High school dating guide
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 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.
Where there are more girls, the male preference for sex tends to win out.
Of course, all this raises a question that has long bedeviled scores of Y. novelists, not to mention millions of teenagers: In high school, how exactly does one define a "relationship"?
For 30-year-olds, that might mean predicating a relationship on willingness to marry or have kids.
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
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A tamer version of that observation is borne out in the economists' work among high schoolers.