“There was a big disconnect between what people said their sexual orientation was and what their actions were.”College is the time when sexual evolutions and experiments are likely to take place because students have often reached their sexual maturity, but not their emotional and economic maturity (as evidenced by the fact that many college students are in debt and making plenty of foolish decisions).
“Hooking up is one way some young people try to get through the long period between their sexual coming of age and their achievement of educational, professional, and relationship success,” says Stephanie Coontz, head of the Council on Contemporary Families, which has published Kuperberg’s previous research on hookups.
Sex outside of relationships is not new, Holman said, but people are increasingly willing to talk about it over the last few decades.
She said she next plans to look at how parents and college staff can talk to students about hookup culture to ensure that safety comes first."You're not trying to tell students what to do," Holman said.
Through a survey of more than 24,000 university students, researchers found that many people engaging in same-sex hookups identify as heterosexual.
One in 4 women and 1 in 8.5 men in college whose most recent hookup was with a partner of the same sex consider themselves straight.
That definition was used to ask students about their own participation in hookup culture.
Slightly more than half of the students, 54 percent, said they had hooked up with someone else during the school year.
“I told my dad and my stepmom that I was ‘mostly gay,’” says Stayman-London, now a writer living in L. “And I told my mom I was bisexual, and none of it felt like the right thing to say.”But Kuperberg says there's a fourth group of college students in her data set: those who self-identify as conservative or have strong religious backgrounds, who may face additional social pressures to identify as heterosexual or struggle with internalized homophobia.Men were more likely than women to say they had a hookup, at 63 percent of men versus 45 percent of women.[10 Facts about the Teen Brain]But students' perceptions of hookups were out of line with the reality."But this hooking-up culture is risky, so how can we help educate them so if they're part of the subculture, they can engage in it safely?
, given as an exclusive to Marie Claire.com, shows that the labels “gay” and “straight” aren't always definitive.But for the curious college student, it’s important to realize that sexual identities can be fluid, rather than fixed.For a number of young adults, labels around sexuality don’t always correlate with their actions.Experimenting is an important part of a lot of people’s development, she adds.