I know there’s a lot not to like from a feminist point of view about this article on how women’s edge in college enrollment is changing things on campus. But there’s a core interesting fact in the article, which is that it really does seem to be true in a variety of contexts that even a very small surplus of heterosexual women over heterosexual men is tend to be associated with fairly dramatic shifts away from norms of monogamous relationships. You see this everyplace from low-income black neighborhoods in the US, where many men are dead or in prison, to Iceland (where a large fraction of the male population is off on fishing boats at any given time) which is the world-leader in single-parent households. This model from Alex Tabarrok is deliberately simplistic and some will probably take offense, but it illustrates why the magnitude of the shift in norms can be quite large compared to the magnitude of the surplus of straight women.
That said, most of the hand-wringing about this seems silly. It would be bizarre to start admitting fewer women to college in order to make it easier for the remaining women to find steady boyfriends. Things like improved labor market opportunities for blue collar women and improved college preparation for low-income men would help resolve the imbalance, but those things would be goals with pursuing even absent the gender balance on campus issue. What’s more, there’s a large-scale shift toward people getting married later that’s rendering a lot of these ideas about meeting your future husband in school obsolete anyway.