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In the Vanity Fair article, David Buss, a University of Texas psychology professor, says that apps like Tinder contribute to “a perceived surplus of women,” among straight men, which in turn leads to more hookups and fewer traditional relationships.Here’s the thing: This surplus of women is not just “perceived” but very, very real.There’s a scene in “The Fires of Autumn,” Irene Nemirovsky’s novel set in 1920s France, in which a young war widow named Therese thinks she is being courted for marriage by her childhood friend Bernard — only to discover that he wants nothing more than a fling. I say “naively” because it’s not the first time some newfangled technology has been mistakenly blamed for young people having more sex. But the moralizers of Nemirovsky’s era fooled themselves into believing that the automobile was to blame for loosening sexual mores.He, in turn, is baffled by her unwillingness to carry on a casual affair. “A house of prostitution on wheels” was how one judge described it at the time.Indeed, there are 1.5 million more non-college-educated men than women among Americans age 22 to 29.
California and Colorado, for example, each have 20 percent more college-grad women than men age 22 to 29 compared with 36 and 41 percent, respectively, in Illinois and North Carolina.But for college-educated women, excluding working-class guys makes their dating math much more challenging.If there is an undersupply of men in the college-educated dating pool, there is going to be an oversupply of men in the non-college-educated one.As I argue in “DATE-ONOMICS: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game,” the college and post-college hookup culture is a byproduct, not of Tinder or Facebook (another target of modern scolds), but of shifting demographics among the college-educated.Much as the death toll of WWI caused a shortage of marriageable men in the 1920s, today’s widening gender gap in college enrollment has created unequal numbers in the post-college dating pool.