Why Mormon women get so much plastic surgery, and other mysteries

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The articles are beginning to pile up in my queue again, so it's time to clear them out and fill you in on some of the fascinating things happening in the world of Mormonism...

What do Utah Mormons have in common with the Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn? According to this fascinating Time article by Jon Birger, both religious communities are in matchmaking turmoil thanks to an excess of single women.

The wide-ranging piece is excerpted from Birger's new book Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game, and it explains how the gender imbalance has arisen in both populations, and what unexpected consequences have followed.

Along the way it touches on such topics as Mormon apostasy rates, breast implant rates in Utah, the lowered age for Mormon mission service, anorexia among Orthodox women, skyrocketing dowries, how Hasidic Jews have avoided the Orthodox "Shidduch crisis," and why religious leaders scolding young people only makes a bad situation worse.

While the piece makes it sound like Birger focused on these two religious communities because their demographics support his pet theories about dating, this is still an absorbing article full of unexpected insights. I highly recommend it.

And dating is not all that's disrupted in the state of Utah. This article from The Salt Lake Tribune looks at the effect the lowered ages for mission service is having on Utah's universities, as the first wave of younger missionaries now arrive home and dive back into college.

I'll probably have more to say about this soon, but The Salt Lake Tribune reported last week on a new study showing that a large majority of Utah Mormons think their church should drop its connection to the Boy Scouts of America, now that the organization is allowing local sponsors to decide for themselves whether or not to allow openly gay men to serve as scoutmasters.

Since more than a third of Boy Scout troops are sponsored by the church, such a move could cripple or even kill Scouting, period. But hey, I guess tolerance and acceptance are only important when you're asking for them for yourself.

[UPDATE: And such a move is now off the table. As I was preparing this post, I saw the good news that the Mormon Church will retain its ties with Scouting.]

And finally, in Mormon personalities, meet Lucky Blue Smith, a home-schooled Mormon teenage boy who also happens to be a top model with more than 1.3 million followers on Instagram. His rabid fans around the world trade tips on Twitter about where he's likely to pop up next, leading to mob scenes reminiscent of Beatlemania. But despite the soapbox this might give him, what's the one subject he and his family won't discuss with the press? Their religion.

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on August 27, 2015 8:39 AM.

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