Do people hook up in college? Yes. Is it every night (or even every weekend)? No, according to a new study from the Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. In fact, hookup sex is half as common as getting it on with a romantic partner, researchers found.
In the study, 483 female freshmen were surveyed about their experience with hookups. On average, women reported one to three sexual hookups per month, which the study authors say that for most college women, “hookups are experimental and relatively infrequent as opposed to a regular pattern of behavior,” ScienceDaily reports.
Before starting college, one-third of incoming freshmen women reported having at least one hookup, while nearly 60 percent said they had sex at least once in the context of a romantic relationship. Forty percent reported sexual hookups during the first year of college, and less than one in five participants had a sexual hookup each month. However, more than half — 56 percent — engaged in oral and/or vaginal sex with a boyfriend or romantic partner during the year.
What does all of this mean? In a nutshell, college is not the orgy of meaningless sex that scary headlines would have you believe.
“Hooking up is one way that young adults explore intimate relationships, but it’s not the most common way, and it is often exploratory,” said Robyn L. Fielder, MS, a research intern at The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. “So while hooking up gets more attention in the media, college students continue to develop romantic relationships, which are actually the most common context for sexual behavior.”
Aw. It’s comforting to know that some things never change.
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