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There were different reasons in different places, but it’s a global trend,” Inhorn says.

“Especially as women seem to be rising educationally around the world, often outstripping the achievements of their male peers.” In a range of places where women are able to access education and careers they have begun to do so with zeal, often overtaking their male counterparts One key metric is attainment at university, where women globally are becoming the majority of students, both applying in greater numbers, as in Sweden, and completing more degrees, as in South Africa.

Having concentrated on graduating and working hard, they ended up wondering how to find a partner with whom to start a family. In fact, Yogyakarta’s young people are experiencing a phenomenon that’s being felt across the globe, from Brooklyn to Paris, Rwanda to Japan.

Sometimes, this state went on and on, becoming a source of stress and disappointment. It’s called “waithood”; and it might be leading to a fundamental change in the way we think about love and partnership.

Such a shift could include women marrying men who are younger than themselves, or men who have less formal education.

In order for that to work, societies would need to get over their prejudices.

The umbrella term can refer to delaying other decisions, such as moving out of one’s parent’s house, or taking on other trappings of adulthood like home ownership.“One of the global trends that was really seen throughout many of the papers was the delay in marriage, especially among more educated classes of people, and especially for women,” she says.This isn’t necessarily right, but it’s deeply ingrained, connected with traditional ideas of masculinity, providing for a family, and protecting it, that are hard to shake. In a predominantly Muslim culture like Indonesia, some are turning to matchmakers, or to events that offer introductions to potential partners.(There’s even a term for it: hypergamy.)Whether by choice, accident, or a combination of the two, more and more educated and ambitious women are finding themselves unable to find the mate that they want at the time they’re searching. The kind of men they are searching for—available to embark on family life, ready to commit, and with similar levels of education and ambition In the US population as a whole, for the time when the egg-freezing research was carried out, there were 7.4 million university-educated American women aged between 30 and 39, but only 6 million university-educated American men. But a bigger solution to the issue might be a paradigm shift, the academics suggest.Smith-Hefner, an associate professor of anthropology at Boston University, has been researching Asian societies for years, but when it came to waithood she started to see clear parallels between the young Indonesians who were the subject of her research and her young American students back home.“They too are facing this problem of how to find a partner,” she said.

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