likely to focus on work, career and possibly politics. As we’ve seen, when men are in short supply, women are treated poorly and more like sexual objects. So since women are more and more at the mercy of men, they fight back demanding more rights.
Couple that with the possible resentment towards men, and you have a major driver for feminism.
Let Him Chase is Bad Strategy!
I almost wanted to cry when the author debunked the idea that most women’s dating books sell: that you have to make him chase and invest. No, Birger explains: in difficult markets it’s the assertive women who get the guy.
These are the women who meet the guy, play little unavailability games and who ask for the relationships.
Thank you Jon Birger, more women should heed that.
Why The Best Women Remain Single
The author tackles a few more interesting phenomenon, including:
- Why the best women stay single
- Why women in “bad markets” with few men would better hurry
- Why attractive women get approached less
- Should you give him a commitment ultimatum?
Get the book to read the answers to those questions.
Real Life Applications
Check the gender ration beforehand
Check the gender ration of the place you want to move to, the career you want to take, the college you want to attend.
There were a many “empirical evidence stories”. I get a bit skittish when I read the micro stories as evidence for the whole.
But, overall, this was not the case: Birger uses enough data to back up the stories.
Date onomics is a crossover between a sociological research, a data-driven scientific paper, and an evolutionary psychology text. The results are mind-blowing.
It’s one of those rare books that made me excited about the new amount of wisdom I was absorbing.
Date onomics is not a dating book in the strict sense, but I would consider it one of the best dating book one could read. And certainly it was the most eye-opening for me.
Way too underrated and super recommended.