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On a lark, I emailed my friend Cynthia Bowman,* a devout Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake City and returns there often, and asked her whether Mormon sex ratios are as lopsided as the ARIS study claimed.[Editor’s note: “Cynthia Bowman” is a pseudonym, as are other names denoted with an asterisk.Like several other western states, Utah actually has more men than women.Utah’s ratio of men to women across all age groups is the fifth highest in the nation.
Hunt, a 35-year-old who only recently got married herself, told me she has three times more single women than single men in her matchmaking database.
“I don’t sleep at night anymore,” said Elefant, a shadchan—or Jewish matchmaker—affiliated with the Ohr Naava: Women’s Torah Center in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn.
“My own sister is thirty-seven, educated, accomplished, attractive, and single.
I told her to freeze her eggs.” Secular-style dating is rare in the Orthodox community in which Elefant lives.
Most marriages are loosely arranged—“guided” is probably a better word—by matchmakers such as Elefant.
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“Wow,” he said, “that sounds a lot like the Shidduch Crisis.” I had never heard of it, but the Shidduch Crisis turned out to be a marriage crisis among Orthodox Jews remarkably similar to the one afflicting Mormons.