‘Hookup culture’ waning — a little


Somewhat fewer U.S. college students are having frequent sex, compared to their Generation X predecessors, but those who do are more likely to be getting it on with a casual date or pal.

That’s according to a study into so-called hookup culture presented on Tuesday by two researchers from the University of Portland in Oregon. Martin Monto and Anna Carey compared responses from 18- to 25-year-olds who attended at least one year of university in 1988-96 to data from their counterparts in 2002-10.

Using data from the General Social Survey, they wanted to see if there was hard evidence to prove that hookup culture has flourished on American campuses over the past decade, as popular media reports insist.

On the one hand, they found that students in the noughts were rather less naughty — with 59.3 percent reporting having sex at least once a week, compared with 65.2 percent in the 1998-96 group. But on the other hand, sexually active students in 2002-10 were more likely to have had sex with a casual date or pickup (44.4 percent versus 34.5 percent) or with a friend (68.6 percent versus 55.7 percent). They were also less likely to report having a spouse or regular sexual partner (77.1 percent versus 84.5 percent).