Despite the ambiguity of the term "hookup," 84 percent of students reported that they had discussed theirs with friends in the previous four months. Over 50 percent reported at least one and a third reported at least two hookups during the school year, indicating that these liaisons -- however the students defined them -- were common.
Still, the students "greatly overestimated the pervasiveness of hookups within the general student culture," Holman wrote in her report on the study. In theory, if all students adopted Holman's definition, they would all have a better idea of what exactly their peers meant when they reported a weekend hookup. But is pinning down the definition actually useful? What if there are advantages to leaving the meaning ambiguous? It's a way for them [students] to communicate about it but without having to reveal details.
It seems the phrase offers a way of divulging information -- which, yes, could still be considered gossip -- but also provides an element of mystery about the encounter, which could protect privacy in some cases. And in today's social media-obsessed, oversharing culture, that's not a bad thing. The fact that participants were divided along gender lines when it came to reporting their hook up experiences comes as no surprise. As a result, Garcia and other scholars argue that young adults are able to reproduce physiologically but are not psychologically or socially ready to 'settle down' and begin a family.
These developmental shifts, Garcia's systematic review of the literature suggests, is one of the factors driving the increase in hookups, a "popular cultural change that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Western world. Garcia and others have noted that the "past decade has witnessed an explosion in interest in the topic of hookups, both scientifically and in the popular media.
'Hooking Up' -- What Does It Really Mean?
Research on hookups is not seated within a singular disciplinary sphere; it sits at the crossroads of theoretical and empirical ideas drawn from a diverse range of fields, including psychology , anthropology , sociology , biology , medicine , and public health. It is hard to make sense of the hookup culture with understanding why it exists in society and why individuals participate in the culture. According to Shannon T. Boodram, "hooking up is nothing more than settling; it is the microwaveable burrito of sex. According to Kathleen Bogle, the phrase 'hooking up' is "a slang term" deemed unofficial and unpredictable due to the extended variation of its meaning.
The definition of hooking up can vary depending on the person or on the age group. It can range from acts that involve kissing, oral sex, or intercourse. A hook up is an act that involves sexual intimacy, claimed by many to be a sexually liberating act. On the other hand, hook up culture is thought to be oppressive and monolithic, with intimacy only occurring within a specific context.
Currier, she explores how the phrase "hooking up" conveys different meanings depending on whether a man or woman uses it when describing their sexual encounters; furthermore, Currier notes that men use "hooking up" to emphasize their masculinity and heterosexuality whereas women use the phrase to preserve their femininity by being strategically ambiguous in order to downplay their sexual desires. Boys are more likely than girls to have several hookup partners at the same time, and are also more likely to hook up with someone they are not dating.
About half of all hookups among adolescents were a one time affair, and this is the same for both boys and girls. Studies have shown that most high school girls are more interested in a relationship compared to high school boys, who are mostly interested in sex. Young women tend to be honest about their sexual encounters and experiences, while young men tend to lie more often about theirs. During this study, it was shown that girls in high school do not care as much as boys do on having sex in a relationship. But, on the contrary girls will have sex with their partner in order to match them.
For some adolescents, sex and relationships have been decoupled. Some worry that if society disconnects intimate sexual behavior and emotional connection, teens who hook up will have trouble forming stable intimate relationships later in life. Journalist Sabrina Weill asserts that "casual teen attitudes toward sex—particularly oral sex—reflect their confusion about what is normal behavior," and adds that they "are facing an intimacy crisis that could haunt them in future relationships.
Historical research documents that white male college students have a long history of engaging in hookup sex. However, most students overestimate the amount of hookups in which their peers engage. One study has found that the strongest predictor of hookup behavior was previous experience hooking up. Subculture can affect gender roles and sexuality, and youth subcultures are particularly susceptible to peer pressure. Most predictors among males and females rarely differ. One third of gay and bisexual college men have met an anonymous sexual partner in a public place such as a park, bookstore, or restroom.
The trend toward marrying later may be what is fueling the hookup scene on college campuses. Another study was based on a survey of over 18, college students from ages 18— This survey asked questions like how many sexual partners they have had since graduating high school, how many sexual partners per year, and how many times per week they have sex.
Many female college students explained how the "frat boy" perfectly embodies the persona of a sex driven male. Hooking up generally refers to having sex; however, many others indicated that when they say hooking up they are referring to something less than intercourse. Kimmel believes that while sexual promiscuity once existed on college campuses alongside more traditional forms of dating, hooking up is now "the alpha and omega of young adult romance.
Freitas has opined that a "hookup is a sexual act that thwarts meaning, purpose, and relationship.
More than half of college relationships begin with a hookup, Bogle's research has found. Oftentimes, men and women seem to not be on the "same page.
For instance, when a male student was asked if he felt that women looked for different components in a hookup; his response was that most females generally did not lean towards a "one and done" thing. Sociologist Wade  discusses several scholars who disagree that contemporary college students desire long-term monogamous relationships. She cites Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton,  Hanna Rosin,  and Kate Taylor  who posit that hookup culture is good for women as it frees them to focus on their studies and on their professional develop for careers instead of seeking a long term partner or marriage.
Freitas believes the lessons imparted by hookup culture have "set back" students who often have little experience dating, and few skills in asking a romantic partner out as a result. Some studies have found that students, both men and women, overwhelmingly regret their hookups.
Other studies found that many college students do not regret their hookup experiences. Wade  interviewed many women and men who were enthusiastic about their hookup experiences. Vrangalova and Ong's study documented that students who had a stable personality orientation towards casual sex reported a heightened sense of well being after experiencing casual sex.
Some research shows that hook up regret is gendered, with women tending to regret hooking up much more than men do. Regret from hooking up may be linked to negative emotional outcomes, especially in women. According to an article by Steven E. Rhoads, Laura Webber, et al.
Hookup culture - Wikipedia
The American Psychological Association also says that hookups can result in guilt and negative feelings. Students who reported to Freitas that they were profoundly upset about hooking up say the encounters made them feel, among other things, used, miserable, disgusted, and duped. College students base their sexual ideas and sexual actions within a peer culture. This is where students who are peers are comparing and differing sexual situations in one's own life amongst each other to create a foundation for the current hookup culture. Bogle describes the peer culture at universities as the "sexual arena.
This peer culture is not only amongst college students, but it may start to develop around the time puberty starts in middle school for both genders around the age of eleven to fourteen years old. In general, puberty is a time when sexuality and body awareness becomes a main focus for individuals to formulate this aspect of their identity.
Once in college, for most students, the parental aspect is diminished leaving a student feeling a high degree of freedom to truly explore and expand their whole personal identity, strongly including sexual identity in this "sexual arena. According to Bogle, the campuses her studies were done at had a common trend of college students being strongly interested in every other student's private life.
The viewers of this activity process, interpret, and form assumptions about what was observed. These types of sexual activity or public displays of affection could be as meaningless as two individuals romantically speaking to each other in a high capacity location on campus or could be as extreme as two individuals walking into a bedroom together at a party.
This peer culture has evolved and escalated with access to rapid communication such as texting on cell phones and multiple social media applications. Most these social media applications are identity profiles, public thought disposals, and virtual photo albums of oneself, where other's are just a click away from cyber analysis of how that individual displays themselves physically, sexually, psychologically, emotionally, and mentally on the internet.
Bogle states that the knowing of other's personal lives isn't just a purpose to gossip, but a way to observe, analyze, and be impacted by other's sexual actions, solely for the purpose of their own actions.