It is still unclear the degree to which hookups may result in positive reactions, and whether young men and young women are sexually satisfied in these encounters. Fine has argued that sex negativity is even more pronounced for women and the possibility of desire seems to be missing from the sexual education of young women. Armstrong, England, and Fogarty addressed sexual satisfaction in a large study of online survey responses from 12, undergraduates from 17 different colleges.
In this study, men reported receiving oral sex both in hookups and in relationships much more than women. In both contexts, men also reached orgasm more often than women. A challenge to the contemporary sexual double standard would mean defending the position that young women and men are equally entitled to sexual activity, sexual pleasure, and sexual respect in hookups as well as relationships.
To achieve this, the attitudes and practices of both men and women need to be confronted. Men should be challenged to treat even first hookup partners as generously as the women they hook up with treat them. Taken together, this points to a need for further and more diverse attention to the impact of hookups on the physical and mental health of individuals, as recommended by Heldman and Wade Further, more attention is needed on potential positive aspects of hooking up, such as promoting sexual satisfaction and mutual comfort and enjoyment see Armstrong et al.
Hookups are part of a popular cultural shift that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Westernized world. The past decade has witnessed an explosion in interest in the topic of hookups, both scientifically and in the popular media.
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.
The growth of our understanding of the hookup phenomenon is likely predicated on our ability to integrate these theoretical and empirical ideas into a unified whole that is capable of explaining the tremendous variety in human sexual expression. Both evolutionary and social forces are likely facilitating hookup behavior, and together may help explain the rates of hookups, motivations for hooking up, perceptions of hookup culture, and the conflicting presence and lack of sex differences observed in various studies.
Several scholars have suggested that shifting life-history patterns may be influential in shaping hookup patterns. Together, the research reviewed here can help us better understand the nature of uncommitted sex today. It is worth noting, however, that several shortcomings in our knowledge continue to impede the understanding of hookup behavior. Much of the research asking participants about previous hookup relationships may therefore be biased due to recall. The literature reviewed here primarily focuses on heterosexual hookups among emerging adults, with some researchers not controlling for sexual orientation some purposefully and others restricting to exclusively heterosexual samples.
Future hookup research should venture into the MSM literature to explore patterns of casual sex among these populations to understand other sexual subcultures where uncommitted sexual behavior is prevalent.
Moreover, there exists little published literature on the hookup patterns among lesbians and women who have sex with women. Understanding hookups during the critical stage of late adolescent development and young adulthood is paramount for protecting and promoting healthy sexuality and healthy decision-making among emerging adults. Of the varied experiences and health risks young men and young women will experience, perhaps none are as pervasive and widely experienced as engagement in and desire for romantic attachments and experiences with sexual activity.
This review suggests that uncommitted sex, now being explored from a variety of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, is best understood from a biopsychosocial perspective that incorporates recent research trends in human biology, reproductive and mental health, and sexuality studies. Both popular scripts and predictions from evolutionary theory suggest that a reproductive motive may influence some sexual patterns, such as motivation and regret following uncommitted sex.
However, patterns of casual sex among gay men highlight inadequacies of the reproductive motive and suggest that further theorizing is necessary before a satisfactory evolutionarily informed theory can be established. We thank Melanie Hill for valuable discussion and feedback on an earlier draft of this review. We also thank Maryanne Fisher and Catherine Salmon for helpful editorial feedback.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jun 1. Garcia , Chris Reiber , Sean G. Massey , and Ann M. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Justin R. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Cultural Shifts in Dating Hookup culture has emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. Representation of Hookups in Popular Culture Contemporary popular culture is now ripe with examples that depict and often encourage sexual behavior, including premarital and uncommitted sex.
Hookup Venues Among college students, hookups have been reported in a variety of college settings. Theoretical Frameworks for Hookup Research An interdisciplinary biopsychosocial model can synthesize traditionally disconnected theoretical perspectives and provide a more holistic understanding of hookup culture.
In their comparison of theoretical models, they found that attachment fertility theory posits that short-term mating and other forms of mating outside of pair-bonds are natural byproducts of a suite of attachment and care-giving mechanisms… selected for in human evolutionary history to ultimately enable men and women to seek, select, create, and maintain a pair-bond… pointing to an increasingly coherent picture of the underlying biological and chemical systems involved… that generally operate similarly for men and women.
Prevalence of Alcohol and Drugs In addition to sexual risk-taking, in terms of low condom use, another issue of concern involving hookups is the high comorbidity with substance use. Hookup Culture and Psychological Well-Being The discrepancy between behaviors and desires, particularly with respect to social—sexual relationships, has dramatic implications for physical and mental health.
Hookup Regret A number of studies have included measures of regret with respect to hookups, and these studies have documented the negative feelings men and women may feel after hookups. Conclusion Hookups are part of a popular cultural shift that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Westernized world. Contributor Information Justin R.
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