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___________________________________*An important note about the two graphs: The city data is from the ACS 2011 three-year estimates, which collect figures from 2009 through 2011.The metro-region data is a bit less up to date, as it comes from the 2009 3-year estimates, based on figures collected from 2007 through 2009.**If any of this research sounds familiar to you, it may be because Kate Bolick reviewed some of it in "All the Single Ladies." My overall argument here is, of course, somewhat somewhat inspired by hers. Okay, it’s time to have an open and frank discussion about the battle of the sexes and the dating game.We're complicated creatures, and as Alexis Madrigal wrote earlier this week, it's both a bit myopic and ahistorical to believe that most technology is capable of single-handedly warping our behavior.Suggesting otherwise doesn't do human beings nearly enough justice, even if we're just talking about a schlubby guy from Portland.But in fact, social scientists have been researching the society-wide effect of sex ratios on marriages and relationships since the early 20th century, and some of the evidence suggests that when there are excess women around, young men are less likely to commit.In 1983, Marcia Guttentag and Robert Secord posited the theory that in female-heavy populations, men would become more promiscuous, and that in male-heavy populations, they'd become more faithful.
It's not meant to be a silly question--after all, much of this probably just comes down to personality.Let's say you met an over-educated, underemployed, thirty-something man who seemed incapable of holding down a relationship, and who was known to date up to half-a-dozen women at a time after meeting them online.If you had to come up with a single theory to explain his desultory love life, what would it be? His article in this month's Atlantic, "A Million First Dates," argues that online matchmaking services like OKCupid and e Harmony are so powerful that they are bound to infect us all with a collective case of romantic ADHD -- or, as he puts it, that "the rise of online dating will mean an overall decrease in commitment." The impulse to search for "an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse" will prove so intoxicating over the long term, he writes, that it could undermine the very notions of marriage and monogamy.That's on par with New York, which is notorious for its lopsided gender ratio.Even if you look at Portland's wider metro region, which offers up a larger singles population, the ratio is still fairly skewed,* especially compared to cities such as Austin, San Francisco, or nearby Seattle.