Men Will Commit When Women are Scarce

Wouldn't you just know?

When women are scarce, men will do just anything to get one.  That's according to a new study of, of all things, the Makushi people in Guyana, which showed that men are more likely to seek long-term relationships when women are in short supply, as reported by

In my experience, it's the woman who's always looking for the commitment, while the man, looking over his shoulder to make sure he hasn't missed someone cuter.

“Commitment to a relationship is influenced by the availability of partners. So we can think of the number of men and women in a population as a potential mating market where the principles of supply and demand hold sway,” says University of Utah anthropologist Ryan Schacht, first author of the study published online Wednesday, Jan. 14 in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

 I suppose that's true.  I haven't been on the dating scene for quite a while but I seem to remember that the more laid-back you were about a potential mate, the better your chance of snagging one.  (I remember my husband saying he didn't think I liked him because I wouldn't give him my business card when we met.  Little did he know it was because I wanted to spare myself the disappointment of him never calling!)

 Schacht notes that it seems to be true that men will be interested in short-term relationships when more women are available. But when women are difficult to find, they become valued resources, so men will attempt to attract and maintain a single partner because it is costly to lose a partner when partners are rare.

 Interestingly, he also says the findings suggest just the opposite of the conventional view that when men outnumber women, there are more likely to be male-male fights and increases in sexually transmitted diseases.

 One of the reasons women may be scarce in some places is because they are drawn more to urban areas than rural areas where construction, logging, farming and mining draw men. When I was just out of college. I had a job where I traveled to farms in the Midwest and one farmer was young and just starting out in what, in those days, was considered pretty cool -- a tractor with air-conditioning and music spilling from a speaker.  He asked me to marry him and I thought he was kidding.  But he wasn't. I got on the first plane I could and went home.

For women in urban environments, it may be challenging to nail down a single, committed partner, Schacht says. “Women in rural places may find it easier to find a partner ready to settle down and commit," he says.

Anyone looking for a farmer?.  


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