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Why College Age Adults Hook Up

According to this article in the Washington Post, college students prefer traditional dating, and don't much care for casual sexual encounters. Despite that, college students still "hook up," or have one night stands, twice as often as they have a regular date.

If that's the case, then why are they just hooking up?

As it turns out, there are several reasons. One is alcohol. Most hook ups are preceded by drinking. Another is peer pressure, or conformity. A college age dater may not, themselves, particularly like hooking up, but they see that all their friends are doing it, so they do it too. A third reason is fear of rejection.

Traditional dating can be pretty intimidating to a young adult. College students are still fairly new to navigating the sometimes tricky waters of emotional attachment. Getting to know someone through a more traditional relationship opens you up to being rejected and hurt, and college age singles can be afraid of that risk. Hooking up for a casual one night stand doesn't involve any emotional attachment. There's no fear of being rejected, no fear of getting your heart broken. Even though they may say they don't like it, younger adults may opt for the hook up, rather than risk getting hurt.

Of course, hooking up comes with its own set of dangers. Since hook ups usually happen while drinking, and with people you don't know very well, one runs a very real risk of contracting an STD, or becoming pregnant. The college students who were polled in this study were aware of and concerned about these risks, but that doesn't seem to be slowing them down any.

Despite the health risks and their own preferences, young adults are still hooking up, particularly when alcohol is involved.

Posted at 1:11 PM on May 12, 2010 By

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