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Unsurprisingly, the majority of high school girls do not (though 50.1 percent of senior girls do).Over the course of four years, the power shifts from the freshman girls who don’t want to have sex to the senior boys who do. Though high-school girls don’t really want to have sex, many more of them end up doing so in order to “match” with a high-school boy.The researchers open the paper by citing a on dating at the University of North Carolina, where for every three women there are only two men.One coed argues that the gender imbalance has engendered a culture where men routinely cheat on their female partners.Relatively little such data exists for teenagers, who mostly work the old-fashioned meet-someone-in-homeroom way.But in examining the Add Health data, he and his colleagues found one classic economic tenet driving the byzantine high-school dating market: Scarcity determines value.
For high schoolers, that might mean basing a relationship on, well, the Arcidiacono notes that there’s a treasure trove of statistical data on the dating preferences, rather than pairings, of adults, due to dating sites like “That’s a thing that girls let slide, because you have to,” the student explains.“If you don’t let it slide, you don’t have a boyfriend.” Dating, in other words, is a market like any other, and market power is determined by the abundance of resources.The poll asked a broad range of questions about health and behavior—and the data set has become the basis of dozens of famed medical, sociological, and economic studies.(For instance, James Fowler of UC-San Diego recently used data from Add Health be a genetic foundation for an individual’s political beliefs.) For their paper, Arcidiacono, Mc Elroy, and Beauchamp focused on the dating and sex lives of high schoolers—a subject much-analyzed by magazine editors and romantic-comedy screenwriters, but less familiar to social scientists.