In China, they are called ‘leftover’ women.‘It sounds cold and callous, but in demographic terms it’s true.There are not enough graduates for them,’ said the study’s author Marcia Inhorn, professor of anthropology at Yale University. Frustrated young women terrified of being left single and childless — and men driven by a sense of inadequacy.‘Men may claim to want educated women, but don’t know how to deal with those they meet and some say they’re intimidated by me,’ says Natasha, who grew up in Birmingham and is single after breaking up with her boyfriend this year.‘I feel I’m hitting a brick wall.’Like many arts degrees, her media and communications course is dominated by female students, and Natasha claims the few male undergraduates ‘lack the intellectual maturity to handle conversations’.‘One cancelled our date four times because he was too busy getting drunk.In class, their conversations centre around going to gigs and smoking weed at weekends, which is not what I’m looking for in a date.’She prefers instead to date older men she meets through her part-time job as a nightclub promoter.Yet even more mature men fail to show the requisite enthusiasm for her university projects — which include a radio documentary she recently produced on ‘the pressure that black women are under to adhere to white beauty stereotypes’.With long dark hair, big brown eyes and a stunning Size 8 figure, Natasha — entering her final year at Goldsmiths, University of London — has no problem attracting male attention.
‘The reality is that with women getting more — and better — degrees, in the next ten to 20 years women will be smarter than men, in terms of how well they’re educated.
Among those from poorer backgrounds, the gender divide is highly pronounced, with young women who were on free school meals 51 per cent more likely to go into higher education than men in similar circumstances.‘The boys at my school mostly went into manual jobs after we left and seemed to think I had a high opinion of myself for going to university,’ says Becca.
‘They say I’m too bright for them.’Becca recalls a factory worker she asked out in a bar while home for the holidays turning her down because she was ‘too clever’ for him.‘We were having a great chat until he found out I was at university,’ says Becca.
‘I get the impression they’d rather date a girl without a degree.
They don’t know how to react to my different life experiences and see my education as a barrier.’So why doesn’t Becca date fellow students?