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Why There Are No Girls In San Francisco (whytherearenogirls.blogspot.com)
100 points by condor on Aug 4, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 106 comments



I've had more time to think about this... This link is now the number 2 link on HN. A few days ago one of the top links was about how to survive on $36/month for food. You have to be kidding me, right? Sorry, but woman and marathon, multi-day coding sessions filled with noodles, beans, rice, oats and pb&j just don't mix.


Exactly.

Think about the kind of guy who starts a blog dedicated to the fact that there "aren't girls in San Francisco".

Now find me a group of girls flocking to be in his presence.


It's too bad, because he's clearly got a good sense of humor.


Maybe that's true in San Francisco, but I have indeed found a woman who will eat what's left from my meal only to go back to her own multi-day coding session. Here's hoping that she's going to make us both rich and powerful as well ... one day... :)


This looks potentially promising: http://women20sf.eventbrite.com/


You're assuming only guys live like this?


I think it's a pretty fair approximation.


The valley, specifically Palo Alto is not that bad at all. Actually it's damn good. It's a college town, and Stanford girls are quite good looking. The bar scene is nice at Old Pro, Blue Chalk, etc. Sadly, facebook employees often overtake a lot of the old pro.

If you're in the tech industry, then you probably spend most of your time out at "industry" events. There might occasionally be a couple of cute girls, but you're looking in the wrong place.

I can't speak for SF itself, since I always hung out in the Valley. Dress well, get in shape, and be charismatic, as you'll actually be able to stand out above the plethora of anti-social bufoons. You're also probably passionate about what you do, so make sure that comes across as women seem to respect that too out there.

This all comes from someone who now lives in Miami, where the women are supposed to be unbelievably attractive. They are, but i'll use the cliche and say looks aren't everything. Actually the women here are so dumb and pretentious that it's able to make supermodels become unattractive. The Valley has an awesome balance of looks and brains, so do not take that for granted.


Somehow I suspect the guys who are getting the girls aren't at home writing blog posts about the subject.


I don't recall the author claiming he wasn't getting girls. He does, however, seem to be trying to form a logical argument.


I believe the technical term for this is ad hominem. Is it even possible for an argument to be true if it subjects the author to a witty reply? Apparently the Internet would have us believe that all such arguments are a priori certain to be false.


Er, no, it's pointing out a selection bias which means that anyone inclined to take the existence of this person writing about "why there are no girls in SF" (plus, I guess, the apparent shortage of people writing about what a great place SF is for heterosexual men to find partners) as evidence that SF is (functionally) very short of women -- which, let's face it, lots of people would -- should think twice before doing so.


Not an ad hominen at all. ajg is not trying to deny the main proposition, i.e., that there's a shortage of women.

The point is that the shortage doesn't affect all guys equally. The guys with better chances aren't likely theorizing and writing blogs about the shortage.


The secret is to blog in a cafe with a CC (no, not the c compiler!) sticker on your macbook pro laptop.


creative commons? (really I don't know.)


Yes.


As someone who is considering moving to San Francisco, this is terrifying. Please, can a local soothe me with a rebuttal?


I think it's more that most men here aren't into the same sorts of things women are into, so they self-segregate by sex.

If you're going to work 70-80 hours on a startup, basically no sane woman is going to join you (I know a couple women that'll do startups, but most seem to want some semblance of a life too.) If you're going to read TechCrunch and Reddit and Digg all day, same thing.

If you go to a yoga/pilates/yogalates class, or a Harry Potter fan convention, it will be practically all women. And even big tech companies have pretty even gender ratios, at least out of my sample size of one. My cube is 3 women and 4 men; so was my last project. Back when I had roommates, it was 2 girls and me.

I think people find the Bay Area so dating-hostile because the people who move here are often hostile to dating. A lot of guys come to Silicon Valley to seek their fame and fortune with this wild-eyed technology vision, where they'll put their nose to the grindstone and concentrate on their code for 5 years. That's not a very good way to meet women; most of them don't exactly care for that lifestyle.

Then again, I've been here for 6 months and am still single. Then again again, I haven't exactly been looking very hard. I'm one of the dating hostile (well, apathetic) folks. ;-)


> If you're going to work 70-80 hours on a startup, basically no sane woman is going to join you (I know a couple women that'll do startups, but most seem to want some semblance of a life too.)

Not true at all! Really driven, busy women usually choose choose driven, busy men. I worked full time, ran my own company, and had a full classload studying for a business degree for two years. My working breakdown was: 30-50 hours at my job, 20-40 hours at the startup, and 9-20 hours doing classes and schoolwork.

The rest of the last five years haven't been much less busy. In that time, I had a girlfriend who was a fashion editor and had her own talk show, dated an award-winning genius hyper-athletic architect, and had a really cute girl in medicine. All busy girls. I also had a couple other girls who led more casual lives, but came from driven families. My main girlfriend for a while had parents supporting her, and she picked me up and dropped me off from many of my classes, she cooked for me while I was doing my work, and when I got a bit of time off, we'd rent movies or go to a casino or something.

Normal, regular people don't understand busy, driven people. That's both regular men and women. It's hard to have "normal" friends when 70-100 hours of your schedule are blocked out each week with craziness. But busy people understand - so I went skiing and diving and got into trouble with my busy, driven friends when we had some vacation time, and the girls were always happy. Start looking for girls who are hyper-driven themselves: Lawyers, architects, executives, media, etc. And look at girls who have a super-driven father, which is just generally good advice for a driven man anyways.

Regular people don't understand busy people, and get offended, and want a "work-life balance" instead of building an empire. And that's fine, if they're happy. But there's plenty of woman who want, love, embrace, and support a driven man. Get one of those girls and you're cruising. I wouldn't recommend trying to date a "civilian" if you're living a crazy life though, they don't understand, won't understand, can't understand. No big deal - the driven, busy girls are awesome anyways.


Yeah, I threw in the "sane" to cover cases like that. I know of women that'll readily work 70-80 hour weeks for a startup. But I wouldn't exactly call them sane. ;-)

Incidentally, I'm kinda curious whether there's any correlation between insane hours and success at the fuck-you-money level. (I know there's one as you go from high-school education to professional degree, but I think the causation is backwards: people work longer hours and get paid more because their jobs are more engaging, they don't get paid more because they work longer hours.) From what I see - and this seems backed up by Outliers and Fooled by Randomness - massive success seems more proportional to how many risks you to take and how much randomness you expose yourself to than how hard you work. Curious if there's any data on this...


> Yeah, I threw in the "sane" to cover cases like that. I know of women that'll readily work 70-80 hour weeks for a startup. But I wouldn't exactly call them sane. ;-)

I dunno man. A normal girl who likes "shopping and hanging out with her friends", who sleepwalks through a boring shitty low-paying job, who doesn't exercise and doesn't take of herself... that's sane? My girlfriend in London: Family was high in the Communist Party before the Iron Curtain fell, got in the ground floor as entrepreneurs, sent her to study architecture in London and Tokyo, won some design awards, went swimming 4x week and did yoga 3x week. Had great, brilliant friends. When not studying, working, exercising, she'd go to eclectic cafes near Old Street or we'd go to the National Gallery or British Museum or some various gardens or have tea.

She's not sane? Girls who "hang out and shop", follow American Idol really really carefully, and sleepwalk through life are sane? I guess sanity is in the eye of the beholder.

> Incidentally, I'm kinda curious whether there's any correlation between insane hours and success at the fuck-you-money level.

I think there is for a few reasons. First, a job might require 20-50 hours of "firefighting and admin" per week, where every hour over that is actually productive work. Going from a 40 hour workweek to a 50 hour workweek might actually double your productive output. Second, the more you work, actually the more you live and get done. Expression, "If you want something done, give it to a busy person." When I was hyper busy, I'd get little trivial tasks done super fast. Now that I've got more free time, it takes me way longer to do minor bullshit like get car insurance or respond to some letter or something else. When I was hyper busy, I'd only "touch stuff" once. Which cut down time and stress from tasks by a lot. Third, when you're busy working all the time, you actually spend a lot less money, because you're working all the time.

> (I know there's one as you go from high-school education to professional degree, but I think the causation is backwards: people work longer hours and get paid more because their jobs are more engaging, they don't get paid more because they work longer hours.)

That's a good point, sounds true too. I think it's more cyclical than a causation/correlation thing. Longer hours, more skills, more engagement, ability to put in longer hours, more skills, more engagement, and so on. That's my guess anyways. Good comments.


> A normal girl who likes "shopping and hanging out with her friends", who sleepwalks through a boring shitty low-paying job, who doesn't exercise and doesn't take of herself... that's sane?

...why does this have to be the alternative to women who work 70-80 hour weeks for a startup? I'm sure that's not what you're saying, as your girlfriend anecdote is neither, but that's how it reads.


Your description of "busy people" == insane to 99% of the population, so what he said: "...no sane woman is going to join you" is essentially true.

But yes, insane people should date other insane people. Nobody else will understand them.


True, I've had a girlfriend stand by me now through two startups. Why? Because she has her own career and her own life. And despite being a Buddhist, thinks more about the future than the present, as do I.


"And even big tech companies have pretty even gender ratios"

Thats very false. Here is a sample of companies and their ratio:

Google: Median Age 29 years Gender Male 65% Female 35%

Yahoo:

Median Age 32 years Gender Male 66% Female 34%

Facebook:

Median Age 27 years Gender Male 68% Female 32%

Sun:

Median Age 37 years Gender Male 74% Female 26%

eBay:

Median Age 32 years Gender Male 62% Female 38%

Non Tech:

UC Berkeley (employees):

Median Age 29 years Gender Male 51% Female 49%

City of San Francisco:

Median Age 32 years Gender Male 62% Female 38%


I work in one of these companies and Im surprised to see this. But then again Im an engineer. These numbers are bloated by the HR/customer service/sales people I guess. If you are a tech in tech company,the split is like 90-10.


I also work in one of these and I'm not terribly surprised, but my own observations are that it's a bit less lopsided than that. I already mentioned that both my team and my cube are split 3-4, so 42% female. The other team I work with is 6 females and 9 males, so 40% female. That's in engineering - UI design and UX research seem to be even more balanced, and HR of course is virtually all female. At a rough guess, the numbers I see in the cafes are maybe 60-40 male/female.


Agreed. A company is a miniature snapshot of the city it's in. If the girls in marketing in HR aren't into engineers in general (or vice versa) it doesn't matter that they work in the same building.


Source?


You can search for companies profile in linked in. (I actually I friends that work there, and they complain the same, no women).

Linkedin. Median Age 33 years Gender Male 70% Female 30%

Ps. While that counts only people that have a linkedIn profile, I would remind you Facebook has more women that guys, so I would assume that women are very familiar with social networks, and not afraid of them.


I'd think women would be way over represented in that, at least, when I was at Google, it was the recruiters and HR people flocking to LinkedIn, not the engineers. FWIW, I was on four teams at Google. I was the only woman on all of them except for Orkut, which was about half women.


As a personal anecdote, the m/f ratio in a company (one of the biggest ISPs in my country) a friend worked was supposed to be 67-33, according to LinkedIn. When I told him that, he said that certainly it wasn't the case. He worked in their HQs, along with as much as 90% of their employees, and one of the first things that made an impression on him was that women were so much more than men. By the way, there are profiles of 183 employees of that company in LinkedIn, with the error margin not sufficient to explain the discrepancy.


So, you are concluding that linked-in is more popular amongst men.


I think it's pretty silly, but it might just be my demographic -- the guys I know who are under thirty seem to complain a lot more. The Mission, in particular, seems to be a nightmare of young guys on the prowl on weekend evenings.

Here's the thing, though: the guys I know who are single and under 30 also tend to be pretty isolated and nerdy. The ones who have other interests do fine for themselves. So, a protip for young nerdy guys everywhere: if you want to meet a girl, you've got to pull your nose out of the computer screen once in a while.


1. If you're into Asian women(and may be they are into you), you'll feel like you've won the lottery by moving to SF. 2. If you're not, well, you'll learn to:)


You know, what somewhat amused me is that lot of the people who complain about lack of women in Bay Area, generally completely ignore non-American women (Russian, Persian, Asian). I've heard lot of there are no women in {this company, this CS department}" when there clearly are.

Otoh, it's also interesting why the gender gap is non-existant or is <b>the other direction</b> in former USSR and China/Taiwan/Korea (you could argue it's Communist legacy for USSR and China, but what about South Korea and Taiwan?).

(Disclaimer: I'm an immigrant from the USSR and the person who has been introduced into was my mother. I remember visiting her work place and many of her coworkers were women too-- and this wasn't considered unusual in any form).


I'd like to offer a corollary, if you are an Asian man... lots of Asian girls are only looking for white men... thusly lowering your pool.

But San Francisco's women are beautiful and amazing. There are few other cities that compare. You may just need a bit more luck than elsewhere.


> lots of Asian girls are only looking for white men

This usually wears off around age 25 after these girls realize that the world is slightly more complicated than TV portrays it to be.

Note that I'm talking about the ones who date only white guys, not the ones who are normal and will date any attractive guy of any race.


How's TV related to Asian women's preference for white males? (I'm Dutch so I don't know what kind of stuff you broadcast)


Are they Asian American or straight Asian? There's a huge difference.


True. I'm sure it's majority Asian-American but I found the cutest ones to be straight Asian. Of course, they were also the hardest to make things work out given the severe language issues.

Interestingly almost all straight Asians in SF are there to learn English.


I found the cutest ones to be straight Asian. Of course, they were also the hardest to make things work out given the severe language issues

Depends on where she's from. In countries like the Philippines, English education is much more ubiquitous than, say, Japan or China.


I think it is unfair to group Chinese English with Japanese English ability. The English ability of mainland Chinese people is terrible (even though they are enthusiastic). Talking to them, even those who are well educated (grad students/professors) is like a game of charades. The problem with China is that most young people (20-30) started learning English at age 13 at school and their parents learnt Russian as a second language.


I've lived in SF for about 10 months, and it isn't as hopeless as the article states. I've met quite a few girls and went on plenty of dates, but you may have to be a little more aggressive than other places.

For instance, it's common for bars to have a higher ratio of guys; I know a lot of 'nice' guys who will give up in this situation. You might have to step out of your comfort zone to interact with girls, but it's doable.

SF is a massive, dynamic city and it can't be modeled in such a simple way.


Rebuttal: I am a social retard, typical geek, and it was only in San Francisco that I found some success meeting women. There are lots and lots of really interesting, amazing, beautiful women in San Francisco. I dated a bunch of them.

A year ago, I returned to the Midwest, and haven't gotten a date since.


"lots of really interesting, amazing, beautiful women in San Francisco"

That was true when I was there. And they tended to like independent rockers with somewhat long hair, day-old beard, who were smart and literate but never let that get in the way of being physically active most of the time.

How many geeks does that describe? (That described many of the people who got Silicon Valley started .... then)


may be nerdy guys are better accepted in SF


If you're looking for a wife, it's no more difficult here than anywhere else. If you're looking for a dating scene, you will be disappointed if you're coming from the Midwest or South.


I heard a lot of this before spending some time in SF. If you don't have problems meeting women elsewhere you won't in SF either. If you do, at least here you'll be able to join the throng of socially awkward folks that blame it on the city.


I'm not a local, but Forbes ranks SF #7 for best cities for singles:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/27/best-cities-singles-lifesty...


Yeah. Singles rate number 4, but if all those singles are guys that can't find girls, it surely doesn't look good, unless you are a girl.

The other thing it rated high is on coolness, which I guess it is, give the amount of hipsters/piercings/tattoed/non normal people you see here.


This isn't something I've experienced in my 7 years of living in San Francisco. It sounds like a sour grapes, or as a commentator on the blog stated, "external attribution error".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_theory


I know several hackers who've been lucky in love in San Francisco or thereabouts. Does this help?


Well, I know more hackers, that are not lucky at all, then that they are lucky.


how could there be no women in SF? get ready for fun.


dang! downvoted by a virgin.


From one of the article's references:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3318366/Weal...

Pedersen suggested that people will change many aspects of their behaviour as a knock-on effect of the competition induced by sex ratio fluctuations. For men, these include greater fidelity, commitment to careers, and increased investment in children when women are scarce.

Is there evidence that men are also more committed to marriages in San Francisco? Are divorce rates lower?


Also why is there a lack of African American people there?

Anyone ever been to a technology conference? I felt like I stepped into Harvard circa 1955.


The city essentially kicked African Americans out starting in the 1970s under the guise of redeveloping the Fillmore District. Since then, it's been a matter of economics. SF has the smallest % of African Americans of any major US city (6.5%). This is smaller than cities typically thought of as "white:" Minneapolis (17%), Seattle (9%) and Portland, Oregon. (7.9%). Even Portland, Maine has a higher percentage of African Americans (6.6%).

As others have mentioned, Oakland is where African American people live in the Bay Area.


You just need to go across the Bay Bridge. I'm not sure how or when it happened but for some reason San Francisco is very white and Oakland is very black.


Hunter's point and the Filmore district are also heavily African-American.

But when I was there during the 97-99 boom there was a noticeable lack of African Americans in tech and web companies.


> Also why is there a lack of African American people there?

This article attempts to explain it: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0615/p02s04-usgn.html


tech conferences != SF


As a gay man in Boston, I'd be fascinated if someone revisited those numbers in a queer context: how do things change for bisexuals? Homosexuals? What's the effect of mixed genders in a bar? The common trend seems to just be packing more 21-35 year old men into a room, and I don't know how far that is from optimal.


You're asking what the gay scene is like in San Francisco?


No, I'm wondering, if you have 100 gays at a bar, what different demographics would add or detract from it. Cause if you have 10 more hot guys, there's nothing stopping them from dancing in a clique unconnected to anyone else, versus 10 ladies who probably didn't go out to hook up with each other at the end of the night. Are there different types of guys you could incentivize to show up, like Ladies' Night?


Contrary to what the movies/TV portray, generally when groups of straight single women go out to bars together they are not looking to hook up.


I think he's asking what would happen if 10 extra gay guys showed up at the bar instead of 10 straight dudes.


How would you measure that? Who is the cat and who is the mouse?


Perhaps, in environments where gay guys have lots of high status potential partners, they tend to hold out for more (so that it becomes harder for everyone to find a relationship.) But, uh, probably not.


Going to a bar to meet women is stacking the deck against you in SF. The best place to go is yoga class. Plus, you'll be able to actually do something nice for your body at the same time.


Is there any explanation from game theory as to why a slight imbalance causes such an exaggerated effect?

It makes sense that since there are more men, women get pickier, so paradoxically there appears to be less good men available to women.

What does game theory predict in such a situation?


http://www.slate.com/id/2188684/

The eligible bachelor paradox.


SF is outrightly depressing when it comes to girls! The numbers are just not comparable to a city like NYC or LA.


Numbers? I myself like to focus on quality.

I can't talk about NY, but having lived in LA for 5+ years I can safely say that it's a horrible place for either sex to seek out any form of lasting relationship.

Of course if you love spending your evenings in bars buying drinks for willing girls under 25 (or at least who claim to be) then LA's a great place to live.


I am surprised you say that about LA. Though I haven't lived there, I have multiple friends that wouldn't trade LA for a thing! They are also not the relationship-types but do have stunning women around them whenever I meet them.

As for buying drinks, you know, that depends on the individual's mojo;) I've personally never tasted alcohol so the question of buying someone else a drink is far off. But I get your point.


Oh I loved LA too for the first few years. It's a great place to live when you're in your twenties with some disposable income and aren't looking for anything too permanent. And yes, it has a bountiful supply of women who would be knockouts in any other town but are just average in LA.

After a few years though I just found it got kinda old, repetitive and a little shallow. Ironically I now live in SF :)


That is spot on. Population-wise, SF men outnumber the women by something like 55%-45%. However, if you tried to estimate that number based on the nightlife scene, you'd arrive at something like 70%-30%. I think the psychological concept that the essay sites also explains the lack of girls in bars (which, for many guys, is a far more important stat than the population-wide one).


Strictly mathematically, it's not hard for a population split of 55-45 to result in a singles split of 70-30. Say that 35% of males and 35% of females are in a (heterosexual, monogamous) relationship. By definition, the numbers will be equally balanced, so of the remaining 30% of the population, 20% (of the total) are male and 10% are female, for a 66-33 split.

70% in couples seems high to me, so there's probably another effect at work. It's the same effect that makes it really hard to find a job in a recession: normally you might have 5% of the population out of work and 5% positions waiting to be filled, but if you suddenly have 10% out of work and 1% of positions open (companies that lay off people generally aren't hiring), instead of 1 person for each open job you have 10 people looking for each open job, even though 90% of the population weren't affected at all.


I don't know what bars you hand out in, but there are plenty of women (I prefer women to girls) in the bars/clubs I go to. You want to see beautiful women desperate to find a man, go to District (corner of Townsend and Ritch).


District is certainly a great scene for men with deep pockets and the women who love them.


Edited: District is certainly a great scene for men with deep pockets and the women over 35 who live them.


I remember reading an article posted here awhile back about Zuckerberg and some other young guys being accosted in a bar by a transvestite. I thought, "Geez, only in SF can a straight potential billionaire not get an old-fashioned hetero lap dance."

Anecdotal, but I went for a few interviews in that place and it is definitely NOT the place to be for a single straight man in his 20s.


The Lower Peninsula is relatively devoid of Women. San Francisco is not.


Relationships are a distant priority here, work definitely comes first. Life suffers etc...


Exactly! You got a huge population of men in the SF area who want to work 70-80 hours/week. This leaves the door wide open for the men who have time for a relationship. I have found that women in SF are desperate to find men that will make time for them.


I wish I could tell all you guys working 70-80 hours the stories I've heard from 45-year-old guys who did that when they were your age. Short version: cut that out.


Because females are less likely to be entrepreneurs and less likely to be programmers.

You don't even need to have a whole blog about it.


this is complete nonsense, SF is full of very beautiful women. After living here for many years, I'd respectfully disagree with this.

The neighborhoods with the highest density (scientifically studied over a lifetime) are The Lower Haight and The Mission.


I lived in SF for years and think you're nuts. Completely nuts! The Lower Haight!?!?! The only explanation I have is that you've contracted the dating version of Stockholm Syndrome. Where are the beautiful women hanging out in the Lower Haight? Noc Noc? Peacock Lounge? What's your idea of beautiful? Janene Garafalo?

The Lower Haight was the one neighborhood I could count on where I'd go into a bar and there would be literally no women. Even worse odds than the Castro or the tranny parts of the Tenderloin. Try it - go to Toronado any night of the week and count the number of women.

Anyway, the best place to meet women is Union Square during lunch hour during the week. The people there are generally employed, take reasonable care of themselves, and aren't trying to live out some lame grungy hipster fantasy life straight out of 1993...


I lived in SF for years and think you're nuts. Completely nuts! The Lower Haight!?!?! The only explanation I have is that you've contracted the dating version of Stockholm Syndrome. Where are the beautiful women hanging out in the Lower Haight? Noc Noc? Peacock Lounge? What's your idea of beautiful? Janene Garafalo?

I met my wife at the Noc Noc, and she doesn't look like Janene Garafalo (not that there's anything wrong with that), but your anecdotal mileage may, of course, vary.

The Lower Haight was the one neighborhood I could count on where I'd go into a bar and there would be literally no women. Even worse odds than the Castro or the tranny parts of the Tenderloin. Try it - go to Toronado any night of the week and count the number of women.

The Toronado is for beer. You go there to partake of their positively astoundingly amazing on-tap selection, not pick up women.

Anyway, the best place to meet women is Union Square during lunch hour during the week. The people there are generally employed, take reasonable care of themselves, and aren't trying to live out some lame grungy hipster fantasy life straight out of 1993...

I see -- you were just in the wrong city! If you wanted post-sorority "generally employed" women, you really shouldn't have moved to San Francisco. You certainly shouldn't have been surprised that this restricted your options to department store neighborhoods and office commuter destinations.

I'd suggest a location such as such as LA or Manhattan, which are probably more socially amenable to your cultural presumptions.


I agree. If your cultural presumptions lean toward beautiful, well-kempt women, LA or Manhattan (as well as any number of other cities) are infinitely better than SF.


I see -- you were just in the wrong city!

You are right - I moved to Manhattan.


Anyone have a reference of a study on using secondary social indicators to estimate an individuals likely behavior, prejudices, socio-economic history and current status, etc?



I didn't get Stuff White People Like. It seems to be Stuff Yuppies and Hipsters Like.


The article didn't say there aren't any women. It just said they're not interested in us.


I notice a lot of good looking women in shopping centers and malls, however, that isn't necessarily representative of the entire population.


Please specify which other cities you are comparing this to.


I would guess he is comparing to Mountain View or Sunnyvale.


I enjoyed the HN comments far more than the article itself...

For a while now I've been thinking I'd end up in SF or the Valley at some point over the next few years. I can't say dating ratios ever crossed my mind as a reason (not) to go. It doesn't exactly sound fun to be a woman in SF, so I guess I'd better spend more than a couple of weeks there and find out before I commit myself to meat markets and being a rarity...


While it's tempting to refer to the "San Francisco Bay Area" as a single cultural/economic entity, it really isn't. The male/female ratios will vary considerably within this region, along with the economic base.

I read an article a while back (which I could remember the link) that pointed out that as you move from south to north (ie., from southbay/San Jose to San Francisco), you gradually move from engineering/hard science to software to UI design to marketing/PR. There are major, substantial exceptions, of course, but as a general trend, I think it holds true.

As you move from South to North on this continuum, the male/female ratio changes substantially as well. Obviously, the PR, advertising, and design firms in SF have a lot of women working at them. Law firms, especially the ones that are not patent-law oriented, also have a lot of women - as paralegals, secretaries, and lawyers. I'd also guess that there are more fashion/interior decorating type firms in SF than in San Jose (it's not New York, of course, but insofar as the Bay Area has an industry, it'll largely be in SF). SF does have tech/software companies, though I've heard (I can't support this, it's just conjecture) that they tend to be less hardcore tech than the peninsula. The mission bay campus of UCSF may bring a lot of biotech folks to SF - not sure how that will influence things.

I've lived in SF, LA, San Diego, and New York. Because I grew up in SF, I don't have as good a sense of what it's like trying to "meet women", since I already had a large social network from high school and so forth. New York was the best (Manhattan) - girls would actually initiate conversations and give me their phone number. LA has lots of beautiful women, and it's a pretty good scene, but some (not all) women seemed to lose interest when they learned I wasn't a part of the entertainment industry (well, I was doing software for post production, but that counts as outside...)

San Diego was the absolute worst - the ratio of men to women was so high, and the men were so aggressive, that the women seemed to almost shut down and go into a shell. I learned something here - women don't seem to have as good a time when the ratio gets too favorable for them. It's surprising, but it makes sense. Women actually do like to pursue men, but if they're surrounded by a 3-1 ratio of men to women, and the men are very aggressive, they get hit on ever five minutes by a guy who they aren't interested in, it becomes nearly impossible to "make yourself available." Maybe they see a guy they'd like to meet, but if they appear open to conversation, five other guys will pretty much rush in right away. So they shut down and lose all interest in talking with people, or just stop going out to those bars altogether.

Nobody likes a bad ratio, but I've actually found that men and women are happiest closer to a 50-50 ratio.


I've never lived in San Francisco, but it's no secret that tech centres like Silicon Valley have very few women. Not only that, but based on these comments it seems like most coders have given up on socializing with women! Surely this must negatively affect the product development of applications meant for the general public.


Complete garbage. I is not hard to find an attractive lady in SF for either a date or a longer term relationship. Of course, it helps to be as sexy as I am.

Seriously, though, it's not that hard. I usually only hear this complaint from guys who are looking to only date white women or suchlike Given that the city is around 50% Asian these days, one might want to consider branching out. that said, i've dated girls of every ethnicity within the last 15 years, though not since I met the outstandingly lucky * Mrs Browl.

* What? She says she's happy about it. Most of the time.


Negative proof by counterexample. I met a girl in SF last month. Therefore, "there are no girls in San Francisco" is false. QED.


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