Supply and Demand

by on February 6, 2010 at 9:47 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Education | Permalink

The sex ratio on many U.S. campuses is around 60/40 and rising.  The NYTimes has an excellent piece on the predictable consequences for dating.

North Carolina, with a student body that is nearly 60 percent female, is just one of many large universities that at times feel eerily like women’s colleges…Needless to say, this puts guys in a position to play the field, and tends to mean that even the ones willing to make a commitment come with storied romantic histories. Rachel Sasser, a senior history major at the table, said that before she and her boyfriend started dating, he had “hooked up with a least five of my friends in my sorority – that I know of.”

Only at the IVYs and universities with engineering schools does the sex ratio tend to even out (no doubt for obvious, albeit politically incorrect reasons), which in itself will have consequences for future sexual mores.  A number of universities would like to institute affirmative action for males.  

1 David J February 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) has around a 15/85 F/M sex ratio; though a small total enrollment. Engineering is the most popular major there.

2 adam February 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

The University of Georgia has been practicing affirmative action for males for at least ten years. It is common knowledge in Atlanta. There have been articles about it in the Atlanta Journal Constitution as well as lawsuits by women.

3 David February 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

I think these paragraphs are probably more indicative real problem:

“Jayne Dallas, a senior studying advertising who was seated across the table, grumbled that the population of male undergraduates was even smaller when you looked at it as a dating pool. “Out of that 40 percent, there are maybe 20 percent that we would consider, and out of those 20, 10 have girlfriends, so all the girls are fighting over that other 10 percent,† she said.”


““A lot of guys know that they can go out and put minimal effort into their appearance and not treat girls to drinks or flatter them, and girls will still flirt with them,† said Felicite Fallon, a senior at Florida State University, which is 56 percent female.”

A 60/40 ratio is really not all that far from 50/50. In a population as large as as college, there will always be a large number of single men available even with a 60/40 ratio.

4 joe February 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

A male friend went to an art school for clothing design. I used to love visiting him. The population was closer to 80% women and a large portion of the men were homosexual.

5 Andrew February 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

“The University of Georgia has been practicing affirmative action for males for at least ten years.”

Why don’t they just add a mechanical engineering department? Then they will add males and increase the average male test scores. Or, maybe they could create a “football studies” program.

6 Slocum February 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

A number of universities would like to institute affirmative action for males.

Nah — all they need to do is put a greater emphasis back on standardized test scores as opposed to high school GPA, and the sex ratios will balance right out again. Males still outperform females on both math AND verbal portions of the SAT:

What this suggests is that boys are not learning less than girls but that K-12 are not evaluating the knowledge and abilities of boys equitably. Which would not exactly be surprising given that K-12 education is both a highly female-dominated environment (K-12 teachers are more than 80% female in the U.S.) and one that has been intentionally refashioned in recent decades to be more female-friendly.

7 anon February 6, 2010 at 11:30 am

Maybe it also means that women who want to get married and have children should be looking in those places where (future/potential) FATHERS hang out (churches, temples, volunteer places) instead of places where playas and hookups hang out (bars, clubs).

As the father of a reasonably smart and attractive college age daughter, I hope she can meet some nice kid who knows how to hunt and fish, fix things, and can and is not afraid to work with his hands. And preferably owns or will own his own small business, maybe a plumber or electrician or mechanic of some sort. Please, dear God, no lawyers or MBA types.

8 rmark February 6, 2010 at 11:43 am

60 girls for 40 guys IS affirmative action for males. Whoo hoo.

9 Andy February 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I don’t understand the comments that say 60/40 is close to even. Dating is like a tournament, so any relative difference is significant, because not everyone can “win”.

2 guys for every 3 girls is quite a significant difference. What if you are that “third” girl? You are going to try *really hard*.

10 Brian February 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I noted that this article came out the same week that women surpassed men on the nation’s payrolls–

So are we ready to declare that our education system utterly fails the majority of the male gender?

Sure, the small percentage of boys/men who can combine cognitive aptitude with the ability to accommodate the expected norms of classroom behavior do exceedingly well (note the gender balance in the Ivies). And because the tail of the male distribution skews the mean relative to the median, one can still cherry pick a bias-against-girls narrative if one is so inclined.

But what of the mis-served majority? Manufacturing, unionized trades, and the military have historically been options for a relatively stable middle class existence. But what’s taking up the slack now? No matter one’s opinion of the military, the numbers of young men disqualified from enlisting due to low test scores, criminal records, and/or drug use is the much more sobering side of this crisis.

So while we grieve for the diminished social prospects of the lasses in our liberal arts colleges, it’s but a symptom of a much larger problem.

11 Peter February 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Nerds still can’t get sex. Nothing’s changed.

12 mobile February 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

So how has this affected the savings rate of female college students?

13 Scondren February 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Jacob’s post was weirder than the Jacob from Lost.

14 Jacob February 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Divorce and remarriage are centralized in a minority of men in the West. For many, this means they leave behind a stream of women and possibly offspring. In extreme cases, they don’t even bother to marry and divorce—they merely cuckold other men. Both of these are less desirable for beta males than the situation in, say, Africa, where women do most of the agricultural labor because the environment lets them bear it.

In the West, although women are “farming† the managerial state because the environment lets them bear it, the alphas don’t even show the betas the respect due to men who care for the alphas children. When polygyny is formalized, there are at least roles like eunuchs which are formally respected by the alphas—rather than having the alphas and their harems continually trying to convince the betas they are actually homosexual, or “hateful,† or that there’s something “wrong” with them, or whatever.

It’s simply a more humane system than de facto polygyny because it is more honest.

15 Matt February 6, 2010 at 2:26 pm

So the alpha males just get more chicks to sleep with and the majority of guys won’t benefit on the first order level. Why? The competitive strategy of women in college is more of a Top Dog one. They don’t seem to benefit much from differentiating their “product” to soften competition, because the tastes of men are more homogeneous than those of women. Men, however, can benefit more from a puppy dog ploy, differentiating their product sufficiently to enjoy the competitive fringe. This just lets the alphas dominate the larger chunk of the market. There isn’t a competitive fringe on the other side (men are too superficial), so women just cannibalize each other.

16 farmer February 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

even tougher, most male-dominated industries are decimated and unlikely to return in force. construction, manufacturing etc aren’t poised to soak up the 18 y/o men. And you don’t find them in college either. this has a terrible 20 year horizon

17 Albert Farangh February 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm

The socially engineered chickens are coming home to roost. The situation calls for a new sitcom.

18 megs February 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm

It’s for things like this I find it bizarre that my school, formerly Randolph-Macon woman’s college, became co-ed a few years ago. Unless of course they did it to save the poor guys…

19 Steve Sailer February 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Yeah, but what have white guys ever contributed to humanity?

20 Robert Olson February 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Maybe we should have colleges in major cities and not in the middle of freaking cornfields? Large numbers of the girls I interacted with when I was at college in downtown Chicago were dating boys who went to other schools or simply didn’t go to college.

When you put people into a bubble, you get funky results. Maybe?

21 Jake February 8, 2010 at 12:28 am

You know, the implication of this is that men at these colleges should be getting a disproportionate amount of the resources for std education. Do you suppose the health centers at these schools have adjusted?

22 me February 11, 2010 at 3:48 am

So now a boyfriend in the dorm is going to be the right too?
It’s college, it’s for studying, not for hooking up, so discussing anything else is just plain crazy, they all can get sewn up for 4 years all I care.

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