But in fact, social scientists have been researching the society-wide effect of sex ratios on marriages and relationships since the early 20th century, and some of the evidence suggests that when there are excess women around, young men are less likely to commit.
In 1983, Marcia Guttentag and Robert Secord posited the theory that in female-heavy populations, men would become more promiscuous, and that in male-heavy populations, they'd become more faithful.
We're complicated creatures, and as Alexis Madrigal wrote earlier this week, it's both a bit myopic and ahistorical to believe that most technology is capable of single-handedly warping our behavior.
Suggesting otherwise doesn't do human beings nearly enough justice, even if we're just talking about a schlubby guy from Portland.
And in an interesting, gender-equitable twist, research on China has found that women there are more likely to sneak away for extramarital sex in communities with too many men.**With those findings in mind, it seems reasonable to suggest that instead of pointing a finger at the internet for Jacob's relationship habits, we can keep things simple and just blame Portland, where going to a bar, going to a concert, or even going to work would probably leave him surrounded by available women. In truth, my goal here isn't to convince you beyond reasonable doubt that sex-ratios are turning young, educated American adults into commitment-phobes.
Better yet, not only could the city's sex-ratio explain why he finds himself dating so many different women, but it might also clarify why so many different women are willing to date him: scarce alternatives. Someone who wanted to could probably marshall enough contradictory social science research to mount a good counterargument to the idea.
Where you can browse among many erotic videos with horny hot chicks who have a deep nasty desire to make those big throbbing cocks as hard as possible with their moist rosy lips which are waiting to be covered with warm love juice.
But Slater doesn't offer up much hard evidence that monogamy is actually becoming passe in this country, other than to point out that divorce rates have increased -- an oversimplification of what's happened in the past few decades.
Rather, he introduces us to Jacob, the pseudonymous thirty-something schlub I alluded to above.
And other than quotes from the executives of a few assorted matchmaking sites, whose insights boil down to admissions that their products aren't designed to foster long-term relationships, his story makes up the bulk of the piece.
Take, for instance, the enormous shortage of college educated men in Portland, Jacob's hometown.