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Marriage and motherhood are essentially spiritual obligations, which is why the Orthodox marriage crisis is so hotly debated and why it has earned its own moniker.Shidduch is the Hebrew word for a marriage match, and Orthodox Jews (including the more assimilated Modern Orthodox) now refer to the excess supply of unmarried women in their communities as the Shidduch Crisis. Or maybe it’s the women who are holding out for the Mormon or Jewish George Clooney?Mormon and Orthodox Jewish leaders alike fear that their respective marriage crises reflect some failure to instill proper values in young people. In fact, the root causes of both the Shidduch Crisis and the Mormon marriage crisis have little to do with culture or religion. The fact is that there are more marriage-age women than men both in the Orthodox Jewish community and in the Utah LDS church.And just as I predicted, lopsided gender ratios affect conservative religious communities in much the same way they affect secular ones." data-medium-file=" quality=85&w=194" data-large-file=" quality=85&w=388" class="wp-image-4000670" src=" w=560&quality=85&w=321" alt="" width="321" height="496" Today, mainstream dating guides tell the everything-going-for-her career woman it’s her fault she’s still single—she just needs to play hard to get or follow a few simple rules to snag Mr. This bias is having a devastating impact on the dating market for college-educated women. Lopsided gender ratios don’t just make it statistically harder for college-educated women to find a match. According to sociologists, economists and psychologists who have studied sex ratios throughout history, the culture is less likely to emphasize courtship and monogamy when women are in oversupply.Heterosexual men are more likely to play the field, and heterosexual women must compete for men’s attention.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.She shared stories of devout Mormon women who wound up marrying outside the religion—officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—simply because they had no other options. ”—who gave up on finding a husband and decided to have children on their own.

It’s total chaos.” For Orthodox Jewish women, as for Mormon ones, getting married and having children is more than a lifestyle choice.

Premarital sex remains taboo for Mormons, but the shortage of Mormon men was pushing some women over the brink.

“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.

He asked what the book was about, and I wound up telling him about the Mormon marriage crisis.

“Wow,” he said, “that sounds a lot like the Shidduch Crisis.” I had never heard of it, but the Shidduch Crisis turned out to be a marriage crisis among Orthodox Jews remarkably similar to the one afflicting Mormons.

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