Pluralistic Ignorance and Hooking Up

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Many areas of student behavior might be influenced by pluralistic ignorance. The practice of hooking up and other uncommitted sexual relations have been influenced by pluralistic ignorance. In a 2000 study it was shown that eighty-six percent of men and eighty-eight percent of women hooked up during their college careers. This process of hooking up has become normative in recent years because students believe that their attitudes and beliefs are different from the norm. Males and females both believe that their sexes are more sexually active than they are in reality. Therefore women try to conform to the norm of hooking up and engage in sexual behavior because they believe that they are unique in feeling discomfort. On the other hand, men pressure women to engage in sexual behavior because they feel that the women are more comfortable with the situation than they truly are. Due to pluralistic ignorance about half of the college students have had a terrible hooking up experience. For women this usually happens when they are pressured to go further than they want, while for men it's usually due to the woman wanting a relationship. Student alcohol consumption is influenced by pluralistic ignorance. Although most students want to drink less alcohol than what is considered the norm; the level of student consumption is very high. The students all want to fit into the social circles and be seen as a desirable member of the group. Group members believe that the group leaders endorse the drinking norms. So in order to fit in students feel the need to consume large amounts of alcohol.
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