Given the shortage of young men in post-World War I Europe — 10 million soldiers died and 20 million were wounded, many grievously — Bernard wonders why any bachelor would want to settle down. Today’s hookup culture does have one big thing in common with the ’20s flapper generation, and that is demographics. There are too many women and they’re all too easy to make it worthwhile.” I was reminded of this while reading Vanity Fair’s much-publicized piece, “Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse,” which naively blames today’s “hookup culture” on the popularity of a three-year-old dating app.As I argue in “DATE-ONOMICS: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game,” the college and post-college hookup culture is a byproduct, not of Tinder or Facebook (another target of modern scolds), but of shifting demographics among the college-educated.Much as the death toll of WWI caused a shortage of marriageable men in the 1920s, today’s widening gender gap in college enrollment has created unequal numbers in the post-college dating pool.When there are plenty of marriageable men, dating culture emphasizes courtship and romance, and men generally must earn more to attract a wife.But when gender ratios skew toward women, as they do today among college grads, the dating culture becomes more sexualized.Regardless of orientation, not all women, of course, place a premium on marriage, or even monogamy.
Consider Santa Clara County, Calif., home to Silicon Valley and the only well-populated area in the country where male college grads outnumber female ones by a significant margin. “I think it’s pretty good for the girls,” one single woman told the San Jose Mercury News a few years back.In the Vanity Fair article, David Buss, a University of Texas psychology professor, says that apps like Tinder contribute to “a perceived surplus of women,” among straight men, which in turn leads to more hookups and fewer traditional relationships.Here’s the thing: This surplus of women is not just “perceived” but very, very real.Indeed, there are 1.5 million more non-college-educated men than women among Americans age 22 to 29.Bottom line: New York City women looking for a match would be better off, statistically at least, at a fireman’s bar in Staten Island than a wine bar on the Upper East Side.