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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.
In the Darwinian world of high-school dating, freshman girls and senior boys have the highest chances of successfully partnering up. And they have found that for the most part, they're accurate.
Now, however, social scientists have examined them exhaustively and empirically.
For them, a relationship at some point becomes more important than purity.
Because of that phenomenon, in schools with more boys than girls, the girls hold more cards and have less sex.
(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.
(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.Once a student has sex, it becomes less of an issue in future relationships.," but don't hold its too-cute title against it—looked at how and when high-school students choose mates and their preferences when searching for a partner.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.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). These are truisms known to anyone who has watched 10 minutes of a teen movie or spent 10 minutes in a high school cafeteria.So are some other old prom-era chestnuts: Teen boys are primarily—obsessively?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"?