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.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.(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.
Young men frequently fib about their sexual experience, whereas young women tend to be more truthful.
They chose separate schools — she went to UC Berkeley, and he went to UC Davis.
They broke up a bit, dated other people at the suggestion of their parents, but stayed in close touch.
“It’s definitely possible, but it’s rare, because the chances of you knowing who you want to be with at 40 when you’re 17 are kind of low,” said Tracey Steinberg, a dating coach. And it’s worth the wait if it’s real.” Going the (long) distance is not easy: Challenges including overcoming communication barriers, resisting the temptation of a fun, new social life and scraping together the finances to visit each other at separate schools. But the next time you grumble about a spotty Skype connection or a pricey plane ticket, think about Barbara Gee and Gordon Baranco.
The pair got together at age 16, despite the misgivings of their parents (Barbara is Chinese-American, and Gordon is African-American), who threatened to disown them.