Pity the tamil guy trying to get married

I recently came across this blog post talking about how your race affects the response you get in the dating site okcupid.com. The folks in the worst situation were Indian men, who were replied to only 20.8% of the time (though there are others in the low 20s as well); and Black women, who are replied to 34.3% of the time, which is still way more than what the poor Indian male can manage.

I was curious to know how these dynamics play in an Indian match-making context. I don’t run a dating site and I have no way of getting such data. However, I could easily get aggregate counts of women and men of each age by simply searching for it. The chart below plots the number of Tamil women and men by age on tamilmatrimony.com. The peak for women is at age 25, with 6499 women, while the peak for men is at age 28, with 21265 men. Holy moly, that is 3.27 men competing for each woman. The aggregates are similar: 181,267 men competing for 54,662 women (ratio 3.31).

It is hard to explain such a disparity. This is my hypothesis. Men are more economically advanced than women, and are more likely to be in a position to use computers and access the internet. And for this to be the case, lots of families should consist exclusively of male or female children (otherwise the tech-savvy brother could create an match-making profile for their sister). With smaller families being strongly encouraged twenty to thirty years ago, this is a strong possibility. This also means that for identically placed families, the economic advancement of their only child depends on the child’s gender. I find it hard to wrap my head around this. If you are family with ten children, five male and five female, I can understand disproportionately favoring the male children, because of existing social norms at that time. But, if it is a family with only one child, why would a parent not want their only child to do well in life, irrespective of gender.

Gender-based economic disparity is likely to be lower in groups that are more socially and economically advanced. The conventional wisdom is that Tambrams are economically better placed in society. The graph below shows the numbers for Tambrams. The ratio of the peaks is 1.82 men for each woman (1313 women aged 25, and 2389 men aged 28). The ratio of the aggregates is 2.07 (8741 women and 18104 men).

Whatever you conclude about the reasons why such a disparity exists, one thing is certain: the average male on tamilmatrimony.com is getting royally ripped-off.

Do you have an explanation for this data?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by prettyrich on March 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Why don’t tamil guys consider non-tamil girls? Half the problem’s solved. To be fair to the girls, the guys aren’t some angels either. They have too many restrictions or high expectations. In other words, they bring it upon themselves.


  2. Thank you for your comment. I don’t have enough data on this issue, and I don’t know how to respond to a vague generalization about all guys. I will agree to one thing: in most situations, people “bring it upon themselves.” Other than the oppressed and the downtrodden everyone individual is mostly responsible responsible for their actions and outcomes.


  3. Posted by prettyrich on March 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

    What I was trying to say is the title makes it seem like a male centric problem. And that those people who seem “victimised” , could do something to not be “victimised”. I know this is easier said than done :)


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