ERIC Number: EJ1176430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Abstractor: As Provided
First Semester College Students' Definitions of and Expectations for Engaging in Hookups
Olmstead, Spencer B.; Conrad, Kathryn A.; Anders, Kristin M.
Journal of Adolescent Research, v33 n3 p275-305 May 2018
Our study was guided by a developmental lens (emerging adulthood) and the theory of symbolic interaction as we attended to the meanings and definitions that contextualize expectations for engaging in hookups while attending college. Using a directed approach to qualitative content analysis, we examined first semester college men's and women's (N = 253) responses to a series of open-ended questions focused on definitions of and expectations for hooking up. Six definitional variations of hooking up emerged from these responses: (a) "'sex' left undefined," (b) "making out," (c) "a range of sexual activities," (d) "'sex' defined as intercourse," (e) "the 'all but sex' continuum," and (f) "hanging out or going on a date." Chi-square analyses indicated no proportional differences in these definitions based on participant gender. Characteristics of hookup partners were also identified in participant responses. Whereas a greater proportion of men identified physical appearance as a necessary attribute of a potential hookup partner, a greater proportion of women discussed (a) "familiarity with a hookup partner" and (b) "hookups as occurring between noncommitted individuals." Also, a greater proportion of men than women indicated expectations to hookup while attending college. Implications for research, relationship and sexual health education, and policy are discussed.
Descriptors: College Freshmen, Sexuality, Intimacy, Dating (Social), Developmental Stages, Qualitative Research, Content Analysis, Definitions, Statistical Analysis, Gender Differences, Interpersonal Attraction, Familiarity, Sex Education, Health Behavior, Interpersonal Relationship, Student Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
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