How Jail Affects the Dating Scene

October 17, 2011 in Daily Bulletin

Tim Harford asks you to imagine a world where there are 20 heterosexual men and women, and then you take away one man. What happens? In The Logic of Life Harford argues that since one woman faces the prospect of never finding a mate, she is forced to compete against the other women and might do so by doing things such as dressing more seductively or being more obliging. Then Harford asks you to consider the fact that one in nine young Black men are behind bars whereas one in 150 Black women are in jail. The Economist reported on the implications that Harford draws from this:

  • A 1% increase in the male incarceration rate is linked to a 2.4% decrease in the proportion of women who get married.
  • Since Black women tend to go to college more often than Black men, there is even more competition among well-educated Black women for Black men of a similar socio-economic status.
  • The high demand for eligible Black men causes Black women to “do extra” to get their attention. This often involves offering sex on the first date.

To read about the experience of one Black Women on a date as well as more detailed statistics about the status of jail and marriage get the book or read the Economist’s coverage over here.

Source: The Economist