After reading a news article informing women that there are more men than women, women expected men to spend more on dinner dates, Valentine’s gifts, and engagement rings.
In addition to conducting laboratory experiments, the researchers reviewed archival data and calculated the sex ratios of more than 120 U.S. cities. Consistent with their hypothesis, communities with an abundance of single men showed greater ownership of credit cards and had higher debt levels.
One striking example was found in two communities located less than 100 miles apart. In Columbus, Georgia, where there are 1.18 single men for every single woman, the average consumer debt was $3,479 higher than it was in Macon, Georgia., where there were 0.78 single men for every woman.
Griskevicius says the research is, at this point, only scratching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financial behaviour – but says there are implications of a more sinister element.
“One of the troubling implications of sex ratios for the world in general is that it’s about more than just money. It’s about violence and survival.”