Boys and girls in the same grade account for about 42 percent of relationships, while older boys dating younger girls make up 40 percent of high-school relationships, and older girls dating younger boys make up 18 percent.And who does the high-school dating system disadvantage most, statistically? Now, however, social scientists have examined them exhaustively and empirically. These are truisms known to anyone who has watched 10 minutes of a teen movie or spent 10 minutes in a high school cafeteria.(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.
—interested in sex, whereas girls, no matter how boy-crazy, tend to focus on 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.Economists Peter Arcidiacono and Marjorie Mc Elroy of Duke and Andrew Beauchamp of Boston College examined an enormous trove of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, more commonly known as 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.In real terms, that means couples with the same socioeconomic, racial, and religious background are 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.