"That's a thing that girls let slide, because you have to," the student explains.
"If you don't let it slide, you don't have a boyfriend." Dating, in other words, is a market like any other, and market power is determined by the abundance of resources.
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).
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?
Because of that phenomenon, in schools with more boys than girls, the girls hold more cards and have less sex.
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.
The idea is that men and women—jocks and dorks, freshman and seniors—base their search not only on the characteristics of their chosen partner, but also the expected terms of the relationship.
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.