Thursday, August 13, 2009

high demand, low effort?

i posted on mormon matters again and the comments really got me thinking about something. its not even a fully formed thought, but i want to put it out there, knowing i will probably edit later.
its a well known fact that there are many more single, lds women than men. i wonder if that is part of the reason that decent lds guys are in such short supply. they know they are in demand and know that with very little effort they can get dates and maybe even more. ncmo and beyond. little is required so little is given.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're onto some thing here. I've been onto it before, but it's been a while, and I got a new piece this time.

    It's been a known thing that the imbalance you're talking about is a big problem, because it gives the jerk with a TR an inflated value on the Meat Market. For this reason, I've had some recommendations about dating (I co-moderate some mail lists about LDS divorce, so the subject comes up). A couple of things I've written along those lines are my dating rules, and some ideas on avoiding divorce. Among them is my suggestion for single LDS women in seeking a mate:

    1. Someone who will treat you well.
    2. Someone of good character.
    3. Someone who will respect you on your spiritual path.
    4. An active priesthood holder.

    Prioritized in that order, and the first three are non-negotiable. It is easier to turn someone who fits 1-3 into someone who fits 4 than it is to turn someone who isn’t 1-3 into a 1-3.

    That's the stuff I'd already worked out before I read this. Now, the piece that's come to me is the dynamic of how we raise our young women. We teach them that they are special and precious and that they shouldn't "settle" for anyone who can't take them to the temple. They are trained to think of themselves, in market terms, as premium commodities, with enough demand that they will have an acceptable choice for a marriage partner.

    But a significant fraction of them are never going to have that option. My sister was raised in a majority Mormon area, and was never asked out by a Mormon guy. Not one, not once.

    Meanwhile, the jerks with the recommends pile up and have options because, in reality, demand far outstrips their supply.

    I think part of the idea behind raising girls this way is to harness the power of the more attractive ones to encourage their male peers to be worthy for the temple, and, for them, this counsel works (although they can also drop their standards and have plenty of male attention anyhow). However, it disserves those who are going to be left over -- the surplus female population if you will. They are left with high standards and expectations, and find they have to work harder for even a shot at a second (or third) rate guy. I think that would be something to be a little bitter or frustrated about.