In looking at the data from a Pew report on recent immigrants to Europe, Meghan McArdle notices an interesting and alarming fact: only 27 percent of these immigrants are women.

A lopsided immigration pattern favoring men holds for almost every country but is especially pronounced for countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. There were virtually no female immigrants sent to Europe by Gambia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Pew report indicates the majority of these male immigrants are in the 18-34 age group. (There has also been an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.)

There are two possible scenarios, McArdle says, that can happen as a result of this imbalance. One is that the destination countries simply end up with an imbalance between men and women. McArcle regards this as a recipe for disaster:

The refugees — already predisposed to experience isolation, disconnection and disaffection from their host society — will thus also bear the desperation of men who have little hope of forming a long-term relationship with a woman and starting a family. This is a recipe for disaster.

The second scenario is to allow more women to immigrate from Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to balance things out. Not a great solution either, apparently:

To allow enough additional women to fix the gender imbalance would imply something like another half-percentage-point increase, over a very short period of time.

I am, as I have frequently noted in this column, a big fan of immigration. But cultures, particularly homogenous cultures, do need some time to absorb and assimilate the migrant flows. Last year’s refugee wave strained both the political and social systems of many countries. Increasing it by half again, or a third again, in short order, might bring those systems to the breaking point.

Unfortunately, at this point there aren’t any good options left. The people are there; Europe cannot go back and demand a more gender-balanced migrant wave. It could deny the bulk of those applications and send most of those men back where they came from.  But that’s unlikely; both EU refugee policy and a lot of the political class are publicly committed to sheltering a lot of these people. It would be difficult indeed to suddenly backpedal on those commitments.

We all want to believe that our nations are generous and welcoming to anyone who wants to come and make a new life.

But it is folly not to be concerned about the make-up of immigrant populations. The preponderance of young men who come from cultures that devalue women certainly contributed to the widespread attacks on women in Cologne early this year by immigrants from Middle Eastern and African countries.

Anyone who cares about the equality of women must be worried that a disproportionate number of young men are coming from countries that do not regard women as having the rights we enjoy in the West.