(AFTERBIZLIFE) Two decades after Latvia shook off Soviet communist rule, the country’s women have survived the transition to capitalism better than men — they are better educated and are less likely to die young. But a high male mortality rate means for many women, it is hard to find a partner.
While more boys are born in Latvia than girls, the balance shifts dramatically in adulthood.
A 2010 article by BBC Reporter in Latvia, Damien McGuiness, cites familiar statistics in the West that Latvian men die younger than Latvian women and are less educated.
A high early male mortality rate means that there are 8% more women than men in the country. In the busy entry hall of the University of Latvia, Riga, the gender imbalance is visible.
According to sociologists, there are 50% more women enrolled there than men. This means that women often find it harder to find a partner with an equal level of education. And by the time women want to settle down, men are dying younger and are four times more likely to commit suicide.
BBC reporter, Damien McGuinness, claims one of the main reasons for Latvian men dying so young and killing themselves is the apparently still prevalent “Macho Culture.” This sounds an awful lot like victim-blaming.
The writer quotes Latvian psychoanalyst, Ansis Stabingis, who treats men for depression and suicidal tendencies. Stabingis cites the economic crisis of 20 years ago as predominantly affecting men and claims that women have generally proven more resilient than men in coping.
Sex columnist, author, and editor-in-chief of one of the country’s most successful women’s magazines, Lilit, Dace Ruksane, says:
“The smartest girls are alone. The really beautiful girls are alone – if they are smart.”
“They want to find partners who are equal to them. But a man, having all this choice, doesn’t need to be very perfect.”
“He just sits in front of the TV and knows he can get a woman. And if she doesn’t suit him, he will get another.”
“Smart women simply don’t want to have such men as their partners.”
In summary, women snagging a husband of equal educational and economic background is of greater importance compared to the problem of men dying 11 years younger, being outnumbered 4 to 1 at university and being 80 per cent of deaths by suicide.
And apparently it is mostly men’s own fault because they have a bad attitude and don’t ask for help.