The AZ thread – discuss the shidduch “age gap”

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  • #648983
    AZ
    Participant

    Chaverim:

    PT: A couple years back an attempt was made to get a handle on the number of older singles out there. It was NOT a scientific study as it is almost impossible to accurate numbers. A somewhat extensive sampling of shadchanim lists yielded the number I presented. It may be somewhat more it may be somewhat less. However it clearly is a huge problem. Do you debate the fact that the girls are having a much more difficult time in shidduchim and that there are far far more older single girls than single guys, OR are you debating the causes.

    #648984
    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    proud tatty, “Do you have ANY proof there are 2,000 more girls than guys?”

    Find me ONE of hundreds of Shadchanim, that will tell you that there are ten guys for every girl, rather than ten girls for every guy!!!!! JUST ONE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! ONLY THOSE LIVING IN A BUBBLE DON’T KNOW THERE’S THOUSANDS MORE OLDER GIRLS THAN BOYS.

    I myself have had that conversation with a hundred Shadchanim recently.

    #648985
    Jothar
    Member

    AZ, I am taking NO position. I am taking your argument to its logical extreme. Based on your argument, we should end kollel, and shrink family sizes since the numbers don’t work out, abort 2,000 females per year, and not have bitachon that Hashem runs the world. The gedolim all gave their bracha to someone who marries someone whose close to their age, and that is not the focal point of the debate from my point of view. The question is your insistence that one who doesn’t do so is meshamed klal yisroel. You are avoiding the question, so I will re-ask it here- what about the other issues (family size, kollel,aser beshvil shetisasher, etc) that don’t work out on a rational basis, but do work out if one has bitachon? Are you saying we should not have bitachon but go based on rational thinking?

    The idea of “bashert” is mentioned by the gemara.I would not want to be on the side of denying the gemara. In all honesty, of course, there are shitos that today we are all “zivug sheini” as we are all gilgulim, and there is no such thing as a “bashert”, and it all goes based on maaseh. The Zohar in Parshas Noach (from the Niglos Hazohar- allowed) says that sometimes, someone’s bashert goes to someone else first as a rachmanus. One of the zivug tefilos I used to say as a single mentioned the idea of grabbing someone else’s zivug, or someone grabbing yours. But the simple understanding of bashert is that it still applies today. Parnassah is also bashert, and I don’t see you advocating everyone leave kollel and go to college instead of relying on bitachon about parnassah. Why not? Do you, or do you not, believe in bashert and Hashem runs the world?

    #648986
    proud tatty
    Member

    I’m sure it was with 100.

    Just because more girl than guys go to shaddchanim (or that girls go to more shaddchanim than do guys) does not mean there are more girl than guys.

    There are plenty of older single guys as well, we just tend to justify their lack of success in the market (oh, he needs to finish med school first, become more financially stable etc.)

    #648987
    mox
    Member

    I am not sure where you got the 1:1 ratio at age 20. In your experience do 5% more men than women die before age 20. The Centers for Disease and Control keeps pretty good nmbers on death rates by age and gender. If you would like it in tabular form so it can be used in a spreadsheet you can go to the disastercenter web site (google it) on the bottom there in the small letters there is a link for US cause if death data. go to that page and follow the link to Number of deaths and death rates…

    The information is also available on the CDC web site.

    assuming a 3% OTD number with a 3:1 ratio we would have 2% more girls than boys . My issue with using this is that intil we have some form of hard numbers we are just guessing.

    Re unmarrigable – You may be right that OTD/substance abuse is significantly more common among however phsychiatric conditions are significanlty more common among women. obviously most people with phsychiatric conditions can and will marry but it is another factor that somwhat cancels out the OTD issue.

    RE the math – with a population on this size it is expected that there will be peaks and dips in the numbers. However there is an average growth rate that can be extraoliated from the dataset (with a certain degree of confidence). No one is saying everyone should marry x number of years older or younger than themselves. This would cause siginificant problems due to the year to year variations in the population. All we are saying is that due to the fact that the average growth rate is about 3.5% a community wide average age gap of 3 years is going to cause problems.

    #648988
    tzippi
    Member

    About those large prewar families: how many survived to maturity, and I don’t mean due to Hitler, ym”sh. I mean the lack of antibiotics, hunger, pogroms, drafts, etc. We don’t have to go back to the 1800s for that.

    #648989
    AZ
    Participant

    PT: sounds like you are taking the postition that there are rougly the same amount of older girls and guys.

    True girls go to shadchanim SOONER than guys. However by the time the guys hit 27,28 – on shidduch island 5 yrs- the shadchanim have by and large heard of them.

    Jothar: “The question is your insistence that one who doesn’t do so is meshamed klal yisroel.”

    I don’t recall ever having said that or anything resembling such. I have and continue to encourage that we should have more close in age shidduchim than we have had in the past.

    What I am saying is we are OBLIGATED to use our saychel and take reasonable actions to prevent and alleviate problems that we find ourselves in. The more serious the problem the more willing we must be to take even somewhat difficult actions.

    What constitutes reasonable action? That can be debated and guidance from our leaders is absolutely necessary. I for one don’t think trying to encourage more close in age shiddcuhim is that radical. (throwing the girls in the river is).

    My Beliefs:

    Yes, I believe HASHEM runs the world.

    NO, I don’t believe hashem wants all 23 year olds to date 19 year olds and therefore cause many many girls to be stuck.

    Yes, I belive Hashem gives us free choice and the fact the he runs the world doesn’t preclude our ability to mess things up royally by our actions.

    Yes, I believe in people being responsible for their actions and to the community.

    No, I don’t believe in blaming Hashem for problems that are self created (albeit unwittingly).

    #648990
    proud tatty
    Member

    AZ, unlike your example. The world is not an Island. Plenty of boys can go under the radar for whatever reason. I disagree with your comment about “by and large”.

    #648991
    AZ
    Participant

    PT: Sounds like you believe that there are roughly equal numbers of older girls and older guys out there.

    Sorry PT. You are on the wrong planet.

    We can debate causes, We can debate solutions. But if you want to debate whether or not there exists a very significant number of more older single girls than guys ……

    unless you are referring to the chassidishe circles

    #648992
    chaverim
    Member

    The fuzzy mathematics purported to support the age gap contortion is made-to-order and spurious.

    #648993
    proud tatty
    Member

    All that you have provided for us has been:

    1. A study about Jewish day schools

    and

    2. Your word

    Insult me all you’d like, but provide actual facts if you’d like people to believe what your saying.

    #648994
    AZ
    Participant

    Chaverim: If I am correct you realize the plight of the girls in shidduchim but you are not convinced (don’t belive) that it is related in any which way to population growth and age gap. AM I correct?

    PT: If I am correct you don’t believe that the girls have significantly more difficulty in shidduchim than the boys. AM I correct?

    #648995
    proud tatty
    Member

    You are not correct. Please show me where I said such a thing. At no point was I talking about ease of shidduchim

    #648996
    PM
    Member

    Why are you still quoting a 3.5% growth, when I have already shown that the study you base your facts on says ~2%. 2% * 3year age difference equals 6%, minus 5% more boys born leaves us only 1% more girls then boys. Clearly the “age gap” is NOT a significant factor in the shidduch crisis. As you have written frequently AZ, the key is knowing the source of the problem, and the age gap is not it.

    Azoi.is: you opened the “shidduchim and commitment” thread saying that fear of commitmen is the key to shidduch problems, why have you jumped on the “age gap” bandwagon?

    #648997
    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    PT:

    “Just because more girl than guys go to shaddchanim (or that girls go to more shaddchanim than do guys) does not mean there are more girl than guys. “

    PT, whatever planet you happen to reside in, if there are any “Yeshivish” families, please ask 100 mothers, how marrying off sons and marrying off daughters is TOTALLY different.

    Please tell me what planet you’re on, I want to move there (if for no other reason, to speak to Shadchanim and mothers on your planet).

    PT, thank you for injecting humor into this discussion. It’s much appreciated.

    #648998
    proud tatty
    Member

    PM, how dare you confuse AZ with actual facts

    #648999
    proud tatty
    Member

    Your (or other people’s) perception does not prove the reality

    #649000
    AZ
    Participant

    PT: allow me to rephrase.

    If I am correct, you don’t believe that their are significantly more older girls than older boys. AM I correct?

    #649001
    chaverim
    Member

    AZ: The proportion of unmarried men and women is (virtually) the same, and the proportion of older unmarried men and older unmarried women is the same if you assume the same value of “older” for both men and women.

    #649002
    PM
    Member

    chaverim: I’m not so sure about that, it seems to me too that there a lot more “older” single girls. The issue is why? The answer is NOT primarily the “age gap”!

    #649003
    PM
    Member

    since the problem is not the “age gap”, the solution is NOT boys marrying younger and girls older.

    #649004
    oomis
    Participant

    I am not going to get in the middle of the argument whether there are more girls than boys – BUT – there is no question that the odds seem to unfairly favor boys more than girls, in many aspects relating to shidduchim. To give but ONE example: When my daughter attends certain shidduch events, Shabbatons, SYAS get-togethers etc. where there is a fee involved (often, quite a hefty one), she has discovered that much if not most of the time, the boys are not required to pay for their hotel accommodations, dinner reservations, and so forth, because the event coordinators want to ensure that there will be a substantial male turnout. The girls are charged the customary fee, and who knows if they are not being charge MORE, in order to offset the sponsorships of the males.

    #649005
    chaverim
    Member

    PM: What are other possible causes that may attribute to it?

    #649007
    mox
    Member

    PM

    The number given in the study for Yeshiva schools over five years is a little over 14%. This comes out to a growth rate of about 2.7%.

    I calculated the growth rate numbers by comparing the # of first graders with the number of 12th graders. Ff done that way the growth rate comes out to about 3.2% in this study and if my memory serves me right a little more in the previous one.

    I do not think the numbers obtained by comparing the studies is completely accurate. When one compares the numbers of children the same class (eg 1st grade in the ’00 and 6th in the ’05) between the two studies the numbers are off by about 1% one way or the other. For this reason I think a more acurate picture is obtained my comparing the grades in the same study.

    Another factor that may cause the growth rate to be underestimated when using school data is the fact that very small schools with only a few grades are more likely to be missed. These shools would be expected to have the highest population growth as they are composed of the youngest families.

    #649008
    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    Attention y’all! I’m tired of listening to loads of mothers complain that their daughters havent had a date in months. I’m tired of hearing of the same from other Shadchanim!!!

    So, IF there are an equal amount of boys, and they’re in hiding, (and I doubt that strongly), that’s the equivalent of non-existent. They’re of no use to girls who want to get married.

    #649009
    oomis
    Participant

    Another cause might be that a good learner is very much in demand at any reasonable age, whereas girls who are not from families that can support, are not.

    #649010
    PM
    Member

    I think the best way to explain the problem would be a modified version of the desert island mashal. Lets start with 100 boys and 100 girls shipwrecked on a desert island. The first year 80 boys and 80 girls get married. The next summer shipwreck season another 100 boys and 100 girls arrive on the island. the 20 first year single boys compete with the 100 new boys over the 100 new girls, but no one is interested in the 20 “old rejected” girls from the first year. The second year also has 80 chasunas: 70 new boys and 10 of the old boys marry 80 of the new girls. At the end of the second year we have 10 single first year boys and 30 single second year boys, but 20 new and 20 old single girls. The third summer another 100 boys and 100 girls are shipwrecked and the pattern continues. Can you easily see how we quickly have many more older single girls then boys?

    I think this is a much more accurate depiction of the situation.

    #649012
    PM
    Member

    mox: if you assume that half of the 10% decline in “centrist orthodox” was students who became more “yeshiveshe” and transferred to “yeshiva” schools you are left with only 9% growth.

    Instead of guessing that the growth was understated by missing small dynamic schools, it would be logical to propose that the growth was exaggerated by more experienced surveyors discovering schools they missed 5 years earlier.

    The whole premise of AZ’s argument was based on data from this one study and I have been responding based on the same assumption, if you are questioning the accuracy of the study we must reconsider all options.

    #649013
    chaverim
    Member

    I think the best way to explain the problem would be a modified version of the desert island mashal. Lets start with 100 boys and 100 girls shipwrecked on a desert island. The first year 80 boys and 80 girls get married. The next summer shipwreck season another 100 boys and 100 girls arrive on the island. the 20 first year single boys compete with the 100 new boys over the 100 new girls, but no one is interested in the 20 “old rejected” girls from the first year. The second year also has 80 chasunas: 70 new boys and 10 of the old boys marry 80 of the new girls. At the end of the second year we have 10 single first year boys and 30 single second year boys, but 20 new and 20 old single girls. The third summer another 100 boys and 100 girls are shipwrecked and the pattern continues. Can you easily see how we quickly have many more older single girls then boys?

    I think this is a much more accurate depiction of the situation.

    PM: Yes, and I think yours is a rather accurate description of the reality.

    But it is important to notice (in your example) there is always an even number of unmarried men and unmarried women.

    #649014
    AZ
    Participant

    PM, Chaverim:

    If we follow your analysis to it’s logical conclusion. We should have many many older boys, as the new boys are constantly competing with the leftover boys for the new girls. You can’t have both all the new boys and the old boys marrying the same new girls. If as you say, no one wants the leftover girls, then there should be a whole shipload of older boys.

    That being said, where are all these older boys.

    Unless you claim that at present the are equal numbers of 27 year old unmarried girls and 30 year old unmarried boys.

    That claim is preposterous.

    #649015
    proud tatty
    Member

    That being said, where are all these older boys.

    They are around. I know many of them. You tend to forget about them, or chalk them up as “There must be something wrong if they are not married”. They do not seek the shaddchanim and singles events as aggressively as the girls. They justify their inability to find the right one by claiming “I’m trying to become more financially sound 1st” or “I can’t get married before I get my degree”.

    That claim is preposterous.

    No sir, the age gap theory is preposterous. But since you made YOUR statement first. Please prove it FACTUALLY

    Oh, and where is your license to judge which claim is relevant, factual or preposterous?

    #649016
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PM:

    Buy only having 60 boys getting married in the second year, you are having more boys avalible from that year than girls.

    A revision to the Mashel is that 6 boys & 1 girl swim home (go OTD), 10 boys decide they don’t want to get married and will wait 2 or three years in the hope they get saved (earn a parnassah or continue learning. I know a number of boys who are 24 who are still not interested in going out). 40 boys will only go out with girls who got washed up with cans of food, of which there are many, but not all (lets say 65); 15 girls without cans of food state they only will marry the ones who want girls with cans (due to the boys wanting to learn all day & not worry about parnassah). Some will only go out with those who have a well (life support). Then you still have the imbalance. The conditions go on & on.

    Its much more complicated than you would think, even without the “age gap”.

    #649017
    chaverim
    Member

    AZ: You have a fondness to use red-herrings. What was said was there are an even number of unmarried men and unmarried women. The comment was NOT an “equal numbers of 27 year old unmarried girls and 30 year old unmarried boys.”

    #649018
    PM
    Member

    AZ: you didn’t follow the scenario. The older boys by and large end up getting married, just some take an extra couple of years and marry later “crops” of girls. However the girls, once they miss their narrow window are almost “unmarryable”.

    #649019
    PM
    Member

    GAW: I didn’t address why the 20 boys and girls don’t get married each year. I hope to address that issue at a later date. I think understanding this is key to solving the problem, but first we have to understand why there are more older girls then boys.

    #649020
    AZ
    Participant

    PM Chaverim:

    Point #2. According to your suggestion the new boys should have an increasingly difficult time in shidduchim since they are competing with so many second and third year boys for the new girls.

    Do you see that happening??

    Point #3 According to your suggestion the new girls should be sitting pretty with loads and loads of first second and third year guys interested in only them and not enough girl to go around.

    Do you see that happening?

    point #4 According to your suggestion we should have an increasing percentage of boys who do not get married that first year. (year one 80% year two 70% year 3 65% etc. etc.)

    Do you see that happening?

    It is certainly true that boys prefer new girls, and thus encouraging boys to date girls their own age is the way to go even according to your theory. However w/o acknowledging the fact that more girls enter the pool each year the facts on the ground just don’t add.

    #649021
    AZ
    Participant

    Chaverim please clarify. Do yow think as PT that there are equal numbers of 30 year old single boys as 30 year old single girls. I think that is a straightforward question.

    PT has pretty clearly claimed that the numbers are roughly equal.

    Do you agree?

    To date I believe PT is the only one in the CR who has taken that postion.

    #649022
    PM
    Member

    You still don’t understand. After a couple of years the system will stabilize and each year most of the newest boys will marry, in addition to diminishing numbers of 2nd and 3rd year boys and nearly all the boys who ever marry are married after their third year. Therefore there will never build up significant numbers of very old boys. However the girls only have one year to get married.

    The “prime” members of the new crop of sem girls returning each summer are snatched up.

    Obviously this is a limited and inexact model, but is much more accurate then your static one.

    #649023
    AZ
    Participant

    “nearly all the boys who ever marry are married after their third year”

    Correct.

    Now please explain how if over the course of 3 years, 300 girls have entered the market and three hundred boys. You say that after 3 yrs almost all the boys are married to the girls that entered during those three years but yet many many girl are still left. My math isn’t great. But it would seem that if 280 boys are married than 280 of those 300 girls should also be married.

    You can’t have it both ways. All the first year boys getting married and all the second year boys getting married to the same first year girls while maintaining that we continue to have many girls become second year. It just doesn’t add up.

    UNLESS there are more first year girls than first year guys.

    #649024
    mox
    Member

    PM

    Take a look at the definition of centrist and tell me how many you think picked up one day and started to go to yeshivish schools – if anything they would go to MO schools. You do however bring up a valid point – maybe part of the growth is due to immigration not natrual growth. This is true when comparing overall two population datasets taken at different times (such as comparing the two studies). When the growth rate is derived from the ratio of younger to older members the reason for the growth rate becomes irrelevant. The important point is that there are more 10th graders than 12th graders.

    If more chools where discoved by more experrienced survey there would consistently be more 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the second study than there are 1st 2nd 3rd graders in the first (as they are the same class) this is not the case (at leasr with regard to yeshivish)

    I do not have any evidence that smaller schools were missed I just mention it as a possibility that seemed to make sense to me.

    #649025
    mox
    Member

    PM

    There is other evidence for the growth rate in the frum community. There have been studies dome based on the growth rate in a number of Bais Yaakov schools as well as a sibling study (derinving the growth rate from the average numbers of children per family) Those have been done on a more stricly defined Yeshivish community and come up with a higher growth rate. due to the limitations of this forum there is not much I can show you so the Avi Chai is the one we work with

    #649026
    mox
    Member

    PM, Chaverim

    I don’t think I get your explanation. Could you please run through the numbers for say 10 years (if possible maybe paste a spreadsheet) so we can see what you mean

    #649027
    PM
    Member

    AZ: Try reading what I wrote with an open mind. I said after 3 years nearly all the boys FROM THE FIRST YEAR are married. There will be 240 married boys and girls and 60 each single. The difference is that the girls will never marry while the boys will just take a little time.

    I am certainly glad I have succeeded in being thought provoking on the subject and I certainly hope we can find a solution after we have identified the TRUE cause of the crisis.

    #649028
    PM
    Member

    mox: The study defines “centrist Orthodox” as the level in between MO and Yeshiva. I am assuming the 10% they lost did not disappear into thin air, and am assuming half became more yeshivish and half less. Is that not a reasonable assumption?

    If you have other evidence feel free to present it. The only hard numbers provided so far undermine your theory rather then support it.

    #649029
    PM
    Member

    Also keep in mind that the MO seem to have the same problem, and everyone except AZ knows that they typically have a much smaller age gap.

    #649030
    PM
    Member

    mox: You wrote “If more chools where discoved by more experrienced survey there would consistently be more 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the second study than there are 1st 2nd 3rd graders in the first (as they are the same class) this is not the case (at leasr with regard to yeshivish)”

    However you answered your own question when you asserted earlier “schools with only a few grades are more likely to be missed”

    These new small schools discovered in the second survey only have younger grades and account for the disproportionate increase relative to the older classes.

    #649032
    Jothar
    Member

    I’m still not sure I hear the argument, but lemaaseh many of the top gedolim ( including some who are very careful with what they sign) endorsed marrying someone close in age with “Ruach chachomim nocheh heymenu”. While they didn’t say “This is the cause of the shidduch crisis”, why else did they endorse the idea? Batla daati, unless the gedolim retract.

    #649034
    chaverim
    Member

    Jothar: Note that none of the Gedolim called for an end (or even modification to) the “freezer”; none of the Gedolim called to bring the boys home from Eretz Yisroel earlier than currently; none of the Gedolim called for girls to delay shidduch dating; and none of the Gedolim called for many of the other radical ideas someone on this thread is proposing.

    (The next thing we will see posted anonymously is that some Godol secretly told him that he supports these radical ideas but cannot, for mysterious reasons, go on record as such.)

    #649035
    mox
    Member

    PM

    The study seems to indicate that at least one scool was redifined from centrist to MO. This would bolster your point that some of the decline in in the centrist bacame yeshivish. However as I mentioned there does not seem to be any increase in the numbers of students in the classes present in both surveys. Bottom line sice the two sureveys did not rigorousely maintain the same classificaitons using them to derive a growth rate is not ideal.

    I am not sure what you mean “The only hardnumbers provided so far ..” we are debating whether my numbers (grade to grade growth) are more accurate or your numbers (census to census growth with a centrist conversion). You may disagree with me but I don’t think it is fair to say that the nunmbers provided weaken my case. In fact you have not even adressed the grade to grade growth rate you simply provided a speculative alternate set of numbers.

    #649036
    mox
    Member

    PM

    You wrote “These new small schools discovered in the second survey only have younger grades and account for the disproportionate increase relative to the older classes.”

    You are right and they are part of the communal grwoth rate.

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