The American Psychological Association released various hookup statistics in 2013 (h/t TRP). Unsurprisingly, it pretty much validates what we already knew. Here’s some highlights. Read more if you want.
Hookups — defined in this article as brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other — have emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. Hookups began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the upsurge of automobiles and novel entertainment, such as movie theaters. Instead of courting at home under a parent’s watchful eye, young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely.
By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events. Today, sexual behavior outside of traditional committed romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable (Bogle, 2007, 2008).
It’s interesting that they don’t start with feminism as that was the major launching point where it became ubiquitous. However, it’s obvious that there was a foundation set already that allowed things to become much more prevalent.
Although much of the current research has been done on college campuses, among younger adolescents, 70 percent of sexually active 12- to 21-year-olds reported having had uncommitted sex within the last year (Grello et al., 2003). Similarly, in a sample of seventh, ninth and 11th graders, 32 percent of participants had experienced sexual intercourse and 61 percent of sexually experienced teenagers reported a sexual encounter outside a dating relationship; this represents approximately one-fifth of the entire sample (Manning et al., 2006).
‘Sex in marriage’ was warped to ‘sex in a committed relationship’ which has now become ‘sex anytime.’
On average, both men and women appear to have higher positive affect than negative affect after a hookup. In one study, among participants who were asked to characterize the morning after a hookup, 82 percent of men and 57 percent of women were generally glad they had done it (Garcia & Reiber, 2008). The gap between men and women is notable and demonstrates an average sex difference in affective reactions.
Similarly, in a study of 832 college students, 26 percent of women and 50 percent of men reported feeling positive after a hookup, and 49 percent of women and 26 percent of men reported a negative reaction (the remainders for each sex had a mix of both positive and negative reactions; Owen et al., 2010).
No surprises that women are more negatively affected. This is why women’s virginity is more important than men’s, even though both are a sin out of wedlock.
However, both sexes also experience some negative affect as well. In a qualitative study that asked 187 participants to report their feelings after a typical hookup, 35 percent reported feeling regretful or disappointed, 27 percent good or happy, 20 percent satisfied, 11 percent confused, 9 percent proud, 7 percent excited or nervous, 5 percent uncomfortable, and 2 percent desirable or wanted (Paul & Hayes, 2002). However, this same study found that feelings differed during hookups compared with after: During a typical hookup, 65 percent of participants reported feeling good, aroused, or excited, 17 percent desirable or wanted, 17 percent nothing in particular or were focused on the hookup, 8 percent embarrassed or regretful, 7 percent nervous or scared, 6 percent confused, and 5 percent proud (Paul & Hayes, 2002).
A number of studies have looked at regret with respect to hookups and have documented the negative feelings men and women may feel after casual sex. In a large Web-based study of 1,468 undergraduate students, participants reported a variety of consequences: 27.1 percent felt embarrassed, 24.7 percent reported emotional difficulties, 20.8 percent experienced loss of respect, and 10 percent reported difficulties with a steady partner (Lewis et al., 2011). In another recent study conducted on a sample of 200 undergraduate students in Canada, 78 percent of women and 72 percent of men who had uncommitted sex (including vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex) reported a history of experiencing regret following such an encounter (Fisher et al., 2012).
Another study identified two types of sexual encounters that were particularly predictive of regret: engaging in penetrative intercourse with someone known less than 24 hours and engaging in penetrative intercourse with someone only once. Among a sample of 1,743 individuals who had experienced a one-night stand, Campbell (2008) showed that most men and women had combinations of both positive and negative affective reactions following this event. Campbell also found that men had stronger feelings of being “sorry because they felt they used another person,” whereas women had stronger feelings of “regret because they felt used.” Again, both men and women had experienced some sexual regret, but women were more negatively impacted by some hook-up experiences.
Who would’ve thought that sex was created to be within the marriage relationship. Not just in a committed relationship or randomly.
In the first study to investigate the issue of self-esteem and hookups, both men and women who had ever engaged in an uncommitted sexual encounter had lower overall self-esteem scores compared with those without uncommitted sexual experiences (Paul et al., 2000). The potential causal direction of the relationship between self-esteem and uncommitted sex is yet unclear (Fielder & Carey, 2010; Paul et al., 2000).
If you think just ‘sex’ will fulfill you or make you feel better you’re in for a rude awakening. They’ve already done research which Wintery Knight has highlighted before which show those who were virgins at marriage have some of the highest sexual satisfaction rates.
Anyway, these are just a few of the highlights. I only took about 4-5 different passages which are maybe less than 10% of the original article. Go read it. The evidence against hookups is obvious. Nothing we didn’t know already, but nice to point someone toward.