Say What About Dating?

todayMarch 14, 2016 10 1

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By Travis Tyler
SXSW Press Team

Jon Birger, Author of Date-Onomics. Photo by Travis Tyler
Jon Birger, Author of Date-Onomics. Photo by Travis Tyler

This one here goes out to all the single ladies out there. Do you ever wonder why dating seems to be a hassle? You hear the same old lines like, “He’s just not that into you,” or “You’ll find the one eventually,” or my personal favorite, “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” Now to be fair, those sayings, not matter how annoying, do hold some merit. I personally believe there’s someone for everyone. Now Jon Birger on the other hand, might not be so optimistic.

Birger is author of the book “Date-Onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game.” It’s basically a book on how the women to men ratio is affecting the so called “dating game”. Riddled with statistics on how finding romance in a world where there are four women to every three men is, while not impossible, more difficult. So why is it more difficult? So what if there are more women in the world? More options for the men right? Well, according to Birger, that could potentially be the problem.

During his book panel, Birger described the dating pool as uneven; not in all areas but in a majority of the world. In the U.S., you see it in rural states rather than urban ones. So where does it start? If you guessed college, then a gold star for you! Birger’s findings show that in colleges where there is a higher women to men ratio, relationships become less frequent and in its place. There is a more sexualized, hook-up based culture while the opposite occurs when there is a higher male to female ratio.

Another limiting factor is the way women limit themselves to dating “The Perfect Guy.” One example Birger used was actually from one of the people who read his book and took his advice. (Caution: This is not advice from me but what worked for other people, this is in no way meant to tell you what to do.)

“This comes from a reader who emailed me,” said Birger. “She told me she found her husband, after she unchecked the college grad box when dating online.” His following point was that dating ratios might matter a bit less if we all remained open minded about who we dated.

Just for giggles and for anyone else who might be curious, I asked him about the ratio of Texas State students and the state of Texas in general. Well, if you live in the Austin/Tarrant county area, then the odds are more in your favor if you’re hoping to find that special guy. However, Texas has about one-third more college-grad women than men. He couldn’t provide stats on Texas State, so I took matters into my own hands. When researching the ratio of men to women at Texas State, it came back 57% women and 43% men. So what does that spell for Texas State females? Be wary of the men out there, because statistically speaking, he may not be looking for “The One.”

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  1. jon birger on March 15, 2016

    Travis, thanks for writing about my SXSW book talk. Just to clarify, it is Austin — and not the state of Texas –where the gender ratios are more favorable for women. For example, among college graduates age 30-39, Travis County/Austin has 4% more men than women; nationally, the average is 23% more WOMEN than men. The state of Texas is actually pretty close to the national average for age 30-39 college grads, with 21% more women than men. And among college grads age 22-29, Texas’s gender ratio is actually more lopsided than the national average, with 40% more women than men in Texas vs. 33% nationally. (All the numbers come from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.)

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