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"?
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?
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.
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.
—interested in sex, whereas girls, no matter how boy-crazy, tend to focus on relationships.
Young men frequently fib about their sexual experience, whereas young women tend to be more truthful.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).Unsurprisingly, the majority of high school girls do not (though 50.1 percent of senior girls do).