Like several other western states, Utah actually has more men than women.Utah’s ratio of men to women across all age groups is the fifth highest in the nation.“There might actually be a more promiscuous dating culture than there otherwise would be in the Mormon culture because of this gap.” Months later, still neck-deep in Mormon research, I got lucky again.

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.

“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.

The shadchan’s job has been made exceedingly difficult, she said, by a mysterious increase in the number of unmarried women within the Orthodox community.

When Elefant attended Jewish high school 30 years ago, “there were maybe three girls that didn’t get married by the time they were twenty or twenty-one,” she said.

“Today, if you look at the girls who graduated five years ago, there are probably thirty girls who are not yet married.

Overall, there are thousands of unmarried girls in their late twenties.

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.

But lurking beneath the Census data is a demographic anomaly that makes Utah a textbook example of how shifting gender ratios alter behavior.