Among freshman boys, what's rare, and therefore valuable, are freshman girls willing to have a relationship and, even better, willing to have sex.
Among senior girls, what's valuable and scarce are boys willing to have a relationship without having sex.
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.
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.
on dating at the University of North Carolina, where for every three women there are only two men.
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.
(Humans tend to partner with mates that look and act like them.
In real terms, that means couples with the same socioeconomic, racial, and religious background are common.
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.
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.