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September 14, With a male-to-female ratio of 10 to 1, the theory goes, legions of flannel-clad Alaskan men spend their Friday nights gutting fish or mounting moose he on their walls - with nary a hope for a phone call or a date.
So with women in short supply, those who venture into America's northernmost frontier get to pick the best men of the batch, right? Maybe not. When the National Singles Convention came to town this weekend, the local women in attendance were more likely to bury the popular myth - broadcast across the country in magazines and TV talk shows - than to praise it.
One attendee, who identified herself only as "C. For C. The only places where eligible men vastly out women are at rural outposts and work camps, they say, and C. Complaints about single life are universal, and despite Alaska's reputation, Anchorage is no exception, says convention organizer Rich Gosse. In Anchorage, C. Actually, both both figures are way off base. According to state demographer Greg Williams, Alaska's population is only about 52 percent male, a rate only slightly higher than in other states. Asked why Alaska's rate is higher, Mr.
Williams has a ready answer: The statistics reflect Alaska's high of military bases and personnel and a relative scarcity of elderly residents. Asked why this ratio should be considered a beacon for single women across America, Williams is a little less certain.
Still, the myth persists despite all attempts to debunk it. But he also says some businesses fueled the hype when they "came out with just wild lies about the ratio of men to women that they must have dug up from the s or something. But at least one business refuses to let less-than-dramatic demographics deter its faith in the mystique of the Alaskan man - AlaskaMen magazine.
Susie Carter, founder of the magazine, insists that men in Alaska are a "different breed. They appreciate a woman. They treat you pretty special," says Ms. Carter, a mother of nine who has gained national celebrity with her mail-order-style publication and with frequent Alaska bachelor tours of cities in the Lower Not everyone is as complimentary. But Carter, who was at the convention to dispense advice and encourage matches, defends the state's bachelors. Some of those featured in her magazine are "homely," she concedes, and photographs in AlaskaMen display numerous untamed beards, bald pates, and protruding paunches.
But the subjects are sincere and genuine, she pointed out. Already a subscriber? Monitor journalism changes lives because we open that too-small box that most people think they live in. We believe news can and should expand a sense of identity and possibility beyond narrow conventional expectations. Your subscription to The Christian Science Monitor has expired. You can renew your subscription or continue to use the site without a subscription. If you have questions about yourplease contact customer service or call us at This message will appear once per week unless you renew or log out.
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