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(See figure for a representation of the network.) James Moody, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University, said this network could be compared to rural phone lines, running from a long main trunk line to individual houses.
As a comparison, many adult sexual networks are more like an airline hub system where many points are connected to a small number of hubs.
The researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
Students were asked to identify their sexual and romantic partners in the past 18 months from a roster of other students attending their school.COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the first time, sociologists have mapped the romantic and sexual relationships of an entire high school over 18 months, providing evidence that these adolescent networks may be structured differently than researchers previously thought.The results showed that, unlike many adult networks, there was no core group of very sexually active people at the high school.But they were indirectly linked, partner to partner to partner.
One component of the network linked 288 students – more than half of those who were romantically active at the school – in one long chain.If enough links are broken, the spread of STDs can be radically limited. They are just average students, and not extremely active sexually.