When men are scarce, don’t expect a marriage proposal

June 11th, 2009 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 11 (IANS) Why are young men reluctant to pop the big question? Young men feel less pressure to settle down when they are outnumbered by young women who strive for their love and affection.
But the reverse is true when these men reach their 30s. Proportionately more older men are married in areas where they are outnumbered by women.

Daniel Kruger from the University of Michigan examined how the balance between women and men affects marital patterns. Results indicated that men are unlikely to commit if they live in an area with more women than men.

“Marriage patterns aren’t rational because men and women have somewhat different reproductive strategies. Men have a greater reproductive benefit than women from having a greater quantity of relationships. If they can leverage their scarcity into attracting multiple short-term partners, they will not have as much of an incentive to settle down,” said Kruger.

According to Kruger, once men enter their 30s, they shift from short-term relationships to committed, long-term relationships. This is because when women evaluate their partners they place an emphasis on physical features that could be passed on to their potential offspring. As men age, these physical attributes decline, thereby making it difficult to entice women into short-term relationships.

The study was published in the current issue of the Journal of Social Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology.

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