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Man drought? Not really ... Here's why

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Rosie Bowie
Rosie Bowie

Recently, Statistics New Zealand revealed information that apparently confirmed the suspicions of a "man drought." The stats showed significantly fewer men than women in the over-30 age group. (For those in their twenties, men significantly outnumber women).

But when you examine the figures, you see that we're talking small numbers. For instance, for the group in the age band from 35 - 39 there are 12,000 more women. That's obviously a statistically significant figure, but is it really enough to qualify for the term "man drought?"

I doubt it.

Here's why. First, there is a natural 'birth advantage' in favour of males, which is offset by a higher death rate for males, particularly younger males. And in the older age group, females outlive men by some four to five years, thus dominating the older age bracket.

However, there's more to it than that.

The so-called "man drought" is more something that is a media creation based on the male's viewpoint on dating and long-term relationships. Single men tend to favour more casual dating (online dating sites, casual meet-ups, pickup joints, whatever), while women who are looking for longer term relationships are more likely to focus upon "serious" dating, be it by way of providing detailed profiles for online sites like Matchcompany or by actively looking for partners.

The imbalance therefore is one that favours men by virtue of their less active approach to finding long term partners.

Another key factor is that women are now better educated, more assertive and holding or obtaining more powerful jobs. All of which some men often find threatening.

This trend has been added to with various social commentaries, such as a book produced recently Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood and the American Dream – And Why it Matters, by Dr Helen Smith who is a 'men's rights' advocate. Dr Smith's book ventured the view that men are being oppressed by women who portray them as “buffoons, deadbeats and potential perverts.”

She believes that men are simply 'opting out' of marriage, and the same might be said of long-term dating, too. The reason, she says, is feminism which is creating a social epidemic. Many men argue, often rightly, that there is a legal bias against them in custody, paternity and other lawsuits.

But not all women are gold diggers and naggers and not all men struggle with doing up nappies and turning on the stove.

And the "man drought" has more to do with men feeling sometimes feeling more vulnerable or threatened, rather than adopting their traditional 'hunter killer', masculine instincts.

All of which means that men who have adapted to the new social environment are doing better - finding women who they meet on an equal footing and developing a successful relationship.

As someone dealing with men and women in the personal introductions business, I know how the men feel - and how they can turn their previous doubts into winning ways with women.

Man drought? Not really. It's all about revised expectations and meeting them. That is the lesson for men and women both to learn. Believe me - let me know what you think.

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