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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.

I called back to thank him but explained I was busy writing a book.

He asked what the book was about, and I wound up telling him about the Mormon marriage crisis.

“You have no idea how big a problem this is,” said Tristen Ure Hunt, founder of the Mormon Matchmaker, a Salt Lake City dating agency.

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.

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Utah’s ratio of men to women across all age groups is the fifth highest in the nation.It’s total chaos.” For Orthodox Jewish women, as for Mormon ones, getting married and having children is more than a lifestyle choice.Marriage and motherhood are essentially spiritual obligations, which is why the Orthodox marriage crisis is so hotly debated and why it has earned its own moniker.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.And just as I predicted, lopsided gender ratios affect conservative religious communities in much the same way they affect secular ones.At first glance, the state of Utah—60 percent Mormon and home of the LDS church—looks like the wrong place to study what I like to call the man deficit.“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.Both of these socially conservative communities are suffering from marriage crises that are testing not only their faiths but social norms as well.She shared stories of devout Mormon women who wound up marrying outside the religion—officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—simply because they had no other options. ”—who gave up on finding a husband and decided to have children on their own.Said Hunt, “My heartstrings are pulled daily.” wo thousand miles away in New York City, Lisa Elefant knows exactly what Hunt is feeling.

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