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“There might actually be a more promiscuous dating culture than there otherwise would be in the Mormon culture because of this gap.” Months later, still neck-deep in Mormon research, I got lucky again.

I received an email from a hedge fund manager who wanted to talk to me about a job.

And just as I predicted, lopsided gender ratios affect conservative religious communities in much the same way they affect secular ones.

At first glance, the state of Utah—60 percent Mormon and home of the LDS church—looks like the wrong place to study what I like to call the man deficit.

“Wow,” he said, “that sounds a lot like the Shidduch Crisis.” I had never heard of it, but the Shidduch Crisis turned out to be a marriage crisis among Orthodox Jews remarkably similar to the one afflicting Mormons.

Both of these socially conservative communities are suffering from marriage crises that are testing not only their faiths but social norms as well.

Heterosexual men are more likely to play the field, and heterosexual women must compete for men’s attention.

Marriage and motherhood are essentially spiritual obligations, which is why the Orthodox marriage crisis is so hotly debated and why it has earned its own moniker.

Shidduch is the Hebrew word for a marriage match, and Orthodox Jews (including the more assimilated Modern Orthodox) now refer to the excess supply of unmarried women in their communities as the Shidduch Crisis. Or maybe it’s the women who are holding out for the Mormon or Jewish George Clooney?

Mormon and Orthodox Jewish leaders alike fear that their respective marriage crises reflect some failure to instill proper values in young people. In fact, the root causes of both the Shidduch Crisis and the Mormon marriage crisis have little to do with culture or religion. The fact is that there are more marriage-age women than men both in the Orthodox Jewish community and in the Utah LDS church.

“You have no idea how big a problem this is,” said Tristen Ure Hunt, founder of the Mormon Matchmaker, a Salt Lake City dating agency.

Hunt, a 35-year-old who only recently got married herself, told me she has three times more single women than single men in her matchmaking database.

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