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Because the pool of college-educated women is much larger, the unwillingness of college-educated men to consider working-class women as life partners has little statistical effect on their marriage prospects.But for college-educated women, excluding working-class guys makes their dating math much more challenging. There are too many women and they’re all too easy to make it worthwhile.” I was reminded of this while reading Vanity Fair’s much-publicized piece, “Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse,” which naively blames today’s “hookup culture” on the popularity of a three-year-old dating app.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.

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.As I note in my book, today’s uneven gender ratios “add up to sexual nirvana for heterosexual men, but for heterosexual women — especially those who put a high priority on getting married and having children in wedlock — they represent a demographic time bomb.” Of course, these lopsided numbers might not matter if young, college-educated women become more willing to date — and, eventually, marry — across socioeconomic lines.But according to separate research by University of Pennsylvania economist Jeremy Greenwood and by UCLA sociologists Christine Schwartz and Robert Mare, educational intermarriage is less common today than at any point over the past half century.No wonder some men are in no rush to settle down and more women are giving up on what used to be called “playing hard to get.” These demographics represent the true dating apocalypse, as stacks of social science show how dating and mating behavior is influenced by prevailing sex ratios.When there are plenty of marriageable men, dating culture emphasizes courtship and romance, and men generally must earn more to attract a wife.

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