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College hook-up culture off the hook? Not so, new study says

by AirTalk®

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New research shows that despite popular belief, college students today are having sex less often than they were 20 years ago. Parker Knight/Flickr Creative Commons License

Despite recent headlines claiming that sex among college students was on the rise, students are actually having less sex than two decades ago. This, according to new research presented Tuesday at the American Sociological Association. Martin Monto, a sociology professor from the University of Portland, found “no evidence of substantial changes in sexual behavior that would support the proposition that there is a new or pervasive ‘hookup culture’ among contemporary college students.”

But young adults do seem to be having sex with fewer strings attached to partners. The researchers looked at nationally representative data from the General Social Survey of 1,829 high school grads, ages 18-25, who had finished at least one year of college. They compared answers from 1988-1996 with those from 2002-2010 and found no major differences. These latest findings echo other, similar research.

So is the hook-up culture just a myth? What’s really going on behind closed campus doors?

Laura Hamilton,  Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California, Merced

Kathleen A. Bogle, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice, La Salle University; author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus (New York University Press)

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