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Rather, he introduces us to Jacob, the pseudonymous thirty-something schlub I alluded to above.Jacob is a dedicated Green Bay Packer's fan who is less than enthusiastic about the idea of a 40-hour workweek.He is also convinced that the constant temptations of online dating have kept him from settling down.

And because college graduates overwhelmingly tend to date other college graduates, that's created an enormous imbalance in the national dating pool. According to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, there are 33 percent more women in Portland who are under the age of 35 and have at least a bachelor's degree in than there are men.

That's on par with New York, which is notorious for its lopsided gender ratio.

A look at immigrant communities in early 20th century America found that as the proportion of men on the market went up, so did marriage rates for both males and females. S., academics have found that female college students are less likely to have a boyfriend or go on traditional dates, and are more likely to have bad feelings about the men on campus, at schools that enroll disproportionate number of women.

And in an interesting, gender-equitable twist, research on China has found that women there are more likely to sneak away for extramarital sex in communities with too many men.**With those findings in mind, it seems reasonable to suggest that instead of pointing a finger at the internet for Jacob's relationship habits, we can keep things simple and just blame Portland, where going to a bar, going to a concert, or even going to work would probably leave him surrounded by available women. In truth, my goal here isn't to convince you beyond reasonable doubt that sex-ratios are turning young, educated American adults into commitment-phobes.

Suggesting otherwise doesn't do human beings nearly enough justice, even if we're just talking about a schlubby guy from Portland.

___________________________________*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 pair found that, in developed countries, having a higher ratio of men led to more marriage for women, less divorce, and fewer illegitimate children.Other studies have had similar findings across cultures and time.So it's likely the metro region data is understating the problem.**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.But ultimately, I only want to illustrate how dicey it is to fixate on a single factor like the Internet when trying to explain something so complicated as the social-psychological mores that underpin love and dating, especially when there are other equally viable explanations waiting to be explored out there.

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