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- Hook-up Sexual Experiences and Problem Behaviors Among Adolescents
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Hook up sign me The Greens Have a state of multiple relationships. Second, most women hooked up with someone they knew well, such as a friend or ex-boyfriend. Thus, conceptualizing a hookup as an interaction between strangers or brief acquaintances may miss many hookups. Third, students use the term hookup to refer to a wide range of behaviors. Using the term hookup in research is problematic if some believe it to mean having vaginal sex but others believe it to be any intimate behavior e.
Accordingly, researchers need to use specific behaviors when asking about hookup experiences cf. These findings suggest a need for continued efforts to promote condom use among sexually active young people. The comparison of romantic interactions with hookups also yielded several interesting findings. First, participants reported consuming alcohol more often and in greater amounts prior to hookups than prior to romantic interactions. These data reveal that alcohol plays a pivotal role in the hookup culture, not simply in general sexual activity among college students.
Second, hookups were less likely than romantic interactions to involve touching of the breasts and genitals, oral sex, and vaginal sex. This pattern might be expected given that hookup partners are not involved in any kind of committed relationship and may therefore be less likely to assume that such behaviors are appropriate or welcome by their partner. Third, women reported enjoying romantic interactions more, and regretting them less, than hookups.
The preference for sexual interaction with a romantic partner over a hookup partner may stem from physical or psychological reasons. For example, a long-term partner may be more likely than a new hookup partner to be able to please them sexually; indeed, women are more likely to report orgasms from romantic interactions than hookups England et al.
Enjoyment and regret of the interactions may also be affected by psychological processes. For instance, perhaps females enjoy romantic interactions more than hookups because they do not have to worry about pejorative labels or developing a negative reputation Bogle, The limitations of this research should be acknowledged. First, our sample of primarily heterosexual Caucasian females may limit the generalizability of the results.
We focused on females because of their greater risk for negative consequences of hookups, but future research should sample males; ethnic minority students; and gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.
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Members of fraternities and sororities may be of particular interest because they tend to have more sexual partners and to have sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs more often than independent non-fraternity- or sorority-affiliated students cf. A second limitation of the study is its atheoretical nature. We developed our research questions after a review of the empirical literature on hooking up; we attempted to fill in gaps in the knowledge base and resolve inconsistencies or debatable points.
Future research, guided by psychosocial theory, can extend the results of this empirical investigation. Third, the prevalence estimates we obtained reflect the assessment methods we used. The ambiguity inherent in the term hookup makes it difficult to assess its prevalence. However, the methods we employed enabled a more accurate measurement of hookup prevalence relative to prior studies. Moreover, in our assessment of hookup characteristics, we asked participants to self-label hookups so we did not limit our study to only those situations that we understood to be hookups.
Fourth, the study design does not permit causal inferences or exploration of the health consequences of hooking up. Longitudinal research might examine physical and mental health consequences of hooking up cf. Moreover, the prevalence of hooking up suggests that it confers benefits to young people so research could examine whether positive outcomes accrue from this behavior e. These results suggest that a majority of female students engage in sexual hookups during high school and their first semester of college.
Thus, recent reports describing a new hookup culture among students may be accurate. This study increases understanding of the hookup experience with regard to partner types, alcohol use, sexual behaviors, condom use, and emotional reactions. The defining characteristic of a hookup seems to be the lack of mutually understood romantic commitment rather than a particular relationship or pattern of interaction.
Less clear, and worthy of research, are the implications of hookups for health. Research exploring these outcomes is needed before we can draw conclusions about the effects of this increasingly prevalent sexual behavior pattern.
Hook-up Sexual Experiences and Problem Behaviors Among Adolescents
The authors would like to thank Hillary L. Bishop for her help with data collection and data entry.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Sex Marital Ther. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jan 1. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Center for Health and Behavior, Syracuse University. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Prevalence Confidence in prior estimates of the prevalence of hookups is undermined by the use of imprecise definitions of hookup partnerships and behaviors. Procedures All procedures were approved by the Institutional Review Board.
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Survey Materials In the first section of the survey, we requested information about sociodemographic characteristics i. Results Prevalence Table 1 displays the prevalence rates of seven sexual hookup behaviors as well as the mean and median number of hookup partners for three time intervals: Open in a separate window. Hookup Characteristics Across all participants and both survey occasions, unique hookup events were described the number of hookups exceeds the number of participants because some women reported unique events at T1 and T2.
Alcohol and drug use Participants reported consuming an average of 3. Romantic Interactions Across all participants and both survey occasions, unique romantic events were described the number of events exceeds the number of participants because some women reported unique events at T1 and T2. Alcohol and drug use Participants reported consuming an average of 0. Comparing Hookups and Romantic Interactions Hookups and romantic interactions were compared using data from the 99 participants who reported on both a hookup and a romantic event.
Alcohol and drug use Alcohol use was more common prior to hookups than prior to romantic interactions. Sexual behavior Touching breasts, touching genitals outside of clothing, touching genitals underneath clothing, oral sex, and vaginal sex occurred more often during romantic interactions than during hookups. Discussion This study advances knowledge regarding the behavioral epidemiology of hookups by a estimating the prevalence of specific behaviors in the hookup context and b providing more detailed information about the context and behavioral topography of hookups.
Prevalence We assessed specific sexual behaviors in order to obtain precise hookup prevalence rates.
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Hookup Characteristics Participants provided ample details regarding their experience before, during, and after hookups, and several key findings emerged. Limitations and Future Directions The limitations of this research should be acknowledged. Footnotes 1 In this initial study, we focus on college women because they appear more vulnerable than men to the possible consequences of hookups such as negative emotional reactions Owen et al.
A common problem among college students.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol. Negotiating a friends with benefits relationship. Archives of Sexual Behavior. The shift from dating to hooking up in college: What scholars have missed. Sex, dating, and relationships on campus. New York University Press; What is moderate drinking: Alcohol Research and Health. Oral sex and the transmission of non-viral STIs. Oral sex and the transmission of viral STIs. Kimmel MS, Aronson A, editors. The Gendered Society Reader. Oxford University Press; Eshbaugh EM, Gute G.
Hookups and sexual regret among college women.
Journal of Social Psychology. A short-term prospective study. Risk factors and consequences of unwanted sex among university students: