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“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.Both of these socially conservative communities are suffering from marriage crises that are testing not only their faiths but social norms as well.“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.It’s total chaos.” For Orthodox Jewish women, as for Mormon ones, getting married and having children is more than a lifestyle choice.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.
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.
“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.
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.
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Heterosexual men are more likely to play the field, and heterosexual women must compete for men’s attention.