If you turn on the television or watch any movie geared towards college-aged people, there is one common story line: The “hookup.” It seems so prevalent in this age-group that it’s been coined the “hookup culture” where college-aged people are engaging in more bedroom activity than in past years. There’s a perception that young adults are abandoning the traditional relationships in favor of quick and easy hookups that require no long-term commitment.
So, what is a hookup?
Research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln defines a hookup as “the slang term for casual intimate encounters outside of dating or exclusive relationships” and typically involves intimate encounters that are unplanned and uninhibited. In the 300 students involved in this research, 54% shared that they participated in definition-following hookup during the school year – with a greater number of males (63%) than females (45%).
That sounds like a lot, but is the number of college-aged students who report to have hookups higher than those who prefer exclusive, traditional dating?
Probably not, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research.
The latest study compares results of a survey on sexual practices from 1988-1996 to one from 2004-2012 in an attempt to see if college-aged students (18-25 years old) have replaced traditional dating in favor of the hookup.
According to the researchers, after combing through all the information between the two surveys, they concluded:
Modest changes are consistent with cultural shifts in the ‘‘scripts’’ and terminology surrounding sexuality. We ﬁnd no evidence of substantial changes in sexual behavior that would indicate a new or pervasive pattern of non-relational sex among contemporary college students.
So, there you have it. The “hookup culture” is nothing more than whatever our parents were doing in college … we’re just a lot more creative with terminology.
Are you worried about what your kids will be doing once they reach college?
Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Source: “A New Standard of Sexual Behavior? Are Claims Associated With the ‘‘Hookup Culture’’ Supported by General Social Survey Data?” Journal of Sex Research
Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and four kids. No, those aren’t her kids’ real names – they’re online pseudonyms. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” byDevan on Facebook!