Friday, March 30, 2007

Sexual Network

I have learned a lot at PI. Really. Among other things I have learned that these scribbles on the blackboard are not dots with lines, but nodes with links. And here is what you can do with them: Researchers Map the Sexual Network of an Entire High School :


[Published in: Chains of Affection: The Structure of Adolescent Romantic and Sexual Networks, Bearman, Moody and Stovel, American Journal of Sociology, 110, 1 (July 2004) 44-91.]

I could only find one homosexual relationship, which makes me kind of wonder how honest the students were about their relationships altogether. Anyway, I could have tought the students more. The essential thing to know is how to do exchange and expansion moves in the sin network:



[from hep-th/9712148]

21 comments:

Aaron said...

Wow,

These networks appear to have very strong diffusion limited aggregation laws directing their dynamics. A lot like a super saturated fluid, no surprise their I guess.

Anonymous said...

that's what I call interdisciplinary ;)

Anonymous said...

I read 'Partner moves' instead of 'Pachner moves' *lol*

William said...

Let me take a shot at this.

Move 2: Man A and Man B live in the mountains of Utah and each have two wives. They have an affair together, and in the process trade wives.

Move 1: Woman A is dating three men at the same time. They all find out she is cheating on them and confront her. It turns out woman A is really a set of triplets, who proceed to have an incestuous three-way.

How did I do?

Bee said...

Hi William,

hmm. The problem is that the nodes aren't colored. I would have read for the exchange move: married wife, has two lovers (AB). Husband finds out one day, admits on having had two affairs as well (CD). They conclude their relationship needs more excitement and decide on going bisexual to save their marriage. Not too much excitement however, so they use already present resources. The expansion thing is more complicated. *scratchhead* How about that: After having had three children (this information it totally irrelevant) married wife (with husband C) finds out she's more into women, scans nightclubs and starts homosexual relationships with A and B. One day all three of them meet accidentally in the same place, upon which it turns out that both other women are also married, and in addition quite like each other...

Its too bad they don't have more statistics. I would guess the length and presence of the loop depends on the size of the group (and if it's too 'open' it would probably be extremely unlikely, you should have a look at the paper, its all about the differences to adults networks).

Best,

B.

Uncle Al said...

If you hail from Prince Edward Island and your brother divorces his wife... is she will your sister?

Carl Brannen said...

Getting students to tell the truth about their relationships, romantic or sexual, is probably no more realistic than getting adults to tell the truth.

Kea said...

Nice pictures. Some hexagons would look good as well.

William said...

I like your explanation of the exchange move a lot better. The expansion is really hard to wrap my head around.

Now imagine we were using braided sin networks - then things would get really kinky.

BTW, I counted two homosexual relationships: one male, one female.

Carl Brannen said...

yThe system appears to be approximately symmetric under transformations of the color charge. I.e. boys and girls get around about equally.

Carl Brannen said...

The system appears to be approximately symmetric under transformations of the color charge. I.e. boys and girls get around about equally.

Domenic said...

Here at Caltech, the dynamic is a bit different..

joshua said...

i count three homosexual relationships, two boy-boy and one girl-girl. i imagine it is much more in reality. i am surprised that none of the isolated pairs are homosexual.

Bee said...

Hi Domenic,

interesting - are you on that chart ;-) ? I guess that's the typical thing to happen when people are not so focused on their own peer group (like it often happens at high schools). You'd have to follow the connections to outside campus to get longer chains (and of course its a matter of the time window as well).

Hi Joshua,

I should have looked more closely... I found the girl-girl link and one of the boy-boys but can't find the second?

Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Carl,

The system appears to be approximately symmetric under transformations of the color charge. I.e. boys and girls get around about equally.

I didn't count but I had the impression that boys collect more girls that girls boys - there's a particularly lucky guy in the upper right part of the loop with 9 girls. Not bad withing 6 months I'd say.

Best,

B.

joshua said...

hi b, there is the obvious boy-boy on the right of the large network (external appendage) and then there is a boy-boy link in the main circle of the large network at the south-west side.

Gil Kalai said...

I was happy to see that "Pachner moves" found their way not only to quantum gravity but also to the study of romantics and sex. I had the privilege to meet Udo Pachner in Oberwolfach in the 1982 convexity meeting. In the Oberwolfach photos collection, I found this picture of Gunter Ewald with his two students Peter Kleinschmidt and Udo Pachner.

Anonymous said...

And let's not forget this classic piece of research.

Anonymous said...

This is fun. I built a small network like this using molecular models my senior year of college, which failed when someone exceed the kit's maximum valence of six for one my my more promiscuous friends.

Interesting that with the few same-sex hook-ups, all but one of the partners was effectively bisexual during the study period (and that one had only one partner). But aren't all gays supposed to be promiscuous? HAHA

Also hard to tease out the data from the graphic, but in general it seems that promiscuity is more or less equal between men and women. The one guy scores with 9, but there are lots of men and women with 4 and 5 different scores in 18 months. So much for conventional wisdom.

Tigger

mike said...

there seem to be three, one f-f in on of the smaller groupings and one m-m on the upper branches of the big group and another m-m in the main circle.

Bee said...

Oh wow, this story is cascading up, even though it's already 2 years old, look at this:

Dynamics of Cats

Seeds Daily Zeitgeist

The Daily Dish

Maybe I should write about sex more often ;-)