|Typical Frum Female Attire- Photo via Flickr|
Here is an interesting paradox to ponder, why is it that our society pressures girls to acquire college degrees yet at the same time pressures our boys not to?
Many people can attest to fact the one of the motivation for girls to attend college is to better their shidduch prospects. Just ask some of our Touro and Raizel Reit grads. ;-) (or see Bad4’s link from this past Friday) Logically it makes sense; someone has to earn a living. Ergo, if one intends on acquiring a husband who intends on learning, at least for the interim said husband would require a wife who is capable of bringing home a paycheck. While a college degree isn’t a necessity, it does provide more income when one family is relying on one salary. (Arguably that would make older-singles more attractive as they have better earnings prospects than their younger counterparts as argued here.) Additionally, for the girls intent on marrying the college educated boy, logic would arguably dictate that said boy would want a college educated girl, for two reasons: intellectual compatibility and hashkofic compatibility. However, what seems to be the complication nowadays is: guys who “back in the day” would have chosen to go to college (or started working) are deferring from doing such activities purely because of shidduchim. Case in point, my friends who are in yeshiva get more dates than my friends who aren’t, even if they aren’t nearly as good of a catch…!
So the question here is just as Double Trip asked: What do these guys do instead? Could you please reveal the logic involved as well? They sit in yeshiva until they get married! The logic follows as a simple plan to manipulate this convoluted system. Basically, there are a lot of girls who are seeking guys who are in yeshiva. Additionally, there is another segment of girls who are seeking guys who will go to college or work eventually assuming the guy is currently in yeshiva. However, in the current system there is only small contingent of girls who are willing to go out with guys who aren’t in yeshiva anymore and are working or in college. This group pales in size by comparison. Besides, I would venture to say that a good majority of the girls currently on the market claim they want a learning guy, (a.k.a. they are more open-minded about the topic, or less rigid about the terms) even if they don’t really want that just so they can get access to a larger dating pool as well.
“Coincidentally,” when a boy defers going to college or work this boy just happens to become a more attractive candidate to both of the larger dating groups and thus allows himself to be set-up with a larger potential dating pool. Understandably, this logic is based on the erroneous societal principle that a guy who is still in yeshiva is a better catch (and will ostensibly make for a better husband) than one who is not, which is untrue, yet it remains a primary tenet of our shidduchim system.
Aside from this practice being one complete farce (not everyone who is in Yeshiva should still be there and not ever girl who claims she needs a learner is really looking for one) this leads to some other big problems. For one, this makes it harder to redt shidduchim in general as no one really knows what anyone really is looking for. Often people create lists of what they think the shadchan wants to hear without being honest. Additionally, some of the best guys on the market (i.e. the guys who would make for the best husbands) will be overlooked because they aren’t in yeshiva while some of the “best guys on market” really really aren’t…
**This post is written as a generalization and doesn’t fully address the age and demographics aspect of this discussion.