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College Students’ Expectations for Hook-Ups. Amanda Smitley Hanover College. Why Study This? . Interest in sex research Prominent behavior among college students (Paul, 2000). Definition of a Hook-up.

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Presentation Transcript
why study this
Why Study This?
  • Interest in sex research
  • Prominent behavior among college students (Paul, 2000)
definition of a hook up
Definition of a Hook-up
  • A hook-up is a brief sexual encounter between two people who either do not know each other at all, who are just acquainted, or have had a previous non-sexual relationship. The sexual encounter may involve petting, oral sex, and/or sexual intercourse (kissing alone does not constitute a hook-up.

(Adjusted Paul 2006, 141)

gender differences in sexual attitudes
Gender Differences in Sexual Attitudes
  • 50% of both men and women agreed to take the date
  • 75% of men said “yes” to the sexual invitation
  • Not a single woman said “yes” to sex

(Clark and Hatfield ,1989)

who hooks up more
Who Hooks-Up More
  • Men exhibit more permissive attitudes toward, and greater interest in experiencing, uncommitted sexual activity than do women (Oliver & Hyde, 1993)
motives for hook up
Motives for Hook-Up
    • 47% of men -- sexual desire
    • 29% of women -- sexual desire
    • 9% of men -- increase in relationship probability
    • 44% of women -- increase in relationship probability
      • (Regan and Dreyer,1999)
  • Different Experiences of Sex
    • Women traditionally have been known to link love with sex, while men have been known to separate the two (Glass & Wright, 1985)
unexplored areas
Unexplored Areas
  • Expectations vs. motives
    • Motives: drive
    • Expectations: predictions
  • Changes after the hook-up
    • New dimension of hook-up research
research questions
Research Questions
  • What are the expectations that college students have about hook-ups?
  • How do expectations of men and women differ?
  • Do expectations about the relationship change after a hook-up?
  • Males will have significantly more hook-ups than females.
  • Males will expect a pleasurable sexual experience during a hook-up significantly more than females.
  • Females will expect a romantic relationship to form after the hook-up significantly more than males.
methods participants
  • 66 total
    • 44 female
    • Ages 18-29
      • M=20.48
    • 42 Caucasian
  • Class Level
    • 27 Freshman
    • 14 Sophomore
    • 11 Junior
    • 14 Senior
  • Questionnaire posted on Psychological Research On the Net (Krantz, 2008)
    • Informed Consent
    • Demographics
    • Hook-up history
    • Hook-up expectations
    • Changed expectations after hook-ups
    • Debriefing form


Class level


Religious Affiliation

Greek Affiliation

Relationship Status

Sexual Orientation

hook up history example questions
Hook-Up History(Example Questions)
  • Approximately, how many hook-ups have you been involved in since beginning college?
  • Of the hook-ups you have been involved in, approximately how many have involved alcohol or other drugs?
hook up expectations example questions
Closed-Ended Questions

In most of your hook-ups, to what extent did you expect to have a pleasurable sexual experience?

In most of your hook-ups, to what extent did you expect to relieve boredom?

Open-Ended Questions

What do you expect to get from an ideal hook-up?

What would a bad hook-up look like?

Hook-Up Expectations(Example Questions)
changed expectations after hook ups example questions
Changed Expectations After Hook-ups(Example Questions)
  • Have your expectations ever changed after a hook-up?
  • After a hook-up, have you kept in contact with that person you hooked-up with?
number of hook ups versus grade level and gender
Number of Hook-ups Versus Grade Level and Gender

Female range: 0-15 Male range: 0-25

Main Effect for Grade: F(1,3)=6.07, p<.01

hook up behaviors
Hook-Up Behaviors
  • 33 out of 66 participants reported drugs or alcohol being used during the majority of their hook-ups.
  • 15 participants reported never using any form of STI protection during a hook-up. (3 men, 12 women)
expect pleasurable sexual experience
Expect Pleasurable Sexual Experience
  • t(64)=-.59, p=.56; Hypothesis 2 not confirmed
expect relationship
Expect Relationship
  • t(63)=.422, p=.674; Hypothesis 3 not confirmed
expect better reputation
Expect Better Reputation

t(64)=-3.63, p<.01

expect popularity
Expect Popularity

t(64)=-2.48, p=.02

expectations after the hook up
Expectations After the Hook-Up
  • 27 participants (41%) -- experienced changed expectations
  • 39 participants (59%) -- engaged in a romantic relationship
  • 59 participants (89 %) -- remained in contact
  • 44 participants (67%) -- had regrets
  • There were no significant gender differences between number of hook-ups, expectations of a romantic relationship, or expectation of a pleasurable hook-up.
  • However, there were significant gender differences between popularity and a better reputation from peers in regards to hook-ups.
    • Male participants viewed casual sex as a means of enhancing their reputation among other men (Regan and Dreyer, 1999)
  • Hook-ups are common; however, not everyone engaging in them uses safe protection.
  • Not surprisingly, based on the stereotypes, the use of alcohol is quite common; however, as seen there were a number of hook-ups where alcohol was not involved
future directions
Future Directions
  • Diversity
    • Only had 66 total participants and 67% were female.
    • Predominantly Caucasian participants
  • Focus more on drugs and alcohol
  • Compare the expectations that individuals who have never engaged in a hook-up have in comparison to those that have already hooked-up
  • Some of the participants reported experiences of ambivalence or mixed feelings in regards to hook-ups.