And just as I predicted, lopsided gender ratios affect conservative religious communities in much the same way they affect secular ones.
At first glance, the state of Utah—60 percent Mormon and home of the LDS church—looks like the wrong place to study what I like to call the man deficit.
“Today, if you look at the girls who graduated five years ago, there are probably thirty girls who are not yet married.
Overall, there are thousands of unmarried girls in their late twenties.
“I don’t sleep at night anymore,” said Elefant, a shadchan—or Jewish matchmaker—affiliated with the Ohr Naava: Women’s Torah Center in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn.
“My own sister is thirty-seven, educated, accomplished, attractive, and single.“There might actually be a more promiscuous dating culture than there otherwise would be in the Mormon culture because of this gap.” Months later, still neck-deep in Mormon research, I got lucky again.I received an email from a hedge fund manager who wanted to talk to me about a job.On a lark, I emailed my friend Cynthia Bowman,* a devout Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake City and returns there often, and asked her whether Mormon sex ratios are as lopsided as the ARIS study claimed.[Editor’s note: “Cynthia Bowman” is a pseudonym, as are other names denoted with an asterisk.“You have no idea how big a problem this is,” said Tristen Ure Hunt, founder of the Mormon Matchmaker, a Salt Lake City dating agency.Hunt, a 35-year-old who only recently got married herself, told me she has three times more single women than single men in her matchmaking database.The shadchan’s job has been made exceedingly difficult, she said, by a mysterious increase in the number of unmarried women within the Orthodox community.When Elefant attended Jewish high school 30 years ago, “there were maybe three girls that didn’t get married by the time they were twenty or twenty-one,” she said.I called back to thank him but explained I was busy writing a book.He asked what the book was about, and I wound up telling him about the Mormon marriage crisis.