Friday, September 30, 2011

Sex and the College Student: Are People really Hooking Up?

Recently, one of my guy friends emailed me an article from LiveScience called College Sex: ‘Hookups’ Are More Talk Than Action by Stephanie Pappas.  I immediately laughed and wondered whether this could be true.  In my social circle I feel like there is less talking and more action.  However, maybe there was something that I could learn from this article.  Pappas states that “a new study finds that college students overestimate how much other students are hooking up, or having sex outside committed relationships (Pappas 1).  I immediately was taken aback and then the study’s researcher, Amanda Holman, said, “That’s troubling because hookups are often spontaneous and involve alcohol, making it less likely that students will protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy (Pappas 1).  Some of us have been to parties and downtown went home with someone and ended up making mistakes that we know we wouldn’t make sober.  Holman’s statement has much more relevance to me because I don’t care who is having sex and who isn’t but it is important to do so safely with consent.  She also felt like the more students talk about these behaviors, the more they are likely to accept them.  This may be true for some people, but I know that Colgate does a pretty good job of making condoms and almost any other sexual health necessity available (HINT: WMST & HEALTH CENTER). 
                  The study conducted asked 274 college students on how they defined the term “hookup” and how often they hookup (it encompassed anything from making out to sexual intercourse).  The resulting definition was “nonrelationship sex that was spontaneous and alcohol driven” (Pappas 1).  Next, the study revealed that 54% of the students had hooked up with someone (63% men and 45% women).  However, students perceived that their counterparts were having more sex than they really were “45 percent of students said they’d never hooked up with anyone, only 3.7 percent believed that the ‘typical student’ had never hooked up” (Pappas 1).  Lastly, 90% of students believed that having at least two hookup partners was ‘typical’; yet, only 37% of people had two or more hookups.  I think that this may be true for this school, but you also have to take into account other factors such as having a more active social life, which sometimes leads to more drinking, which in turn can bring about more opportunities to hook up.  If people are being safe, giving enthusiastic consent, and having fun then I believe that they should do as they please.  College is a time to learn and have fun so make the right choices, have safe sex and worry less!! :) 

Natalie George 

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