Among freshman boys, what's rare, and therefore valuable, are freshman girls willing to have a relationship and, even better, willing to have sex.
In high-school terms, that means math nerds date math nerds, though members of the debate team may also qualify.) he or she seeks in a partner as well as what he or she ends up getting.The idea is that men and women—jocks and dorks, freshman and seniors—base their search not only on the characteristics of their chosen partner, but also the expected terms of the relationship.Rather sweetly, the Add Health study considers two a pair when they hold hands, kiss, and say "I love you." (It seems to me this knocks most high-school relationships out of consideration, but the criteria are the criteria.) And when does that happen?Boys and girls in the same grade account for about 42 percent of relationships, while older boys dating younger girls make up 40 percent of high-school relationships, and older girls dating younger boys make up 18 percent.A tamer version of that observation is borne out in the economists' work among high schoolers.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of high school boys want to have sex (though only 47.6 percent of freshmen boys do).And who does the high-school dating system disadvantage most, statistically?Senior girls, at least according to the skew between stated sexual preferences and actual sexual activity.What the researchers looked for is called, in academic-speak, "matching": the likelihood and factors that lead to any individual partnering up.(They looked only at opposite-sex relationships within the same school.) That's uncommon: Most academic studies on marriage and partner-matching use a technique called "," which looks at pre-existing couples and defines the characteristics they do and do not have in common.Relatively little such data exists for teenagers, who mostly work the old-fashioned meet-someone-in-homeroom way.