The rich shale oil formation deep below the rolling pastures here has attracted droves of young men to work the labor-intensive jobs that get the wells flowing and often generate six-figure salaries. What the oil boom has not brought, however, are enough single women. At work, at housing camps and in bars and restaurants, men have been left to mingle with their own. High heels and skirts are as rare around here as veggie burgers. Some men liken the environment to the military or prison.
This has complicated life for women in the region as well. Many said they felt unsafe. Several said they could not even shop at the local Walmart without men following them through the store. Girls’ night out usually becomes an exercise in fending off obnoxious, overzealous suitors who often flaunt their newfound wealth. “So many people look at you like you’re a piece of meat,” said Megan Dye, 28, a nearly lifelong Williston resident. “It’s disgusting. It’s gross.”
Prosecutors and the police note an increase in crimes against women, including domestic and sexual assaults. “There are people arriving in North Dakota every day from other places around the country who do not respect the people or laws of North Dakota,” said Ariston E. Johnson, the deputy state’s attorney in neighboring McKenzie County, in an e-mail.
Quite interesting. When men are deprived of regular socialization with women, they tend to become more aggressive and feral towards the women they do meet. This tends to result in the paradoxical fact that an imbalance of men significantly outnumbering women tends to diminish women's safety. This is one the reasons that violence against women, which has always been a problem in India, has increased as the men tend to outnumber women by 1000 to 867 in many urban areas. This is also one of the difficulties faced by polygamous societies, where removing women from social circulation tends to result in de facto skewed sex ratios. Hence eunuchs tend to arise in polygamous societies as a response.