Why a good man is so hard to find

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Primespace - BERNARD SALT DE­MOG­RA­PHER

REG­U­LAR read­ers will be aware of a po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect sta­tis­ti­cal tech­nique that I in­vented a few years ago. De­vel­oped in re­sponse to the man drought, the ‘‘ fella fil­ter’’ is the process that some young women say they ap­ply to screen can­di­dates for their af­fec­tion.

I has­ten to add that the idea for the fil­ter was sug­gested by women.

The up­shot of this process is that at the 2001 cen­sus, some 1.3 mil­lion men aged 25- 34 are whit­tled down to 86,000 can­di­dates that have never mar­ried, have no chil­dren, are not gay, and who earn a rea­son­able in­come, which I de­fined as no less than $ 60,000 a year in to­day’s dol­lars.

The les­son for women look­ing for a part­ner was that barely 5 per cent of men meet th­ese most ba­sic of their cri­te­ria. And then a wo­man has to de­cide whether she likes him: is he too short, too fat, too ar­ro­gant, too ugly?

When the fil­ters were be­ing de­vel­oped I re­jected a fi­nal fil­ter that would have elim­i­nated too many men.

Sin­gle women said they didn’t want a man who was young, sin­gle, with­out chil­dren, het­ero­sex­ual and earn­ing the re­quired in­come, but who lived at home with his mother.

Women have worked out that mummy’s boys are not a good in­vest­ment of ei­ther time or af­fec­tion.

I soon copped flak from women for con­struct­ing the fella fil­ter. Not be­cause it was po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect or be­cause it treated men as trade­able ob­jects, but be­cause it set the in­come bar too low. They wanted to know the num­ber of men in this cat­e­gory who earned at least $ 100,000 a year.

I ap­plied the new fil­ters to the re­sults of the 2006 cen­sus.

Re­mark­ably, the pool of young men re­mains at 1.3 mil­lion. This num­ber is then whit­tled down to iso­late the sin­gle, those with­out kids, the het­ero­sex­ual, and those earn­ing $ 100,000 or more.

The re­sul­tant fig­ure is 19,000 men. This is the pool of pre­mium male prod­uct as de­ter­mined by the fella fil­ter.

I ex­tracted the top 10 oc­cu­pa­tions of men who sur­vived the un­for­giv­ing blade of the fella fil­ter us­ing the 2001 cen­sus.

The lead­ing oc­cu­pa­tion at that time was ac­coun­tant. This in­for­ma­tion was seized upon by ac­coun­tants ev­ery­where, who pa­raded it as ev­i­dence of their ‘‘ un­de­ni­able sex­ual al­lure’’.

How­ever, I never saw it that way: I think the rea­son that so many ac­coun­tants sur­vive the fella fil­ter’s blade is that they are re­garded by sin­gle women as the last re­sort.

Ap­ply­ing the fella fil­ter to the 2006 cen­sus re­sults yields an up­set.

The lead­ing oc­cu­pa­tion for sin­gle men is now sales & mar­ket­ing man­agers. Ac­coun­tants have slipped to No 2 in the hot job stakes.

Maybe all that pub­lic­ity about ac­coun­tants com­ing out on top of the fella fil­ter prompted women to take a sec­ond and per­haps lin­ger­ing look at their lo­cal ac­coun­tant.

In ei­ther case I was never re­ally happy about the way this anal­y­sis was con­ducted.

The rea­son ac­coun­tants and sales and mar­ket­ing man­agers head the list of men sur­viv­ing the fella fil­ter is that there are a lot of them.

For ex­am­ple, there are only 29,000 doc­tors in Aus­tralia, com­pared with 123,000 ac­coun­tants and 89,000 sales and mar­ket­ing man­agers. This is a game of num­bers. When fil­ters are ap­plied to all oc­cu­pa­tions, those left stand­ing at the end of the process will be, in all prob­a­bil­ity, those who be­gan the process with the high­est num­ber. The un­der­ly­ing phi­los­o­phy of the fella fil­ter is that sin­gle women need help to si­dle up to men in those oc­cu­pa­tions that of­fer the best prospects of meet­ing their ex­pec­ta­tions.

For ex­am­ple: is he sin­gle; does he have kids; is he gay; and is he gain­fully em­ployed? ( Al­though this last fil­ter has been re­placed by: is he do­ing well enough to sup­port a fam­ily?)

And so for this rea­son the fella fil­ter needs to be driven to new heights, or to new depths ( de­pend­ing on how you view this dis­cus­sion), so as to iden­tify the best prospects for young women’s af­fec­tion.

Which male oc­cu­pa­tions con­tain the high­est pro­por­tion of sin­gle, het­ero­sex­ual men with­out chil­dren, and who earn $ 100,000 or more a year? And, yes, I have com­pleted this anal­y­sis. There is one male oc­cu­pa­tion where one in three young men ful­fil all the cri­te­ria of the fella fil­ter: clin­i­cal hema­tol­o­gist.

And not far be­hind are der­ma­tol­o­gists, urol­o­gists and ear, nose & throat spe­cial­ists who go by the de­light­ful name of otorhi­no­laryn­gol­o­gists.

There you go, ladies, if you bump into a young man at a party who works in any of th­ese jobs, there’s a pretty good chance that he’s a pretty good catch.

But of course the rea­son th­ese men are avail­able is that it takes years of fo­cus and sac­ri­fice to get to be­come a med­i­cal spe­cial­ist.

Put sim­ply: th­ese lonely boys have been study­ing far too hard to have met Ms Right.

Or, more likely, there may have been a Ms You’ll Do through­out univer­sity, but she didn’t stick the dis­tance into mat­ri­mony.

But why should women have all the fun us­ing the 2006 cen­sus for the out­ra­geous pur­pose of nar­row­ing the odds of find­ing a part­ner?

I ap­plied the same fella fil­ter­ing tech­nique to young women, al­though this process is bet­ter known by its tech­ni­cal name, the sheila se­lec­tor.

The oc­cu­pa­tion con­tain­ing the high­est pro­por­tion of women who are sin­gle, het­ero­sex­ual, with­out chil­dren, and who earn more than $ 100,000 per year is gas­troen­terol­o­gist.

In­deed 75 per cent of fe­male gas­troen­terol­o­gists in this age group are sin­gle!

Fel­las, all you need do is find out where th­ese gas­troen­terol­o­gist babes hang out and away you go.

How­ever I sug­gest you brush up on your knowl­edge of dis­eases of the stom­ach to re­ally im­press her with your small talk.

Other lead­ing jobs for sin­gle rich young women are plas­tic sur­geon, or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon and urol­o­gist.

I’m not sure whether the sin­gle male urol­o­gists know that there are also a lot of sin­gle fe­male urol­o­gists.

I reckon the urol­o­gists’ ball must be a pretty steamy af­fair to get in­vited to.

The fella fil­ter and the sheila se­lec­tor are, of course, highly dis­crim­i­na­tory. There are un­doubt­edly wor­thy can­di­dates for af­fec­tion in both gen­ders across all so­cial and oc­cu­pa­tion groups.

Nev­er­the­less, there is some­thing about this process that we all find ir­re­sistible.

At the end of the day we all want our stocks to rise in the in­tox­i­cat­ing world of love and at­trac­tion.

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