Monday, November 29, 2004

The Sex Ratio

Compare these two observations:
James Q. Wilson, writing about China's demographics:
The authors neglect one offsetting benefit of having more young men than young women. In the U.S., a high sex ratio is statistically associated with high rates of marriage and low rates of illegitimate births. This argument, first made by Marcia Guttenberg and Paul Secord and amplified in other studies--and in my book, "The Marriage Problem"--arises from the laws of supply and demand.

If there are a lot of men for young women, then the women will trade sex in exchange for what they value, which for most women is a stable relationship--that is, marriage and two-parent child care. But if men are scarce and women abundant, then women will lose their bargaining power and exchange sex for whatever is available: one-night stands, illegitimate children or even prostitution. In the U.S., African-Americans have a very low sex ratio, and the consequences of that fact are obvious.
Hugh Schwyzer, writing about the growing imbalance between women and men on college campuses:
A very fine article in the Sunday LA Times yesterday: A Growing Gender Gap Tests College Admissions. It deals with an increasingly familiar story: the growing imbalance between male and female students on college and university campuses across the country. At a great many schools, women are now approaching (or exceeding) 60% of the student body; some schools (as detailed in the Times piece) are now apparently lowering standards for male applicants in hopes of achieving greater balance.
* * *
On another level, I wonder how this gender gap contributes to the "hook-up culture" on college campuses. On the one hand, young women may feel increasingly sexually emboldened, and young men increasingly comfortable seeing women in positions of power. On the other hand, young men know that the high numbers of young women around gives them less incentive to date anyone exclusively. Why be faithful to one gal when the "odds" are so good?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart Buck quoted James Wilson:

>In the U.S., African-Americans have a very low sex ratio, and the consequences of that fact are obvious.

That statement is so bizarrely presumptuous it undercuts Wilson's entire argument.

The female/male ratio of a particular country may determine choices for marriage or other actions among citizens of that country, since generally speaking nationals of one country don't migrate in droves to marry nationals of another country. Some migration occurs, but not usually on a scale to affect the ratio significantly. Certainly migration from China is not of that scale.

However, no legal or citizenship barrier prevents African-American citizens of the USA from marrying non-A-As. Wilson argues that the female/male ratio of one identifiable group in a free country leads that group to "obvious consequences", by which he implies poverty, crime, single parenthood and the usual litany of moral hobgoblins. Since USA's A-A female/male ratio is apparently different from the general population ratio, that argument presumes that A-As are unable to marry non-A-As, and so are driven mysteriously by the ratio to make the hobgoblin choices.

My BS detectors are bouncing off the scale.

On entirely another subject, I think the reason you get so few comments, and so many multiple posted comments is that blogger.com has the least reliable and slowest servers in the known universe. I tried to make this 2 minute comment several times today, and spent close to a half hour each time just getting 404 errors and timeouts from blogger.com. Today's experience is no different from weeks and months past.

Yours is an interesting blog, but blogger.com is the most hideous blog host from which I've ever tried to read a blog.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart Buck quoted James Wilson:

>In the U.S., African-Americans have a very low sex ratio, and the consequences of that fact are obvious.

That statement is so bizarrely presumptuous it undercuts Wilson's entire argument.

The female/male ratio of a particular country may determine choices for marriage or other actions among citizens of that country, since generally speaking nationals of one country don't migrate in droves to marry nationals of another country. Some migration occurs, but not usually on a scale to affect the ratio significantly. Certainly migration from China is not of that scale.

However, no legal or citizenship barrier prevents African-American citizens of the USA from marrying non-A-As. Wilson argues that the female/male ratio of one identifiable group in a free country leads that group to "obvious consequences", by which he implies poverty, crime, single parenthood and the usual litany of moral hobgoblins. Since USA's A-A female/male ratio is apparently different from the general population ratio, that argument presumes that A-As are unable to marry non-A-As, and so are driven mysteriously by the ratio to make the hobgoblin choices.

My BS detectors are bouncing off the scale.

On entirely another subject, I think the reason you get so few comments, and so many multiple posted comments is that blogger.com has the least reliable and slowest servers in the known universe. I tried to make this 2 minute comment several times today, and spent close to a half hour each time just getting 404 errors and timeouts from blogger.com. Today's experience is no different from weeks and months past.

Yours is an interesting blog, but blogger.com is the most hideous blog host from which I've ever tried to read a blog.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart Buck quoted James Wilson:

>In the U.S., African-Americans have a very low sex ratio, and the consequences of that fact are obvious.

That statement is so bizarrely presumptuous it undercuts Wilson's entire argument.

The female/male ratio of a particular country may determine choices for marriage or other actions among citizens of that country, since generally speaking nationals of one country don't migrate in droves to marry nationals of another country. Some migration occurs, but not usually on a scale to affect the ratio significantly. Certainly migration from China is not of that scale.

However, no legal or citizenship barrier prevents African-American citizens of the USA from marrying non-A-As. Wilson argues that the female/male ratio of one identifiable group in a free country leads that group to "obvious consequences", by which he implies poverty, crime, single parenthood and the usual litany of moral hobgoblins. Since USA's A-A female/male ratio is apparently different from the general population ratio, that argument presumes that A-As are unable to marry non-A-As, and so are driven mysteriously by the ratio to make the hobgoblin choices.

My BS detectors are bouncing off the scale.

On entirely another subject, I think the reason you get so few comments, and so many multiple posted comments is that blogger.com has the least reliable and slowest servers in the known universe. I tried to make this 2 minute comment several times today, and spent close to a half hour each time just getting 404 errors and timeouts from blogger.com. Today's experience is no different from weeks and months past.

Yours is an interesting blog, but blogger.com is the most hideous blog host from which I've ever tried to read a blog.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right - there are no legal barriers keeping blacks from marrying whites. Yet, the biracial matching is very low. Linda Wong has an article entitled something to the effect, "Why Do Only 5% of all black men marry white women?" If I'm not mistaken, the biracial matching for black females is even lower than that. There is a shortage of black males between the ages of 25-29. The median gender ratio at the MSA level for blacks aged 25-29 is in the range of .84-.90 (outliers like Glenn Falls, NY skew the median up since Glenn Falls has a mere 2000 blacks total, and only approximately 200 black males aged 25-29 and only 8 black females in that age range). Yet, you don't see black females - the individuals facing the shortage - selecting into non-black pools of mates. The fact that there are no legal barriers is irrelevant - there can be social barriers (taboos) as well as increased search costs which keep black females from having the abilty to select into the non-black pool for a mate. And it might be this inability to substitute out which helps keep the "price" that wilson is describing so high for black females. - scott cunningham, athens georgia

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Blogger coolsupermario said...

Also, some people kill female child after arrival. Some people carry on reproducing even after having 2 kids in expectation of a male child e.g.

2 daughters & 1 boy

3 daughters & 1 boy

4 daughters & 1 boy

Eager to adopting a male child from orphan homes, forsaken babies, etc.

Prayers to God for blessing of Male Child, Worship, etc.

Celebrations & Parties for arrival of a male child but not for female child.

Heavy money & gifts are implicitly demanded at the time of marriage of girls in the form of dowry. Most of the girls are presumed to be housewife. Girls can't & don't work due to societal pressure though girls are at par and educated as boys.

Girls are married early as per society norms, unmarried girls are burden on father and people taunt to parents if a girl is sitting in home, if parents can't find a suitable boy. Parents are stressed due to girls' marriage.

After girls marriage again parents have to give money to groom's family to maintain relations, generally.

As soon as a girl is born, it is assumed and a girl is told in its childhood years that she has to go to another home (which would be her home) and at another home after marriage also her in - laws taunt her that she is not a member but an outsider.

Women are not equal in India and they can't exercise their rights.
They can't decide on their own.

In states, like Punjab, Haryana & Delhi it is 880 per 1000s.

Indian stats ( sex raio, etc.) are just approx not truth because most of the people are poor, illiterate or live in places where basic things like nutritious food, roads, clothing, sanitation, banks, 1 room house are super luxury.

Boys have to try hard to attract young women for marriage.

Also, having a girlfriend in a college (may or may not for marriage)is a very big achievement for a boy because competition is so heavy & cut - throat for shortage of girls esp which are good looking.


Lots of such conditions are a cause for low sex ratio.

1:45 PM  

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