Scientists have created a map of romantic and sexual relationships of high school students. For the first time social scientists have created a map of romantic and sexual relationships of an entire high school over a period of 18 months. The findings suggest that teenage social network is arranged not as believed.
In the figure above, the blue circles represent the boys, and pink - girls and the connections between them - the relationship between them.
The study found that in contrast to the adult networks are missing the core is very sexually active people. Few students can boast a large number of partners, and communications are more evenly distributed.
Romantic and sexual network of schools consists of long chains of connections that spread throughout the community. Rarely come across students who have met with the same partners. But many of them were related to each other indirect connections when the person with whom you are now seeing previously met someone else, and he with someone else and so on. Such indirect communication can be extremely long, so that the largest continuous chain consisted of 288 students, representing more than half of all students who were in a romantic relationship.
James Moody, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio University, said that this network can be compared to the rural telephone line when the wires are connected in series all at home. But adult network, rather like the airport, where many small dots are connected to one or a few large centers.
"When we started this study, we expect to see the familiar pattern, with a small core of most sexually active people," - said Moody. "But to our surprise, we found a completely different network."
The obtained results allow to develop measures to prevent sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents.
This study was carried out, Peter Berman, Columbia University, Moody and Stovel Keterina the University of Washington. The results were published in a recent issue of American Journal of Sociology.
The researchers interviewed 832 of the approximately 1,000 students at the school. They were asked to indicate their romantic and sexual partners in the last 18 months, among the students who attend their school.
Slightly more than half of the students reported having had sexual relations, which fits into the framework of the national average. The researchers created a map of the network structure, which displayed the sexual and romantic relationships 573 students.
The most striking feature of the card has a single continuous structure, which included a 52 per cent (288 people) students of the school. Thus, the student met with A B student, and she, in turn, with a learner, and so on, up to 288 students.
This single structure is so large that the two most distant from one another pupil are 37 meters apart. Or, to use the popular terminology, between 37 levels of separation.
"Such a large single structure can affect the students," - said Moody. "They may be aware that his partner used to be a partner of the other. But few people realize that the previous partner was also someone else, and in fact someone else, and so on."
Outside of a single component, there were also a number of smaller structures. For example, scientists have counted 63 pairs of simple - when the two men met exclusively with each other. Only 35 percent of the 573 students (189 people), were part of a chain of three or more units. It rarely met medium resolution component (4 to 15 students).
Although many of the students were part of the big chains, they probably do not think about it, said Moody. In fact, they are, for the most part, did not even know about his involvement in the chain.
"Many students had only one partner. They were not promiscuity. But it is doubtful whether they could see the whole chain."
Surprisingly also the almost complete absence of cycling - when people start relationships with its neighbors in the chain.
"If you broke up with someone, then in the following respects want to move away from it as possible. You do not want to meet any of those who have had a close relationship with your previous partner."
From the study it can be concluded that among adolescents is not the most sexually active nucleus, but instead form a long chain of such a network. This allows the development of more effective measures for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents.
Among adults, the primary peddler disease is a small core of most sexually active people, so most effectively focus efforts on education about these diseases, it is on this group.
But among adolescents, "there is no such center, so we have to focus on a broader audience," - said Moody. "In this case, the concentration of a small group will be ineffective."
Such chains are extremely fragile and break just one link in the chain - you can completely stop the further growth of the chain. If you break a sufficient number of units, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases can be drastically reduced. All the details about the main events of the day widgets news let us know.