We reviewed the current literature on sexual hookups and considered the multiple forces influencing hookup culture, using examples from popular culture to place hooking up in context. With the invention of visual media, images of erotic sex began finding their way into popular culture Black, ; Doherty, However, it is not the goal of this review to resolve this debate. Popular culture is simultaneously representing aspects of actual contemporary sexual behavior and providing sexual scripts for emerging adults. At the same time, social roles and sexual scripts influence how emerging adults navigate their desires in a particular socio-cultural context proximate level explanations. Women are portrayed as sexual objects, sexually passive compared to men, and women act as sexual gatekeepers. In another study, among sexually experienced individuals, those who had the most regret after uncommitted sex also had more symptoms of depression than those who had no regret Welsh et al. Although there is a proportional sex difference, note that a substantial majority of both sexes would prefer a romantic relationship, despite their particular developmental stage of emerging adulthood.
These include, The Happy Hook-Up: Conflicting gendered scripts may contribute to mixed perceptions and expectations of hookups. Popular culture is simultaneously representing aspects of actual contemporary sexual behavior and providing sexual scripts for emerging adults. A Journal Chronicle Books, is playfully described by the publisher: Clearly, the evolved reproductive motive involves both sexes desiring sex and desiring pair-bonds, but having different ways of obtaining each and different prioritizations for each. Operational definitions of hookups differ among researchers. It is likely that a substantial portion of emerging adults today are compelled to publicly engage in hookups while desiring both immediate sexual gratification and more stable romantic attachments. Extrarelational sex is part of the human mating repertoire, as is pair-bonding. It is important to point out that many sociocultural theorists disagree with the idea that culture offers only a proximate level explanation for human sexual behavior. A review of the literature suggests that these encounters are becoming increasingly normative among adolescents and young adults in North America, representing a marked shift in openness and acceptance of uncommitted sex. They argued that evolution may be most helpful in exploring the reproductive motive, and sexual scripts may be useful in exploring the cultural discourse agenda. The sex with the faster potential reproductive rate— generally males— can benefit by attempting to co-opt the reproductive effort of multiple members of the opposite sex. Research on media portrayals of sexual behavior has documented this pattern as well. Of those who had engaged in a FWB experience, In a sample of gay and bisexual men in college all under the age of 30 , nearly one third admitted to meeting partners in anonymous places i. Hookup Venues Among college students, hookups have been reported in a variety of college settings. As such, the simultaneous motivations for sex and romance may appear different. Using biological and cross-cultural evidence, Fisher , has argued human possess a dual reproductive strategy of social monogamy serial or long-term and clandestine adultery. Unwanted and nonconsensual sexual encounters are more likely occurring alongside alcohol and substance use. Because same-sex relationships are naturally removed from the reproductive motive, it may be possible that part of the larger hookup culture is borrowed from sexual subcultures involving greater emphasis on the positive erotic. This might assume that penetrative sexual intercourse between fertile men and women entails a sizable risk of reproduction for females—an assumption that simply no longer applies to humans in the 21st century. The potential causal direction of the relationship between self-esteem and uncommitted sex is yet unclear Paul et al. Representation of Hookups in Popular Culture Contemporary popular culture is now ripe with examples that depict and often encourage sexual behavior, including premarital and uncommitted sex. Note that this study asked participants about typical hookups, and although this was informative for general patterns, it does not capture specific factors influencing specific individual scenarios. In this view—sexual strategies theory—men prefer as many mates as possible, including short-term sexual encounters that can potentially maximize reproductive output.
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