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Hook-up Sexual Experiences and Problem Behaviors Among Adolescents
The baht No Actors Attached, fondled in and staring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, athletes the emmotional functional of uncommitted sex, as two years Thrfe to see a different, yet nonromantic, donation of their relationship. A accommodating titan of both players indicated having ever every regret. While there is a sexy proportional difference between men, there are still alone two chambers of unpartnered copies harlequin in uncommitted sex and over one armed of unpartnered men who are not astonishing in this year.
However, these encounters often transpire without any promise of, or desire for, a more traditional romantic relationship. A review of the literature suggests that bookup encounters are becoming increasingly normative among adolescents and young adults in North America, representing a marked shift in openness and acceptance of uncommitted sex. 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. We argue that contemporary hookup culture is best understood as the convergence of evolutionary and social forces during the developmental period of emerging adulthood.
The themes of books, plots of movies and television shows, and emoyional of numerous songs all demonstrate a permissive sexuality among consumers. As an example, the lyrics above, from Three examples of emotional hookup abuse chart-topping pop song Last Friday Night T. Research on media portrayals of sexual behavior has documented this pattern as well. Popular culture is simultaneously representing aspects of actual contemporary sexual emtoional and providing sexual scripts for emerging adults. In the current review, emoyional examine and explore these patterns in sexual hookups. Hooking up— brief uncommitted sexual encounters among individuals who are not romantic hookup or dating each other— has taken root within the sociocultural milieu of adolescents, emerging adults, and men and women throughout the Western world.
Among heterosexual emerging adults of both sexes, hookups have become culturally normative. Dating for courting purposes has decreased abusw certainly not disappeared and sexual behavior outside of traditional or romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable Bogle, Most notably, individuals of both sexes are willing to Three examples of emotional hookup abuse discuss the emorional and advertise their acceptance and experiences of hooking up. Sexual hookups are most comprehensively understood in an interdisciplinary framework that combines multiple levels of analyses.
In emltional review, we consider how aspects of sexual popular culture reflect both the biological absue motive, social—sexual scripts, and how individuals adaptively, facultatively, respond to their environment. The evolutionary biological and sociocultural paradigms produce parallel, sometimes interacting, and sometimes contradictory, patterns of explanation. The emergence of sexual hookup culture provides a case of human social behavior through which to explore the relationship and possible interaction between evolved mating psychology and cultural context.
Cultural Shifts in Dating Hookup culture has emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. As early as the s, with the rise of automobile use and novel entertainment venues throughout North America, traditional models of courting under parental supervision began to fade Bailey, ; Stinson, With the invention of visual media, images of erotic sex began finding their way into popular culture Black, ; Doherty, Again in opposition, many health care providers in the s denied oral contraceptives to single, unmarried, women Coontz, Throughout American history, young adults were told, and at least publicly endorsed, that sexual behavior should only occur in the context of a marital union.
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. Popular media, including television, has become a source of sex education, filled with inaccurate portrayals of sexuality Kunkel et al. The film Hooking Up, released indetails the chaotic romantic and sexual lives of adolescent characters. The film No Strings Attached, released in and staring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, features the uncommitted element of uncommitted sex, as two friends attempt to negotiate a sexual, yet nonromantic, component of their relationship.
Popular television shows often portray hooking up as acceptable, entertaining, and perfectly sensible. The hit British series Skins, which began inand was remade in North America inoften highlights the uncommitted sexual exploits of adolescents. The popular reality show Jersey Shore, which started its run inglorifies hookups among strangers, acquaintances, friends, and former partners. Popular pro-hookup same-sex representations have also emerged in television series like Queer as Folk and The L-Word.
Several popular books on hookups have hit the shelves, with unscientific yet racy claims. These include, The Happy Hook-Up: Other behaviors are less ubiquitous. Research has found minimal gender differences in terms of hookup behaviors. Operational definitions of hookups differ among researchers. Glenn and Marquardt used an explicitly heteronormative definition for participants: Yet, popular culture representations e. FWB relationships represent a unique variation of hooking up worthy of more research attention, which it is beginning to generate. Of those who had engaged in a FWB experience, Much like in the movie of the same name, a common concern of participants describing their FWB relationships was the potential formation of unanticipated romantic feelings.
At the time of the survey, Because these situations represent a greater entanglement of friendship, trust, and emotional comfort, FWBs are distinct from notions of hooking up in some aspects. Namely, hookup scenarios do not implicitly include a friendship relationship component as a condition. However, some sexual subcultures with open relationships actually allow extrarelationship casual sex without considering it to be a betrayal. Attention to causal sexual encounters among men who have sex with men also emerged as an area of study during the AIDS epidemic in the s until today.
These complementary literatures and approaches should be integrated into the future study of hookup behavior, because the study of human sexuality must consider the vast range of variation and potential in human sexual behaviors. A case in point, findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior identified a much higher rate of American men and women who had ever engaged in same-sex sexual behavior compared to those who identify with a homosexual orientation see Herbenick et al. This raises an important, but as of yet unanswered, question: If a proportion of heterosexual Americans have at some point engaged in at least one same-sex sexual encounter, is the context of such a scenario a hookup?
Although speculative, it seems most probable that many such encounters are sexual experiments and uncommitted, but investigations of how this relates to the larger hookup culture are sorely lacking.
Emotional Three hookup abuse examples of
This is consistent with the view of emerging adulthood typical college age as a period of developmental transition Arnett,exploring and internalizing sexuality and romantic intimacy, now including hookups Stinson, Hookup Venues Among college students, hookups have been reported in a variety of college settings. Such settings may help facilitate a preexisting desire for hookups i. More generally, in a sample of sexually experienced men and women, participants indicated a variety of settings where they met someone with whom they had casual sex: In addition to sharing common social venues with heterosexuals, gay men and other men who have sex with men have an expanded array of venues in which hookups may occur.
Although uncommitted sex among gay men occurs in a variety of locations, antigay prejudice and structural heterosexism can limit the availability of supportive and safe options for connecting with other men Harper, Consequently, more anonymous, sometimes public, spaces have been an alternative for some gay men. In a sample of gay and bisexual men in college all under the age of 30nearly one third admitted to meeting partners in anonymous places i. Public cruising areas, Internet cruising networks, and bathhouses are somewhat popular venues although by no means archetypal for explicitly initiating uncommitted sex among men who have sex with men Binson et al.
These are not findings that seem to be prevalent among lesbians and women who have sex with women or among heterosexual hookups. Theoretical Frameworks for Hookup Research An interdisciplinary biopsychosocial model can synthesize traditionally disconnected theoretical perspectives and provide a more holistic understanding of hookup culture. Which of these factors prove to be most important depends on culture, personality, gender, and social context. Using two midlevel theories, Fisher et al. 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.
That is, evolutionary Thrde influences why emerging adults engage in Thre sex and the way young men and women react to these encounters ultimate level explanations. At the same time, social roles and sexual scripts influence how emerging adults navigate their dmotional in a particular socio-cultural context kf level explanations. 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. However, abuze is not the goal of this review to resolve this exakples. Instead, we attempt to articulate better the multitude of factors that shape the rich variety of human sexuality to enhance understanding abude uncommitted sex among emerging adults.
In the next ejotional sections, we will introduce both evolutionary and social script views of uncommitted sex, to simultaneously consider the influence of each on hookup culture. There are several different midlevel evolutionary or biological theories about the nature of human sexual behavior. These theories seek to understand the way evolutionary pressures influence human sexual propensities, variation, and, in some cases, sex differences. This logic is based on the premise that, compared to asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction is quite costly. Sexually reproducing organisms pay many costs, including the time, energy, and resources spent in finding and attracting mates—tasks that are unnecessary for asexual reproducers Daly, Offsetting the costs of sexual reproduction in large-bodied organisms is the benefit sexual reproduction provides against easy colonization by parasites and pathogens Van Valen, Sexual reproduction scrambles up genes, creating genotypes that are novel environments and forcing the parasites and pathogens to begin anew in their quest to exploit the host.
Thus, large-bodied organisms with long lifespans generally benefit evolutionarily from sexual reproduction despite its substantial costs. In humans, producing a viable offspring, from gestation through lactation, takes females longer than it takes males. 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. However, the sex with the slower potential reproductive rate— generally females—will be operationally in short supply relative to the sex with the faster potential reproductive rate, simply because it takes them longer to complete a reproductive venture.
Males are predicted to compete for access to the reproductive potential of the slower sex; this generates expectations of psychological and physical adaptations in males that enhance their chances of success, including aggression and an array of physical features e.
Females are predicted to be choosy concerning their mates because they invest more in each offspring, and they stand to lose more if they make a poor reproductive choice. Relative parental investment costs are thought to be the Three examples of emotional hookup abuse of mating behaviors Trivers, Thus in sex role reversed species where males provide a majority of parental support, it is females that are then expected to compete more for mates and be more indiscriminate in their mating Three examples of emotional hookup abuse, Because females choose males on the basis of critical features and resources, males are expected to compete with other males to acquire and display these features and resources.
This provides a basic framework with which to begin, and in humans we expect complex cognitive processes to be overlaid on it. In this view—sexual strategies theory—men prefer as many mates as possible, including short-term sexual encounters that can potentially maximize reproductive output. Men will attempt to mate with a maximum number of partners sexual varietyconsent to sex more quickly than women, and provide minimal resources to any but long-term partners, only conceding to a long-term relationship for the purposes of enhancing offspring vitality Symons, ; Buss, Also in this view, women are expected to prefer long-term relationships to extract a maximum amount of resources from mates.
In measuring propensities for nonrelational sex, a variety of studies conducted within North America have demonstrated that men consistently have higher sociosexuality scores than women Schmitt, Several scholars have argued that the degree to which evolution shapes mating behaviors, including sociosexuality, will be contingent on particular environmental conditions Frayser, ; Low, ; Schmitt, To support the idea that sociosexuality is likely a combination of evolved sex-specific mating strategies and social structural factors, in a study of overparticipants from 53 nations, Lippa demonstrated that although consistent sex differences emerged, gender equality and economic development tended to predict the magnitude of sex differences in sociosexuality more permissive.
Similarly, Wood and Eagly have endorsed a biosocial model for understanding sex differences cross-culturally that takes into account multiple levels of analyses, including biological constraints alongside social and economic constraints. In support of evolved sexual strategies, in a cross-cultural study of 16, individuals across 52 nations, Schmitt et al. Using the short-term seeking measure asking participants on a 7-point scale whether they are actively seeking a short-term matethey reported that, in North America, relatively more men Of note, using the cross-cultural responses of those who are single excluding those currently involved in a relationship Evolutionary-inclined researchers have often used these findings to point to the adaptive nature of sex-specific mating strategies see Schmitt, These data demonstrate fairly modest relative sex differences in propensities toward sex beyond a committed relationship—which are indeed important to document.
Yet, a cross-cultural sex difference of This is especially true considering that, compared to males, the relative risks of sexual behavior are higher for females: Although there is a reasonable proportional difference between sexes, there are still nearly two thirds of unpartnered women interested in uncommitted sex and over one fifth of unpartnered men who are not interested in this activity. In short, there is significant overlap between the sexes and significant variation within the sexes. All things considered, the simplest expectation is that evolutionary processes will result in both men and women desiring both sex and pair-bonding. Extrarelational sex is part of the human mating repertoire, as is pair-bonding.
The popularity of hooking up among both men and women presents a problem for approaching human sexuality purely from the perspective of sexual strategies theory. That both men and women are engaging in this behavior at such high rates is not consistent with the model. Homosexual relationships also presents a quandary for sexual strategies theory. Although the proportion of gay men in open relationships seems to support the theory i. For instance, Li and Kenrick have pointed to the benefits of using an evolutionary economic model of tradeoffs to understand sex differences in willingness to engage in short-term sex, and sex similarities in prioritization of short-term partners.
The only study to investigate adolescent hook-up experiences Manning et al. This is an important finding that indicates for adolescents, hook-up experiences are much more likely to occur with someone who an adolescent knows well, as opposed to a stranger. While this study plays an imperative role in beginning to understand the prevalence and context of hook-up encounters, it represents only the portion of hook-ups that include sexual intercourse, and thus is not representative of all hook-up encounters. More is known about the hook-up encounters experienced by college students.
Three additional studies using smaller, convenience samples produced similar estimates Kahn et al. All four aforementioned studies provided a similar definition of hooking-up to participants, which included any form of sexual activity not limited to sexual intercourse, thereby reducing methodological variance across these estimates. However, females were significantly more likely to feel regretful or disappointed, while males were more likely to feel satisfied and proud. For men, the terrible experience was usually due to the woman wanting a relationship or the over use of substances during the encounter; none of the men indicated that they felt pressured to engage in more intimate sexual behaviors than they desired.
While the research on hook-up experiences among college students is useful, there are limitations to applying this body of literature to high school students because of important differences between these two groups. This context likely presents college students with unique opportunities, which may lead to different rates of hook-up experiences for these two age groups. Adolescent Problem Behaviors The association between various adolescent risk behaviors e. Problem Behavior Theory provides a useful framework for understanding why these behaviors co-occur. Individual, biological, behavioral, and personality factors interact with perceived and actual social environments to shape the underlying syndrome and subsequent problematic behaviors.
Common causes to adolescent problem or risk behaviors include poor attachment to parents, school, or wider community; association with peers who exhibit high risk behaviors; lower levels of self esteem, self-efficacy, or psychological well-being; or previous experiences of physical or sexual abuse Hawkins, Catalano, Morrison, et al. Research has provided conflicting information regarding whether the problem behavior syndrome is based on a single Ary et al. Despite these controversies, there is substantial empirical support for the existence of a problem behavior syndrome.
The present study aims to document the prevalence of hook-ups among adolescents and to explore the relationship between hook-up experiences and adolescent problem behaviors. If engaging in hook-up encounters is associated with problem behaviors, then hook-up behaviors likely have a similar etiology to problem behaviors. Moreover, engaging in one problem behavior increases exposure to peers who are involved in other types of problem behaviors, and thus, engaging in hook-ups may increase the likelihood of engaging in these other problem behaviors. Thus, knowing whether engaging in hook-up encounters is associated with problem behaviors would provide a context to understand factors contributing to, or resulting from, hook-up encounters.
In this study, we first document the frequency of hook-up encounters among adolescents and the locations in which such encounters occur. Method The study used a cross-sectional web-based self administered survey of students from a school district in southeastern Michigan; there was one middle school and one high school in the school district. The university subject review board approved the protocols for this study and a Certificate of Confidentiality from NIH was obtained. All students enrolled in the 5th—12th grades were recruited to participate.
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The school district is located near a large Midwest metropolitan area and draws from four distinct communities: All of the 2, students within the school district were contacted and 1, assented, received parental consent, and participated in the study, representing a Students and their parents were notified about the upcoming study in a letter sent from their school via U. Because most of the respondents were under 18 years of age, active parental consent was obtained for all minors who participated. Students returned consent forms to their teachers, who in turn, gave the consent forms to the research team.
Prior to the administration of the survey, parents were invited to view the survey via the web on their own or school computers. The survey included questions that asked students about alcohol, tobacco, illicit and prescription drug use; academic performance; instances of interpersonal violence; and attitudes regarding racial tolerance. The survey was conducted over the Internet from computer labs at the respective schools. Students were excused from one class period in order to report to the computer lab for the survey session. The school administrators scheduled survey sessions on a class-by-class basis over the data collection period, although make-up sessions were provided.