College ‘hook-ups’ are more talk than action

Washington: When it comes to college hook-ups - the slang term for casual intimate encounters outside of dating or exclusive relationships - there is more talk than sex, a new study has shown.

In the study, 84 percent of students said they had talked with their college friends in the previous four months about hook-ups.

Fifty-four percent reported having participated in a sexual hook-up during the school year. A greater number of males (63 percent) reported engaging in a sexual hook-up than females (45 percent), the study found.

Thirty-seven percent of students reported two or more hook-ups during the school year. But 90 percent of the participants assumed that a “typical” student had been involved in two or more hook-ups, the report said.

The researchers said that regular talk about hook-ups had a “normalizing” effect on students’ views about the practice. That led to a more approving attitude toward hook-ups and, often, riskier sexual behavior.

“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 hook-ups and more favorable attitudes towards hooking up,” she added.

The study was recently published in the journal Health Communication.


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