Our Dating Demographic Dilemma

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With guest host John Donvan

The numbers that rule the dating game. We look at how demographics are making it much harder for women and changing the way we date today.

In this July 5, 2015 photo, an Indian man uses Los Angeles-based dating application Tinder in New Delhi, India. (AP)
In this July 5, 2015 photo, an Indian man uses Los Angeles-based dating application Tinder in New Delhi, India. (AP)

Dating and mating. They’re not exactly the same thing. Take nowadays, for example, when cultural observers are reporting that dating is becoming a lost art, while mating is getting transformed into the art of the hookup. Caught in the evolution, says one writer: women with college degrees. All that learning is working to their disadvantage in the dating game. Especially since there are so many more of them than men with degrees. Also not helping? Mobile phone matchup apps. This hour On Point: love and courtship 2015 — the demographic factor.
-- John Donvan


Jon Birger, journalist and writer. Author of the new book, "Date-Onomics: How Dating Became A Lopsided Numbers Game." Contributor to Fortune. (@jonbirger1)

Samhita Mukhopadhyay, journalist and contributor to Al-Jazeera, the Guardian, Fusion and the Nation. Former executive editor of Author of "Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life." (@thesamhita)

Stephanie Coontz, professor of history and family studies at the Evergreen State College. Co-chair and director of research at University of Chicago, Illinois’ Council on Contemporary Families. Author of the book “Marriage, a History,” among others. (@stephaniecoontz)

Elizabeth Plank, senior editor at Mic, where she also hosts the weekly series "Flip the Script." Correspondent at MSNBC Shift's Kystral Clear." (@feministabulous)

From The Reading List

New York Times: For the College-Educated, There Is a Man Deficit in the U.S. — "I foresee a rise in what I call 'mixed-collar marriages' — professional women marrying working-class men. The fact is, with 134 women for every 100 men, there is simply no way all the young college-grad women who wish to marry college-grad men can do so. Not unless there is a huge spike in the divorce rate."

Vanity Fair: Tinder and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse' — "As the polar ice caps melt and the earth churns through the Sixth Extinction, another unprecedented phenomenon is taking place, in the realm of sex. Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship. 'We are in uncharted territory' when it comes to Tinder et al., says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction."

Washington Post: Why getting into elite colleges is harder for women — "Getting accepted to an elite college has never been more difficult. So to all the young women who got in this year I say: Great job! You earned it. To the young men I say: Congrats. But just be thankful you didn’t have to apply as a woman."

This program aired on August 14, 2015.


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