Teen Sex Deals

A new paper on who gets what in teen ties confirms prior results:

Data include an in-school survey of almost 90,000 seventh to twelfth grade students at a randomly sampled set of 80 communities across the United States. …

Women are having sex more than they would like and men are having sex less than they would like. … Conditional on being in a relationship, the fraction of 12th grade women who are having sex is much higher than the fraction who would like to be having sex. This is in contrast to 9th grade women whose preferences for sex are similar to what actually occurs. For men, it is the 12th grade men whose preferences align with what actually happens in their relationships while 9th grade men in relationships are having substantially less sex than they would like. … Increases in the outside options [of other women to date] for male partners increasing the chances of sex occurring [in a relationship.] …

Sex is valued above and beyond the relationship itself. … Males have stronger preferences for sex than females. For males, but not for females, grade of the partner influences the utility of sex with men preferring to have sex with older partners. Those who have had sex in the past also have a much stronger preference for sex in the present. … Women prefer to be matched with older men and … this preference is stronger than the preference by men to have sex with older women rather than younger women. In contrast, men only prefer older women when the relationship is accompanied by sex.

Individuals also prefer to be matched with those in the same grade and the same race. … Both sides of the market are sacrificing their preferred relationship terms to increase their chances of matching.

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