College students talk about hooking up – a lot. In fact, they talk about it much more than it actually happens, and they believe other students are having encounters more often than they actually are, as a new study shows.
Yet, the study found, such regular talk about hookups had a "normalising" effect on students' views about the practice. That led to a more approving attitude toward hookups and, often, riskier sexual behaviour, researchers said.
94% of participating students had heard of the phrase "hooking up" in reference to sexual activities. Slightly more than half described a hookup as involving sex, 9% roughly described it as not having sex and about one-third indicated that the term was ambiguous.
54% reported having participated in a sexual hookup during the school year. A greater number of males (63%) reported engaging in a sexual hookup than females (45%).
37% of students reported two or more hookups during the school year. But 90% of the participants assumed that a "typical" student had been involved in two or more hookups.