The college hookup: More talk, less action

On a college campus, it seems as though students are constantly talking about hooking up with one another. But a new study is suggesting that these hookups may be more about keeping the tongues wagging than actually doing the deed.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln are suggesting that talking about hookups happens a lot more often on a college campus than people actually having sex. When asked about if they had talked about hookups in the past four months, 84 percent of students answered that they had. However, when asked about their own experiences, the students who had discussed the topic had reported that they experienced far less sexual encounters than they believed the rest of the student body had. Approximately 54 percent of students had sex during the school year, with 63 percent of respondents being male and 45 percent female.

Additionally, the study’s authors noted that the frequent discussion of hookups on campus normalized the practice for the majority of students, making them more eager to have sex if they were given the opportunity.

“We were interested in how communication about hooking up with friends and family may justify or normalize a potential risky behavior,” said Amanda Holman, a graduate student in UNL’s Department of Communication Studies and the study’s lead author. “Students with strong ties to peers and frequent peer conversation about sex were more strongly related to participation in hookups and more favorable attitudes towards hooking up.”

Of course, while hookups can be part of the college experience, it’s important to use a condom in order to protect against any sexually transmitted diseases or potentially stop an unwanted pregnancy from occurring.

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