Dating in junior high

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.For 30-year-olds, that might mean predicating a relationship on willingness to marry or have kids.

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One coed argues that the gender imbalance has engendered a culture where men routinely cheat on their female partners.

"That's a thing that girls let slide, because you have to," the student explains.

A recent study from the University of Georgia conducted by Pamela Orpinas and colleagues and published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence suggests that the answer may be no.

Perhaps middle school and dating should be mutually exclusive.

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.

Among freshman boys, what's rare, and therefore valuable, are freshman girls willing to have a relationship and, even better, willing to have sex.

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.

Another possibility is that these early daters get distracted at an early age, develop a habit of always being in a relationship and lose focus on how to handle all aspects of life in a healthy manner.

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