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#### A mathematical speculation

edcomet

Imagine a reasonably affluent, suburban public high school with reasonably good academics and reasonably good school spirit and athletics. In that high school, the 10th grade class has 400 students, 200 of which are male and 200 of which are female.

A poll is conducted. All of the boys are asked to name who they think is "the most beautiful girl" in the 10th grade class and the girls are asked to name "the most handsome" boy in the class.

The poll is compiled. How many girls do you think would get at least one vote? How many boys? How many votes do you think the most frequently named girl would get? The most frequently named boy?

I personally don't have a clue.It's an interesting social question and I'll be interested to see what the response is.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@edcomet

How many girls do you think would get at least one vote?

5

How many boys?

10

How many votes do you think the most frequently named girl would get?

70

The most frequently named boy?

100

Replies:   tppm
tppm

@Switch Blayde

SW, is this based on anything other than blind guess work?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@tppm

SW, is this based on anything other than blind guess work?

LOL Blind guess work.

I would think guys would typically agree on what's beauty (more than girls) so that led to the difference of 5 and 10. The same sort of applies to the 70 and 100.

I was looking for a trick. Not finding one, I blindly guessed.

Ernest Bywater

@edcomet

In sufficient information to provide a reasonable analysis. This requires data about the looks and personalities of the people involved to provide a result.

If the school is the Hollywood Academy of Young Actors you would have a totally different result than if the same students were attending the Hollywood Academy of Blind Young Actors as the individual parameters would be very different.

edcomet

So that's an interesting answer. Yes, there are factors involved. I framed the question in a certain way and was vague about things like locale (is it a suburb of Des Moines or Santa Monica?) and whether the racial mix was more heterogeneous or homogeneous.

But I did specify a public high school, so I think that would leave out your academy

Ernest (or anyone/everyone), What do you think the difference between Des Moines and Santa Monica or other settings would would be?

For example, I would think that if the racial mix was more heterogeneous, the number of people named (for both boys and girls) would be larger and the most frequently named person's total number would be less.

What are other factors might affect the tally?

As an example, I think that asking seniors or 7th graders might produce different results as well.

ustourist

@edcomet

If this was in the north east or California you would have ACLU or a teachers union taking legal action to stop the poll since it doesn't include LGBT and is sexist.

It would also have different results depending on whether the poll was totally anonymous or not, which most aren't.

Sterling

I think the answer would vary over time -- with much less variety in the 1950s as opposed to now. If I imagine the late 1960s where I went to school, which was ethnically homogeneous, and assuming total anonymity...

Switch gave 5, 10, 70, 100. Not sure why he thinks the most popular boy would get more than the most popular girl. I might have said 100 for each. But I think the variability at the tails would be much higher -- maybe 30 girls and 30 boys. You've got to keep in mind people who don't take it seriously and give joke answers. If you eliminated them, maybe 20 and 20. And if you asked, "Who do you think will be named as the most sexy by the majority?" and used only serious votes, it might be like 3, 2 or even 1.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@edcomet

But I did specify a public high school, so I think that would leave out your academy

Actually, being an Aussie and not from the US I don't know how your school naming system goes, I simply used the word academy because you see it in the name of so many schools in the US films. However, the point I was trying to make was the differences in the perspective and decision making factors between a sighted school body and a blind school body "looking" for different things in the people they select. You can see the same sort of different selection factors in different types of beauty contests; for example, the values of items in the Miss Florida contest are different to those in the Florida Nudist Association Miss Nude Florida - different criteria means different answers, even if the group being viewed is the same.

Back to the original question: some people will go solely on the physical appearance of the whole body while some will focus on the face and some will focus on a particular part of the body, and others will include the person's personality and behaviours while some won't. Thus the question, as stated, is way too subjective to get an objective answer and thus not suitable to be solved in a normal mathematic process that looks for objective answers.

Having said that, mob psychology works when the crowd is big enough but fails on small groups and individuals.

typo edit

Switch Blayde

@Sterling

Not sure why he thinks the most popular boy would get more than the most popular girl.

I typed those numbers backwards.

Crumbly Writer

@edcomet

Ernest (or anyone/everyone), What do you think the difference between Des Moines and Santa Monica or other settings would would be?

For example, I would think that if the racial mix was more heterogeneous, the number of people named (for both boys and girls) would be larger and the most frequently named person's total number would be less.

Ernest, being from Australia, would be unlikely to know the differences between the two locales. I'd think Santa Monica would have more 'beautiful people', but I wouldn't know how much of a percent of the total they'd make.

Figure 20% would get the majority of the votes, likely evenly spread. Each school as a 'most attractive girl' (usually the one with the biggest boobs and an attractive face), but in a decent sized school, there'd be bound to be a decent amount of competition for the honor.

A large number would get at least a couple of votes (girlfriends, GF's friends, etc.), but few would break out.

For guys, figure the 'stars' (footballs and basketball players) would score near the top. Anyone in the film industry would rank high (both because they're naturally attractive and they'd be more easily recognizable). Large guys (and girls) would score higher than short folk, and those stats are more easily identified.

You might also have specific favorites (most popular white girl, Hispanic girl, black girl, etc.).

Sterling, I think you'd find a large amount of people (say 20%) would receive ZERO votes. HS can be a horrible place for fragile egos.

tppm

One needs the relevant data, and to get it one needs to actually conduct the experiment, and, further, for the data to be valid one needs to conduct the experiment several times in several different locals. Until the data has been collected all one has is guesswork.

Bondi Beach

@edcomet

The poll is compiled. How many girls do you think would get at least one vote? How many boys? How many votes do you think the most frequently named girl would get? The most frequently named boy?

To play devil's advocate here, why does it matter? In other words, the number-like bra size or penis size-in itself has no meaning. It only has the meaning the characters give it, and that will be the interesting part of the story. Which is implied by some of the responses you've received: does the school have lots of hotties? lots of LGBTQs? lots of not-hotties?

And since no one knows the answer, the author could pick whatever numbers he or she liked-true whether the school is in the U.S., Swaziland or Australia.

bb

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
richardshagrin

Well, this is a site for fiction. Guesswork is another name for fiction. Just make it as believable as you can.

Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

lots of LGBTQs? lots of not-hotties?

Original post had a student body of 400 evenly split between the genders. I wonder how someone would feel if they got a vote of 287 people listing them as the person they'd most like to have sex with?

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

@Ernest Bywater

Original post had a student body of 400 evenly split between the genders. I wonder how someone would feel if they got a vote of 287 people listing them as the person they'd most like to have sex with?

Popular?

Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

Popular?

or worried if they're strictly single current.

Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

Popular?

Especially if they learned they were more popular with the opposite sex to which they're naturally attracted.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Especially if they learned they were more popular with the opposite sex to which they're naturally attracted.

The meaning of this sentence is unclear.

Do you mean girl who is attracted to boys finds out that she is more popular with:
1 boys
2 girls.

2 would certainly be funnier.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

The meaning of this sentence is unclear.

Do you mean girl who is attracted to boys finds out that she is more popular with:
1 boys
2 girls.

2 would certainly be funnier.

That's what I was intending, but I was trying (too hard) to be inclusive (i.e. including gays being chased by straights too).

Replies:   Dominion's Son  tppm
Dominion's Son

@Crumbly Writer

At first glance it looked to me like it only applied to straights being chased by the opposite sex.

This can be parsed several ways:

Especially if they learned they were more popular with the opposite sex, to which they're naturally attracted.

is a very different sentence from :

Especially if they learned they were more popular with, the opposite sex to which they're naturally attracted.

or:

Especially if they learned they were more popular with the opposite sex from that which they're naturally attracted to.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominion's Son

At first glance it looked to me like it only applied to straights being chased by the opposite sex.

This can be parsed several ways:

I've learned that, if a joke dies a painful death, it's best not trying to resurrect it! Timing is everything in humor. 'D

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I've learned that, if a joke dies a painful death, it's best not trying to resurrect it! Timing is everything in humor. 'D

I wasn't trying to resurrect it. I did an autopsy, so you would know why it died.

tppm
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Switch the positions of "opposite" and "sex" in your original response, making it:

Especially if they learned they were more popular with the sex opposite to which they're naturally attracted.

A bit awkward but gets the meaning comes across better than the original.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@tppm

A bit awkward but gets the meaning comes across better than the original.

Speaking of which, is it too late to delete the original? 'D