Why Areas with More Men Have Higher Marriage Rates
Aug 26, 2016
In places where men outnumber women, it might seem like science would suggest that more testosterone and fewer available females might lead to less stability in relationships. But a new study shows that’s not the case.
The research showed that counties in the U.S. with more men than women generally had higher (Link): rates of marriage, fewer births outside marriage and fewer single female heads of household — all of which are generally signs of greater family stability, according to the researchers.
…. In other words, the new research does not support the assumption that if there are (Link): more men in an area, there will be more unmarried men.
Schacht said these results can be explained through the so-called mating market theory, which applies the principles of supply and demand to partnering.
“If you’re the rarer sex, you have more bargaining power; you have greater leverage in terms of what you demand out of a partner,” Schacht said. So in places with more men, the men are more responsive to women’s desires, in order to find a partner, he said.
The researchers think that in places where there are fewer women than men, men become (Link): more focused on marriage and, therefore, more likely to marry than men in places where there are plenty of women.
The new findings agree with (Link): other research on this topic, said Therese Hesketh, a professor of global health at University College London who was not involved in the new study. “A lot of the arguments around excess males are that they create a more stable society within the married groups of people,” she told Live Science.
In other words, a higher ratio of men to women benefits the families of these men. However, Hesketh noted that, in places with very unbalanced ratios, having a large number of men who are unable to marry may still lead to societal problems.
One of the main theoretical concerns is that greater numbers of unmarried men will cause an increase in societal problems through their aggression. Men, in general, are more likely than women to be both the perpetrators and (Link): victims of violence. According to the (Link): Federal Bureau of Investigation, 80.1 percent of people arrested for violent crimes in 2012 were male. Some experts have theorized that, due to greater sexual frustration and psychological vulnerabilities (such as low self-esteem and depression), unmarried men might be more aggressive than their married peers.
However, there is little evidence to support this theory. Hesketh has (Link): studied this specific theory, and hasn’t found that unmarried men present a particular threat to their societies. “Many of these men, who aren’t ever going to marry — they’re really no different than any other guy,” she said. “They’re not interested in committing crimes. They’re just not very happy.”
(Link): How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women – via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)