Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Study looks into the evolution of the causal "hookup"

According to a new study published in the Review of General Psychology, between 60 and 80 percent of college students have engaged in casual sex with one of their peers. This was no surprise to the researchers at Binghamton University and Indiana University, however, it gave them some insight on how to educate parents and other adults who interact with individuals of this age group on sexual behavior.

Since this behavior can be described as the norm, it indicates that young adults are more open to participating in uncommitted sex, the study's investigators concluded. However, it's not just about wanting a casual hookup.

"Many men and women are looking for something more - in essence, looking for love, a romantic relationship," said researcher Justin Garcia. "With dating culture being so dramatically different among youth today, we're left to ask how emerging adults achieve both sexual and romantic goals - as desires for both are at the core of the human condition."

Garcia and his colleagues looked into a variety of potential contributing factors. They found that hookups are not necessarily a result of the media. Instead, television shows and pop songs are rather a product of the sexualized culture often associated with young adults. In addition, the researchers noted that alcohol and drugs did play a significant role in facilitating people's involvement and increasing participants' likelihood of engaging in risky behavior, making them susceptible to contracting a sexually transmitted disease or getting pregnant.

Despite that casual sex is often stigmatized, Garcia explained that it is currently a big part of social discourse, as well as the sexual development of young adults. Therefore, it's important that those who engage in risky sexual behavior are aware of their intentions, desires and comfort levels, and are able to effectively communicate them to their partners.