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Date-Onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game Paperback – 1 Nov 2015


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Review

A fascinating look at romance and what s going on with the mating rituals of homo sapiens today. This book will surprise and enlighten you. AJ Jacobs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "TheYear of Living Biblically"and"Drop Dead Healthy" "Date-onomics"is the"Moneyball"of dating. College-educated women wanting to improve their odds in today s wacky marriage market will be dog-earing its pages. Jean Chatzky, NBC s"Today"show financial editor and"New York Times"bestselling author Birger offers a compelling answer to the question, Where are all the good guys? I would have said Argentina. But now I m thinking of heading to Aspen. Read "Date-onomics" and find out why. Kristin Newman, author of "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding" The modern single woman will share this book with her well-meaning friends and family who just can t understand why she s still single it s not her, it s the date-onomics! Melanie Notkin, author of "Savvy Auntie "and" Otherhood" The author provides fascinating evidence to show how and why dating and mating culture in America has changed in the 21st century. "Kirkus Review""

The author provides fascinating evidence to show how and why dating and mating culture in America has changed in the 21st century. "Kirkus Review" "Birger offers a compelling argument backed by plentiful data... Recommended, especially for singles and those who advise them." "Library Journal" A fascinating look at romance and what s going on with the mating rituals of homo sapiens today. This book will surprise and enlighten you. AJ Jacobs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "TheYear of Living Biblically"and"Drop Dead Healthy" "Date-onomics"is the"Moneyball"of dating. College-educated women wanting to improve their odds in today s wacky marriage market will be dog-earing its pages. Jean Chatzky, NBC s"Today"show financial editor and"New York Times"bestselling author Birger offers a compelling answer to the question, Where are all the good guys? I would have said Argentina. But now I m thinking of heading to Aspen. Read "Date-onomics" and find out why. Kristin Newman, author of "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding" The modern single woman will share this book with her well-meaning friends and family who just can t understand why she s still single it s not her, it s the date-onomics! Melanie Notkin, author of "Savvy Auntie "and" Otherhood""

"Think "Freakonomics "and "Moneyball "if you run across "Date-onomics," a by-the-numbers book on dating that argues advice-givers serving up tips for women on how to a find a man have it all wrong." "Associated Press" The author provides fascinating evidence to show how and why dating and mating culture in America has changed in the 21st century. "Kirkus Review" "Birger offers a compelling argument backed by plentiful data... Recommended, especially for singles and those who advise them." "Library Journal" A fascinating look at romance and what s going on with the mating rituals of homo sapiens today. This book will surprise and enlighten you. AJ Jacobs, "New York Times" bestselling author of "TheYear of Living Biblically"and"Drop Dead Healthy" "Date-onomics"is the"Moneyball"of dating. College-educated women wanting to improve their odds in today s wacky marriage market will be dog-earing its pages. Jean Chatzky, NBC s"Today"show financial editor and"New York Times"bestselling author Birger offers a compelling answer to the question, Where are all the good guys? I would have said Argentina. But now I m thinking of heading to Aspen. Read "Date-onomics" and find out why. Kristin Newman, author of "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding" The modern single woman will share this book with her well-meaning friends and family who just can t understand why she s still single it s not her, it s the date-onomics! Melanie Notkin, author of "Savvy Auntie "and" Otherhood" "

From the Back Cover

It s not that he s just not that into you it s that there aren t enough of him. And the numbers prove it. Using a combination of demographics, statistics, game theory, and number crunching, "Date-onomics" tells what every college-educated, heterosexual, looking-for-a-partner single woman needs to know: The man defecit is real. It s a fascinating, if sobering, read, with two critical takeaways: One, it s not you. Two, knowledge is power, so here s what to do about it."

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x928f22dc) out of 5 stars 65 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92e626d0) out of 5 stars Interesting read for anyone dating, but be careful 15 Sept. 2015
By WhoIsThis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jon Birger's book is about the ratio between male and female, particularly focusing on the well educated males that women would regard as marriage worthy material. It is especially helpful for women in their 20s and perhaps 30s as well to understand what they are up against. The demographic and social changes in the past 40 years or so have drastically altered the world of dating.

He puts a very strong emphasis on the impact that the dating ratios have on how males and females behave. When there are shortages of one gender, the other gender will treat their mates much more preciously. Similarly, oversupplies of one gender encourage very promiscuous behavior and outright disloyalty at times.

Birger in his book explores several areas:
1. New York City, which has a huge female surplus and male shortage, which he argues has led to men who are disloyal.

2. The rising ratios of females to males on university campuses throughout the US, which has led to a "hook up" culture.

3. Impacts of too many women in religion (he uses Orthodox Jews and Mormons as a case study). Males have become in short supply because they are more likely to leave said faiths and this has created a difficult situation for religious women seeking to marry. Birger explores this in his book.

4. He then explains why he thinks dating will get worse with time. Dating matchmakers have seen a huge number of women for that reason, and the problem worsens the older women get.

5. Finally he recommends ideas for women. These include the use of ultimatums, moving to areas where the ratios are more favorable, and being more aggressive in general. He emphasizes how the most aggressive bidders, not the best bidders (or women in this case), get the men.

Today there are now more women than men who graduate university, around 60-40. That means that 1/3 of all women (perhaps more as there are more gay men than lesbian women, plus a higher percentage of men don't want marriage) will not get university educated husbands if they want them. This situation is worsened considering not all straight university educated men are regarded by women as "marriage material" and perhaps fewer men are regarded as marriage material than men would regard women. Of course, there are also men who are not university graduates who are marriage material as well and Birger notes that, although not all women are willing to marry such men.

It is a very interesting study of how sex ratios can affect human behaviour, but I think he takes it a bit too far. It does not explain absolutely everything in dating. I think though that you should be careful with these conclusions. There is a bit of self-selection in who he interviewed and in this regard, he does I think use anecdotal evidence too much.

This is one big criticism I have of this book. Not all males are instantly going to become disloyal in a place where the dating ratios are favorable for example. Nor does a favorable dating ratio instantly give men free reign to do whatever they want. I think that Birger is a bit selective in his evidence. As a male, I will note that some guys still are going to struggle no matter what even in a situation like this.

Likewise there will be women who will struggle to find perfect mates too (in China this is happening due to their lopsided male to female ratios too). I think that in attempting to push sexual ratios and post-secondary educated sexual ratios to explain many aspects of dating, he has tried to use it to explain everything. There are going to be limitations in ratios too - they cannot change basic human nature.

Birger also recommends mixed collar marriages (ex: university educated women marrying men with considerably less education). I think it's a worthy strategy to pursue for individual women, as not all men who are great are going to have a university bachelors (or higher degree), but on a large scale it is not happening.

Assortative mating is actually rising in the US:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/27/upshot/marriages-of-power-couples-reinforce-income-inequality.html

Finally, Birger's recommendation of an ultimatum is a very high risk strategy. I hope you realize that. Personally, as a male, if a woman made an ultimatum and I was not sure, I would say no. Recognize the risk you are taking. Statistically, Birger makes the argument that the expected value is better (kind of like choosing risky stocks versus more conservative stocks to invest in), but I think he overlooks the risk. The returns are of course expected to be higher in riskier stocks on average, but the risk of course is too. There is a reason why conservative investments like government bonds exist. I'll even note that he has an example of a woman where the ultimatum failed. It "worked" for her, but she had to move. Be very careful about taking this advice and carefully weigh the risks and benefits. I'm not saying you should "never" make an ultimatum, but you should be aware of the risks you are making.

If you keep what I have written in mind, I think that this will be a very interesting book to read. He presents the data in an entertaining fashion, but just be careful about how he analyzes the implications.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x929815e8) out of 5 stars Provocative, Perceptive, and above all Useful 15 Sept. 2015
By Hans U. Widmaier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides an objective, fact-based analysis of (straight) dating among (mostly) college-educated Americans of various ages. The insights are both startling and extremely illuminating. The author, Jon Birger, is primarily interested in conveying information, rather than giving advice. And that is perhaps the book's greatest virtue: it remains resolutely empirical throughout and never descends into the kind of cheap dating advice and empty psychobabble that's characteristic of the genre of dating books. Birger's mission, it seems to me, is to empower people with facts so they can then make intelligent and well-informed decisions on a wide range of issues relating to sexual choices, dating, and marriage. In that, he succeeds spectacularly. I can't imagine a more useful approach to this fraught topic.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92cb8318) out of 5 stars Fun and informative 3 Oct. 2015
By Adam L. Frank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Birger has crafted a terrific - and very careful - argument that lopsided gender ratios have some explanatory power for a range of symptoms, from the hook-up culture at some colleges to the unwillingness of some men to settle into permanent relationships. Importantly, he uses hard data to craft a careful argument and doesn't purport to explain every behavior on the dating scene. The correlation of more promiscuous behavior with lopsided gender ratios isn't presented as causation, although the circumstantial and anecdotal evidence for it is quite strong. But Birger is careful to present the data and let the reader draw his or her own conclusions.

As the father of a college-age son and daughter, I read the sections on gender ratios at schools (and the college comments in the appendix) with keen interest; anecdotal evidence I've gathered from campus tours and sites like collegeprowler.com confirm his insights. I know more than one parent who has changed the focus of the college search for their son or daughter as the result of reading this book! And the book is filled with intriguing insights that bolster his general conclusion; I found the chapters on Mormons and Orthodox Jews particularly fascinating.

A number of reviewers (in the media, not here on Amazon) have taken umbrage with Birger's conclusion that "women need to change what makes them happy in order to find a mate"; unfortunately for them, that straw man is not his conclusion at all, as he takes pains to say more than once. He presents the facts to allow college-educated women -- or men -- to make informed choices about where they might have a statistically higher likelihood of finding a mate if that's what they want. He does not make any value judgments about those choices, except to say that if finding a mate is important to someone, they can use his research and conclusions to make an informed choice about where to live, for example.

As for his prescription of more "mixed-collar" marriages, self-segregation among college-educated adults often makes it a difficult strategy to execute; I expect more people will move than date or marry across educational backgrounds. I don't know if tha​t's a good thing or bad, but in my experience college grads are more likely to move than to date someone without a college degree.

Birger has provided an important addition, grounded in empirical evidence and close research, to the mass of books and articles on dating. The book is a fairly easy read as well. Whether or not you have a background in statistics Birger makes the concepts come alive in easy-to-understand prose and examples. Whether you're the parent of a high schooler getting ready for college, a recent college grad looking for a mate, or anyone with an interest in these topics, Date-onomics will be a great addition to your library. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x927f31f8) out of 5 stars The topics are interesting and have a good mix of empiric data and anecdotal stories 7 Sept. 2015
By Sandra K Olson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book gives an explanation of some of the social changes going on in the Millennial generation. The topics are interesting and have a good mix of empiric data and anecdotal stories. It would be nice to think that changes will occur when these phenomena are recognized, but the hope that the marketplace of dating will change soon is more than I can expect.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x926cdbdc) out of 5 stars An Eye-Opener; Single People, Parents of Young Adults, and College Admissions Officers Should Read This Book 7 Sept. 2015
By Lori L. Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Date-onomics is an eye-opener. Whether you are a single person still searching for “the one,” a parent of a student nearing college age, a divorced person re-entering the dating market, or a college admissions officer, this book will provide insights that will help you think more clearly about the dynamics of dating behaviors. As the number of women with college degrees continues to increase in comparison to men with similar educational levels, we need to consider the impact of that shift on our society. Jon Birger offers observations that many of us have never noticed, but that are particularly significant for young adults in the United States. The book is cleanly written and presents economic and social data in an accessible way, along with savvy commentary. Birger is not writing to pass judgment; instead, his book helps people understand their own choices better, including where they attend college, where they live, what profession they pursue, and who they find attractive.
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