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Values.

That’s the one affair that consistently came up aback I’d altercate theories on crumbling alliance ante or the acceleration of the amalgamation ability with my accompany or family.

“Couldn’t it aloof be that times accept changed?” bodies would ask.

Times accept changed, and that is a acceptable thing—especially the fading-away of atrocious taboos that already stigmatized women who affianced in premarital sex or bore accouchement out of wedlock.

Thing is, times change for a reason. The ethics catechism assumes that animal association alleviate artlessly from bourgeois to liberal. In reality, these ethics accept ebbed and flowed throughout history, about in affiliation with prevailing sex ratios.

Today, boilerplate dating guides acquaint the everything-going-for-her career woman it’s her accountability she’s still single—she aloof needs to comedy adamantine to get or chase a few simple rules to snag Mr. Right. But the botheration is a demographic one.

Multiple studies appearance that college-educated Americans are added abashed to ally those defective a academy degree. This bent is accepting a adverse appulse on the dating bazaar for college-educated women. Why? According to 2012 citizenry estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Association Survey, there are 5.5 actor college-educated women in the U.S. amid the ages of 22 and 29 adjoin 4.1 actor such men. That’s four women for every three men. Amid academy grads age 30 to 39, there are 7.4 actor women adjoin 6.0 actor men—five women for every four men.

It’s not that He’s Aloof Not That Into You—it’s that There Aloof Aren’t Abundant of Him.

Lopsided gender ratios don’t aloof accomplish it statistically harder for college-educated women to acquisition a match. They change behavior too. According to sociologists, economists and psychologists who accept advised sex ratios throughout history, the ability is below acceptable to accent courting and abstemiousness aback women are in oversupply. Heterosexual men are added acceptable to comedy the field, and heterosexual women charge attack for men’s attention.

Of course, tales of deficient men and animal allowance in age-old Sparta won’t argue everyone, so I began to analyze the demographics of avant-garde religion. I capital to appearance that god-fearing association steeped in ancient ethics are aloof as afflicted to the furnishings of alive sex ratios as cosmopolitan, hookup-happy 20-somethings who accepted Upper East Side wine bars.

Eventually I hit pay dirt.

One of my web searches angry up a abstraction from Trinity College’s American Religious Identification Analysis (ARIS) on the demographics of Mormons. According to the ARIS study, there are now 150 Mormon women for every 100 Mormon men in the accompaniment of Utah—a 50 percent crowd of women. On a lark, I emailed my acquaintance Cynthia Bowman,* a adherent Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake Burghal and allotment there often, and asked her whether Mormon sex ratios are as askew as the ARIS abstraction claimed. [Editor’s note: “Cynthia Bowman” is a pseudonym, as are added names denoted with an asterisk. Some biographical capacity accept been adapted to adumbrate their identities.]

Yes, she told me, the ratios are lopsided. And yes, Mormon men booty abounding advantage. “They adjournment for the next, added complete woman,” grumbled Bowman, a veterinarian in San Diego. Premarital sex charcoal anathema for Mormons, but the curtailment of Mormon men was accusation some women over the brink. “There ability absolutely be a added abandoned dating ability than there contrarily would be in the Mormon ability because of this gap.”

Months later, still neck-deep in Mormon research, I got advantageous again. I accustomed an email from a barrier armamentarium administrator who capital to allocution to me about a job. I alleged aback to acknowledge him but explained I was active autograph a book. He asked what the book was about, and I anguish up cogent him about the Mormon alliance crisis.

“Wow,” he said, “that sounds a lot like the Shidduch Crisis.” I had never heard of it, but the Shidduch Crisis angry out to be a alliance crisis amid Orthodox Jews appreciably agnate to the one afflicting Mormons.

Both of these socially bourgeois communities are adversity from alliance crises that are testing not alone their faiths but amusing norms as well. “You accept no abstraction how big a botheration this is,” said Tristen Ure Hunt, architect of the Mormon Matchmaker, a Salt Lake Burghal dating agency.

Hunt, a 35-year-old who alone afresh got affiliated herself, told me she has three times added distinct women than distinct men in her matchmaking database. She aggregate acceptance of adherent Mormon women who anguish up marrying alfresco the religion—officially accepted as the Abbey of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—simply because they had no added options. She has ten friends—“all acceptable LDS girls!”—who gave up on award a bedmate and absitively to accept accouchement on their own. Said Hunt, “My heartstrings are pulled daily.”

wo thousand afar abroad in New York City, Lisa Elefant knows absolutely what Hunt is feeling. “I don’t beddy-bye at night anymore,” said Elefant, a shadchan—or Jewish matchmaker—affiliated with the Ohr Naava: Women’s Torah Center in the Sheepshead Bay breadth of Brooklyn. “My own sister is thirty-seven, educated, accomplished, attractive, and single. I told her to benumb her eggs.”

Secular-style dating is attenuate in the Orthodox association in which Elefant lives. Best marriages are about arranged—“guided” is apparently a bigger word—by matchmakers such as Elefant. The shadchan’s job has been fabricated awfully difficult, she said, by a abstruse access in the cardinal of bachelor women aural the Orthodox community. Aback Elefant abounding Jewish aerial academy 30 years ago, “there were maybe three girls that didn’t get affiliated by the time they were twenty or twenty-one,” she said. “Today, if you accessory at the girls who accelerating bristles years ago, there are apparently thirty girls who are not yet married. Overall, there are bags of bachelor girls in their backward twenties. It’s complete chaos.”

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For Orthodox Jewish women, as for Mormon ones, accepting affiliated and accepting accouchement is added than a affairs choice. Alliance and motherhood are about airy obligations, which is why the Orthodox alliance crisis is so hotly debated and why it has becoming its own moniker. Shidduch is the Hebrew chat for a alliance match, and Orthodox Jews (including the added alloyed Avant-garde Orthodox) now accredit to the antithesis accumulation of bachelor women in their communities as the Shidduch Crisis.

Mormon and Orthodox Jewish leaders akin abhorrence that their corresponding alliance crises reflect some abortion to brainwash able ethics in adolescent people. Conceivably adolescent bodies are too self-absorbed? Maybe the men are aloof too picky? Or maybe it’s the women who are captivation out for the Mormon or Jewish George Clooney?

In fact, the basis causes of both the Shidduch Crisis and the Mormon alliance crisis accept little to do with ability or religion. The authentic culprit in both cases is demographics. The actuality is that there are added marriage-age women than men both in the Orthodox Jewish association and in the Utah LDS church. And aloof as I predicted, askew gender ratios affect bourgeois religious communities in abundant the aforementioned way they affect civil ones.

At aboriginal glance, the accompaniment of Utah—60 percent Mormon and home of the LDS church—looks like the amiss abode to abstraction what I like to alarm the man deficit. Like several added western states, Utah absolutely has added men than women. Utah’s arrangement of men to women beyond all age groups is the fifth accomplished in the nation. But ambuscade below the Census abstracts is a demographic aberration that makes Utah a arbiter archetype of how alive gender ratios adapt behavior. The LDS abbey absolutely has one of the best askew gender ratios of any adoration in the United States.

“There are so abounding options for the men, it’s no admiration it’s adamantine for them to achieve down,” said Deena Cox, a single, 34-year-old arrangement administrator who lives in Salt Lake City.

One actuality that becomes credible aback acceptance the demographics of adoration is that it is about consistently the women who are added devout. Beyond all faiths, women are below acceptable than men to leave organized religion. According to the Pew Analysis Center, 67 percent of self-described atheists are men. Statistically speaking, an agnostic affair may be one of the best places for distinct women to accommodated accessible men.

Due to men’s about academy ante of apostasy, it makes faculty that the avant-garde LDS church, like best religions, would accept hardly added women than men. The Utah LDS abbey was in actuality 52 percent changeable as afresh as 1990. Aback 1990, however, the Mormon gender gap in Utah has widened dramatically—from a gender arrangement of 52:48 changeable to macho in 1990 to 60:40 changeable to macho in 2008, according to a abstraction coauthored by ARIS advisers Rick Phillips, Ryan Cragun, and Barry Kosmin. In added words, the LDS abbey in Utah now has three women for every two men.

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The sex arrangement is abnormally askew amid Mormon singles. Abounding alone LDS churches—known as “wards”—are organized by conjugal status, with families accessory altered Sunday casework from distinct people. Parley’s Seventh, one of Salt Lake City’s singles wards, had 429 women on its rolls in 2013 adjoin alone 264 men, according to an commodity in the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.

Kelly Blake* is acutely acquainted of the abhorrent odds. A distinct Mormon in her backward thirties, Blake is a anchorman for a Salt Lake Burghal television station. Aback Blake attends singles contest for Mormons, she said there are about two women for every one man. As a result, Blake rarely meets acceptable men in these settings and about apprehension up spending best of her time chatting with added women. “I’ll go on a [Mormon] singles cruise and appear abroad with no dates but all these absurd new girlfriends,” Blake 
told me.

The askew numbers animate Mormon men to authority out for the complete wife, Blake said. “I alarm it the absurdity of choice,” she explained. “For men, there are so abounding choices that choices are not made. The dream for the Mormon man is to get affiliated and accept six kids. As he ages, his dream never changes. But aback you’re a thirty-seven-year-old woman, you’ve already age-old out of that dream.”

o why are there so abounding added Mormon women than Mormon men? The simple acknowledgment is that over the accomplished twenty-five years, Utah men accept been abandonment the LDS abbey in almighty abounding numbers. ARIS’s Cragun, a folklore assistant at the University of Tampa who is ex-LDS himself, said the growing departure of men from the LDS abbey is an abrupt by-product of the growing accent of the mission in Mormon life. Confined a mission acclimated to be elective; now it’s a prerequisite for leadership.

Contrary to accepted belief, the majority of Mormon men do not go on missions, which about entail a mix of association account and proselytizing. Mormon men are actuality asked to serve missions at absolutely the time in their lives—late adolescence and aboriginal twenties—when sociologists say men are best afflicted to bottomward out of organized religion. Cragun believed the dropout botheration amid men is the complete acumen why, in 2012, the LDS abbey bargain the age at which Mormon men can alpha confined missions from 19 to 18: “I anticipate they were accident too abounding men who would go off to academy or get a job afore they angry nineteen and again apprehend they didn’t appetite to stop and serve a mission.”

Lowering the mission age seems to be accepting the advised effect: Amid 2012 and 2014, the cardinal of Mormons confined missions added from 58,000 a year to 83,000, according to the LDS website. If this trend continues, the bargain mission age should abate the Mormon gender gap and affluence the Mormon alliance crisis over time. Of course, that is algid abundance for today’s distinct Mormon women, as the accident of men has afflicted not alone the accumulation of men, but men’s conduct too.

There is abounding affirmation that Mormon men are dabbling marriage. News accessories on this affair tend to be abounding with tales of Mormon women who appetite to ally but cannot acquisition a acceptable Mormon man. The Salt Lake Tribune appear an commodity in 2011 (headline: “Why Adolescent LDS Men Are Accusation Aback Marriage”), which abhorrent the alliance crisis on Facebook (“After we’ve abstruse aggregate about anniversary added on Facebook, what do we allocution about on the aboriginal date?”) as able-bodied as a “modern nonchalance” about marriage. LDS baton Richard Scott was quoted chastising adolescent men to abound up: “If you are a adolescent man of adapted age and are not married, don’t decay time in abandoned pursuits. Get on with activity and focus on accepting married. Don’t aloof bank through this aeon of life.”

The Tribune adventure cited a analysis of Mormon academy acceptance in which men bidding a acceptance that age 30 is now the appropriate age to get married. The award was unexpected, accustomed that best Utah Mormons ally by their aboriginal twenties. In the aforementioned article, Brigham Adolescent University assistant David Dollahite complained of a “market mentality” amid men at the LDS-dominated campus. Aback it came to dating, BYU men seemed bedridden by indecision. “The adolescent men think, ‘I am dating a 9.7, but if I wait, maybe I could get a 9.9,’” Dollahite told the Tribune.

Based on acceptance figures, BYU men should not be so picky. In 2013, the gender arrangement amid BYU undergrads was absolutely 54:46 macho to female. With 17 percent added men than women on campus, it is the BYU women who should be the dainty ones. But because amusing activity at BYU is so atypical, the campus-wide acceptance abstracts don’t reflect the authentic dating market. Yes, there are added macho undergrads overall, but BYU’s apprentice chic in 2013 was absolutely 62 percent female—or three women for every two men. The change in the mission age apparently abstract the apprentice gender gap for 2013, but according to abstracts accessible on the BYU website, BYU’s apprentice chic has been majority changeable every year aback at atomic 1997. In 1997, for instance, BYU’s apprentice chic was 59 percent women.

What’s activity on? Hannah Wheelwright helped break the abstruseness for me. A 2014 BYU grad, Wheelwright explained that it is accepted for BYU women to ally macho classmates while still in academy and that a actual cardinal of the newlywed women wind up bottomward out of college. Consequently, the gender arrangement amid the distinct acceptance at BYU added carefully resembles the gender arrangement of the apprentice chic than it does that of the all-embracing apprentice body.

Single BYU men are actively acquainted of the askew numbers, said Wheelwright, who is a baton of Ordain Women, a feminist alignment gluttonous the arrangement of women to the LDS priesthood. “In the dating market, the men accept all the power,” Wheelwright said. “Men accept all these options, and the women absorb hours accepting accessible for dates because their abiding conservancy and acclaim depends on marrying a righteous, priesthood-holding man.”

To be sure, the Mormon dating arena at BYU—or in Utah in general—will never be abashed with Sex and the City. As I said, premarital sex is still anathema for Mormons. Yet, aloof as Bowman suggested, the undersupply of men does assume to be alleviation Mormon animal mores. “At BYU, a lot of Mormons my age don’t accede articulate sex to be sex,” said Wheelwright.

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Psychologists Marcia Guttentag and Paul Secord argued in Too Abounding Women?— the beat book on askew gender ratios—that women are added acceptable to be advised as sex altar whenever men are scarce. That is absolutely what Mormon women now experience.

“Women’s bodies are up for debate,” Wheelwright complained. Mormon men accept become abundant added ambitious about women’s looks, which in about-face has fabricated women bedeviled with continuing out from the competition. One consequence: A ability of artificial anaplasty has taken basis amid Mormon women.

“I accept apparent added abandoned boob jobs and facial artificial anaplasty in Utah than about anywhere in the country—especially amid Mormon women,” said Bowman. “They may affirmation abstemiousness as a advantage overall, but that’s not endlessly anyone from accepting a set of double-Ds.”

Mormons hasty to get boob jobs may complete far-fetched, but Bowman’s affirmation is authentic by the arch customer analysis armpit for corrective surgery, RealSelf.com. According to a 2011 RealSelf study, Salt Lake Burghal association did added searches for breast implants on the RealSelf website than association of any added city. Moreover, a 2007 Forbes adventure labeled Salt Lake Burghal “America’s Vainest City,” with four artificial surgeons for every 100,000 people, which was 2.5 times the civic average. Salt Lake Burghal association additionally spent disproportionate sums on adorableness products—$2.2 actor in 2006 on beard appearance and $6.9 actor on cosmetics and bark affliction products, according to Forbes. By comparison, Oklahoma City, a burghal with a hardly beyond population, spent $172,000 and $594,000, respectively.

In this corrective accoutrements race, the big accoutrements are Botox, liposuction, and breast augmentation. “There are so abounding adorable girls here, the guys get choosy,” explained Dr. Kimball Crofts, a Salt Lake Burghal artificial surgeon. (He speaks from experience. Mormon himself, Crofts did not ally till his forties.) Crofts said his arrangement has college-age women advancing in for Botox injections. The day I interviewed him, Crofts had aloof accomplished a appointment with an adorable woman in her twenties gluttonous a breast augmentation: “She says to me, ‘I don’t appetite them too big, but my admirer would absolutely like them bigger.’”

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Wheelwright believed acceptance women a administration role in the teaching of LDS actuality is important. As things angle now, accepting affiliated and accepting kids is the Mormon woman’s primary albatross aural the LDS faith, she said. The askew gender ratios augment preexisting disillusionment amid Mormon women by authoritative their amount duty—getting married—difficult, degrading, or alike impossible. Said Wheelwright, “In a adoration breadth women are already accidental to the capital anatomy of the church, accepting a gender alterity breadth you accept too abounding women aloof compounds that effect.”

As with the Mormon alliance crisis, the Shidduch Crisis has become a antecedent of astronomic affliction for Orthodox Jews, abnormally beforehand distinct women and their parents. (Among Orthodox Jews, “older” about starts at 21.) The Belletrist to the Editor breadth of The 5 Towns Jewish Times, a account bi-weekly for the Orthodox association in burghal New York, has become a bowl for Shidduch Crisis–related all-overs and sadness. “An complete tragedy,” is how one mother declared the situation. It is “what we as a ancestors and I as the mother of a 27-year-old ‘older distinct girl’ go through every moment of my life, every breath additional of every day. And accept me, sometimes it hurts to do aloof that—i.e., to breathe.”

The statistical account for why Orthodox men are in abbreviate accumulation is altered from the one for the curtailment of Mormon men. Orthodox men are not abandoning their acceptance in abounding numbers and abrogation Orthodox women behind. According to a contempo Pew Analysis study, alone 2 percent of Orthodox Jews are affiliated to non-Jews, and the abrasion amount from the Orthodox movement to the added boilerplate Ameliorate or Bourgeois branches of Judaism has absolutely been declining.

The alterity in the Orthodox alliance bazaar boils bottomward to a demographic quirk: The Orthodox association has an acutely aerial bearing rate, and a aerial bearing amount agency there will be added 18-year-olds than 19-year-olds, added 19-year-olds than 20-year-olds, and so on and so on. Couple the accretion cardinal of accouchement built-in every year with the acceptable age gap at marriage—the archetypal alliance age for Orthodox Jews is 19 for women and 22 for men, according to Michael Salamon, a analyst who works with the Orthodox association and wrote a book on the Shidduch Crisis—and you wind up with a alliance bazaar with added 19-year-old women than 22-year-old men.

There is no U.S. Census abstracts on religion. But Joshua Comenetz, arch of the Census Bureau’s Geographic Studies Branch, advised the demographics of Orthodox Jews aback in his academy assistant canicule at University of Florida. Based on his bookish research, Comenetz arguable that anniversary one-year age accomplice in the Orthodox association has 4 percent added associates than the one above-mentioned it. What this agency is that for every 100 22-year-old men in the Orthodox dating pool, there are 112 19-year-old women—12 percent added women than men.

The basal line: According to a 2013 commodity in the Jewish account Ami Magazine, there are now 3,000 bachelor Orthodox women amid the ages of 25 and 40 in the New York Burghal busline breadth and addition 500 over 40. That’s a huge cardinal aback you accede that New York’s Yeshivish Orthodox—the articulation of the Orthodox association best afflicted by the Shidduch Crisis—has a complete citizenry of 97,000, according to the Jewish Association Abstraction of New York appear by the UJA-Federation of New York in 2012.

That is the Shidduch Crisis in a nutshell. Unfortunately, almost few Orthodox Jews apprehend that the Shidduch Crisis boils bottomward to a algebraic problem. Best explanations for the Shidduch Crisis accusation cultural influences for causing men to adjournment marriage. “Those of us who’ve tossed and angry with this, we don’t necessarily accept that there are added girls than boys,” said Elefant. “We accept God created everybody, and God created a bout for everybody.”

As Elefant saw things, a 22-year-old man inherently has added dating options than a 19-year-old woman, because he can date bottomward age-wise. “The guys act like kids in a bonbon store,” Elefant said. Of course, if there were gender-ratio antithesis amid all the age cohorts, distinct 22-year-old men would not accept added choices than distinct 19-year-old women because best of the age-19-to-22 women would already be affiliated to beforehand men—thus shrinking 22-year-old men’s dating pool.

With Mormons, there is no authentic way to achieve the culture-versus-demographics argument. You cannot actualize a amusing agreement with 50 heterosexual distinct women and 50 heterosexual distinct men, acquaint them they can alone ally added abstraction participants, and again beam whether alfresco cultural influences account adolescent Mormon men to comedy the acreage and adjournment marriage, alike aback the gender arrangement is even. In the Orthodox Jewish community, however, there is a accustomed ascendancy group—one that does accomplish it accessible to achieve the culture-versus-demographics agitation with abreast certainty. That ascendancy accumulation is a camp of Orthodox Judaism accepted as Hasidic Jews.

The amount behavior of Hasidic Jews alter from those of added Orthodox Jews in nuanced but spiritually cogent ways. Hasidic Jews accept anniversary circadian act of religious acknowledgment creates a personal, conceivably mystical, affiliation with God. In contrast, their counterparts in the Yeshivish annex of Orthodox Judaism accent the abstraction of Torah and Talmud as the primary agency of growing afterpiece to God.

While their religious practices may differ, the two groups are still absolutely agnate culturally. Both Yeshivish and Hasidic Jews are acutely pious and socially conservative. They alive in tight-knit communities. They are accepted for accepting abounding families. And both groups use matchmakers to brace their adolescent bodies for marriage.

There is, however, one aloft cultural aberration amid the two groups: Hasidic men ally women their own age, admitting Yeshivish men about ally women a three or four years their junior.

“In the Hasidic world, it would be actual awe-inspiring for a man to ally a woman two years adolescent than him,” said Alexander Rapaport, a Hasidic ancestor of six and the controlling administrator of Masbia, a adequate soup kitchen in Brooklyn. Both Rapaport and his wife were 36 aback I interviewed him.

When I asked Rapaport about the Shidduch Crisis, he seemed perplexed. “I’ve heard of it,” he said, “but I’m not abiding I accept what it’s all about.”

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In fact, there is no Shidduch Crisis in the Hasidic community. “When I acknowledgment the appellation to Hasidim, they don’t apperceive what I’m talking about,” said Samuel Heilman, a assistant of folklore and Jewish studies at Burghal University of New York and an able on Hasidic Jews.

Another academic, Hershey Friedman of Brooklyn College, accomplished the aforementioned conclusion, but from a altered angle point. Aback Friedman is not teaching accounts at Brooklyn College, he volunteers as a agent for Saw You at Sinai, an Orthodox dating account that combines acceptable matchmaking with some of the accoutrement of online dating. Friedman is not Hasidic himself, but he’s accustomed with the Hasidic association because he lives in Borough Park, a Brooklyn adjacency advised the epicenter of American Hasidic life.

“The girls accept it fabricated in the Hasidic world,” Friedman said. “They’re the ones in demand.” Friedman’s account for the absence of a Shidduch Crisis amid Hasidic Jews is that there are added Hasidic boys than girls—a acumen that I doubtable is inaccurate but nonetheless reflects how altered the alliance bazaar is for Hasidic adjoin non-Hasidic Orthodox Jews.

The appearing amnesty of Hasidic Jews to the Shidduch Crisis has not been absent on some Yeshivish rabbis. In 2012, a dozen American and Israeli Orthodox rabbis active belletrist advancement adolescent men and their parents to activate their matchmaking action beforehand than age 22 or 23. The rabbis acclaimed that their association “finds itself in an added difficult situation,” with “thousands” of distinct Jewish women disturbing to acquisition husbands. “[I]t has become bright that the primary account of this is that [men] about ally girls who are a cardinal of years younger,” apprehend one of the letters. “Since the citizenry increases every year and there are added girls entering shidduchim than boys, abounding girls are larboard unmarried. Clearly, the way to antidote this abhorrent bearings is to abate the age alterity in shidduchim. Abounding [Hasidic] communities who do not accept age disparities in shidduchim are not adverse this adverse bearings of abundant bachelor girls.”

The advancement that the authentic agent of the Shidduch Crisis lies in demographics has not sat able-bodied with those who staked their reputations on addition explanations. “This adorned cocktail of demography, sociology, mathematics, and belief is absolutely annihilation added than a Ponzi scheme,” American Rabbi Chananya Weissman wrote in The Jerusalem Post.

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Weissman runs an alignment alleged End The Madness, which aims to ameliorate the Orthodox matchmaking system. Weissman places abundant of the accusation for the Shidduch Crisis on the women themselves. As he wrote on TheYeshivaWorld.com website, women are too focused on “non-Halachic externalities” (i.e., attributes not admired by Jewish law or tradition) aback evaluating -to-be husbands: “I would apriorism that feminism and un-Jewish ethics accept had a adverse aftereffect on the shidduch world… The aforementioned women who are allegedly aloof atrocious to get married, who appetite annihilation added than to accommodated a nice guy who doesn’t dribble all over himself, actually adios the all-inclusive majority of men they appear beyond after batting an eyelash—and again say the botheration is there aren’t any acceptable guys.”

Weissman’s band-aid is for Orthodox Jews to await below on matchmakers and added on singles contest breadth adolescent bodies can admix and get to apperceive anniversary added in added accustomed settings. Of course, there’s affluence of accustomed alternation amid college-educated men and women in New York City, and that hasn’t apparent the too-many-women botheration in the civil world.

Perhaps the best controversial—and absolutely the best misogynistic— account for the Shidduch Crisis was offered up by Yitta Halberstam, coauthor of the acknowledged Small Miracles alternation of books. Halberstam’s 2012 cavalcade in The Jewish Press started out artlessly enough. “This is the acrid truth,” she wrote. “The mothers of ‘good boys’ are bombarded with shidduch suggestions on a circadian basis—a actual battery of résumés either calamity their fax machines or cloudburst out of their email inboxes—while those with analogously ‘top’ daughters sit with bankrupt faces anxiously cat-and-mouse for the buzz to ring. The alterity is bare, bold-faced, and absolutely heartbreaking.”

Halberstam knew all this because her own son was activity through the matchmaking process: “I feel a little sad anniversary time the fax apparatus cranks out yet addition résumé for my son. I apperceive abounding able-bodied that there are absurd girls out there who are his equals—perhaps alike his superiors—who are NOT accepting commensurable treatment… I anguish for their mothers, who again alarm the shadchanim [matchmakers] who never alarm back, but are visibly added acknowledging if you are the mother of a boy. Inwardly, I abuse adjoin the bent of it all.”

Here Halberstam went off the rails. She went on to call accessory a association accident breadth distinct women were alien to mothers of distinct men—and actuality “jolted” by the subpar looks of the girls.

“Yes,” she wrote, “spiritual adorableness makes a woman’s eyes afterglow and casts a beaming burnish over her face; there is no adorableness like a authentic soul. Makeup, however, goes a continued way in both acclimation facial flaws and accentuating one’s assets, and if my brief analysis was absolutely authentic (and I apologize if the girls acclimated such accustomed architecture that I artlessly couldn’t tell), almost any of these girls seemed to accept fabricated a huge accomplishment to accouter themselves out.”

In added words, the complete acumen these adolescent women were still bachelor was because they were homely. Halberstam again angled bottomward on heartlessness, suggesting that a appointment to the artificial surgeon ability be in adjustment for some of these Plain Janes: “Mothers, this is my appeal to you: There is no acumen in today’s day and age with the accoutrements of corrective and surgical procedures available, why any babe can’t be adapted into a swan. Borrow the money if you accept to; it’s an advance in your daughter’s future, her life.”

Of the 648 mostly abashed and affronted comments acquaint to The Jewish Press website, one stood out: “Dear Mrs. Halberstam, I am additionally a Jewish mother,” it began. “But I no best allotment your blithesome apprehension of walking my adolescent bottomward to the chuppa [the Jewish bells canopy]. She died aftermost year, of anorexia.

“It all began six years ago, when, at the age of 21, a shadchan who declared to be as well-meaning as you do appropriate that she lose a few pounds (she was a admeasurement 6 at the time) in adjustment to accomplish herself added ‘marketable’ (that is the appellation she acclimated then). What followed was a daydream for her, me, and our accomplished ancestors that I can alone achievement you will never apperceive from. If you accept a atom of rachmunus [pity] in your Jewish neshama [soul] I beg you to abjure this commodity and apologize for your deeply, alarmingly bearded advice. I am arrant now as I address this and anticipate of what my babe had to ache because of absolutely the blazon of things that you accept accounting here, and I am aloof so abashed for all the added affectable adolescent girls who will apprehend your words and ability the aforementioned end. This is not a joke, and it is not funny at all. You could actually be killing bodies by authoritative these suggestions and assiduity the appearance that underlies them.”

Anorexia has become a quiet affliction of the Orthodox Jewish community. A address on the Civic Bistro Disorders Association website declared the acute burden that distinct Orthodox women feel to break attenuate during the matchmaking process. NEDA cited a abstraction by bistro ataxia specialist Dr. Ira Sacker, who activate that one in nineteen girls in one Orthodox association had been diagnosed with an bistro disorder—a amount 50 percent aloft the civic average.

One cultural by-product of the Shidduch Crisis that has not been hushed up is the ever-larger dowries that Orthodox brides and their families are now accepted to pay for the advantage of accepting married. These dowries are banking promises fabricated by the bride’s parents to advice abutment the adolescent ancestors for the three or four or however-long-it-takes years that their approaching son-in-law may absorb acceptance at a Jewish seminary. The actuality that these dowries accumulate accretion demonstrates both the bazaar ability men acquire as able-bodied as the agony acquainted by adolescent women and their parents. “It was never like this before,” said Salamon. “There was consistently a dowry, but it was pillowcases and things of that nature—not $50,000.”

Salamon acclaimed that the convenance of brides’ families advantageous five- and six-figure dowries has leached from the acceptable Orthodox association into the added alloyed Avant-garde Orthodox one. Indeed, the Summer 2013 affair of Jewish Action, the official annual of the Avant-garde Orthodox awning alignment Orthodox Union, included an article by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen, a acclaimed Jewish academic and lecturer. Kelemen told the adventure of his attack to align a alliance for his daughter: “When I contacted the arch of a celebrated American yeshiva [an Orthodox Jewish seminary] to ask if he ability accept a shidduch for my daughter, he asked me ‘what akin boy’ I was absorbed in. Unsure what he meant, I asked for clarification. ‘Top boys go for $100,000 a year, but we additionally accept boys for $70,000 a year and alike $50,000 a year.’ He said that if I was accessible to accomplish the commitment, he could activate authoritative recommendations immediately.”

The Orthodox Union’s controlling carnality president, Rabbi Steven Weil, told me he believed a backfire to the added alien dowries was brewing. “You don’t ally for money,” Weil said. “This is not our religion.”

Weil is right, of course. It is not his religion. It is his religion’s demographics.

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Jon Birger is a contributor to Fortune annual and has accounting for Time, Barron’s, Money and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. He lives with his ancestors in Larchmont, New York.

Adapted with permission from Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Askew Numbers Game, (Workman, August 2015), by Jon Birger.

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