Hanging Out, Hooking Up and Falling in Love on College Campuses: A Continuing Behavioral Trend?

S. Philip Morgan, Duke University
Suzanne Shanahan, Duke University
Wendy Brynildsen, Duke University

The popular press is obsessed with the adolescent “hookup”—a one-time encounter including anything from kissing to intercourse without further relationship expectation. We offer a set of observations and arguments based on an extant literature review and our own study at Duke based on a representative survey of more than 1,500 freshmen and senior students. With these data, we describe a very different scene than does the popular media. Through this paper, we assess how the relationships between demographic/social factors and college hooking up are mediated by previous hookup behavior and, to a lesser extent, college contextual factors. This paper highlights the continuity in hooking up and engaging in relationships as youth transition from: (1) a high school to a college environment for freshmen students; and (2) from junior to senior year in college for senior students.

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Presented in Session 163: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health