The Culture of Hooking Up

Topics: Human sexuality, Human sexual behavior, Sexual intercourse Pages: 6 (2169 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Review of Literature
In 1997, a Brown University student expressed to The New York Times,” In a normal relationship, you meet, get drunk, hook up” (Stepp 33). Today college students are living in an environment saturated with sex. With tools such as the Internet, media and numerous of other sources producing sexual content, students are exposed to this material more than ever. During college, self-exploration and experimentation are prominent driving forces more than ever. It seems as though hooking up has replaced dating on college campuses, and for this reason the phenomenon has begun to attract the academic community. It surprisingly appears that sexual experimentation is becoming a socially acceptable rite of passage. But it is not surprising that college students are having sex; and more often than not outside a committed relationship. But this rite of passage does not come without the serious physical, emotional, and social consequences; and this the case for most women. (Thomas 2010) Scholar’s Garcia and Reiber, express in their article Hook-Up Behavior: A Biopsychosocial Perspective that, “’Hooking up’ has become a normative sexual experience on college campuses today” (p.193). With the media and observed texts shedding light on this new phenomenon, a plethora of common hook up definitions has transpired from research. A hook-up is a phenomenon defined as, “a sexual encounter which may or may not include sexual intercourse, usually occurring between people who are strangers or brief acquaintances” (Paul p.76). The frequently described no strings attached sex has surpassed traditional dating on college campuses, and has become the accepted norm. This extensive epidemic that causes students to engage in casual sex with friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers has affected the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of these students. While more researchers are gathering quantitative data on the frequency of hook ups, some researches have reported data that varied from campus to campus, while demographics and ecological differences also played a part in these statistics. Researchers Paul, McManus an Hayes (2000) had found approximately 78% of participants had hooked up; two years later, Paul and Hayes (2002) reported that 70% of undergraduate participants studied had engaged in at least one hook up in their college career. In 2003 researchers Lambert, Kahn and Apple found that 78% of female and 84% of male participants had hooked up. In a nationally representative study of individuals ages 12-21, who were sexually experienced, 70-85% reported engaging in a casual sex experience within the last year. (Garcia & Reiber p. 193) Hooking Up: In Depth

As stated earlier research has allowed numerous hook-up definitions to surface in the academic community. A hookup is a spontaneous sexual interaction, usually lasting one night, between two individuals that are: 1) not in a traditional romantic relationship (i.e. not dating), 2) and not are not promised to any subsequent intimate relationships (Garcia & Reiber, 2008, Paul, 2000). These two individuals who may be strangers, acquaintances, or even close friends are engaging in a range of behaviors that include kissing, oral sex, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse. Researches have reported that hookups are more likely to occur at dormitories, parties, clubs and bars, fraternity houses or any available social gathering (Garcia & Reiber, 2008). Of course alcohol consumption and drug use have been linked to hookups, and these factors are often known to facilitate the experience and increase the overall risks of hooking up (Garcia & Reiber, 2008).

Misconception of HookUps
Although hookups are uncommitted intimate relationships and encounters, a couple of terms try to fall under the hookup umbrella. Casual sex and ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB) are different from hookups, because the intentions and motivations for these acts may differ from the...
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