Study co-author Martin Monto, a sociology professor at the University of Portland, said that recent research and popular media reports have described intimate relationships among contemporary college students as characterized by a new and pervasive hookup culture in which students regularly have sex with no strings attached.
He said that this implies that the college campus has become a more sexualized environment and that undergraduates are having more sex than in the past. We were surprised to find this is not the case.
In their study, Monto and co-author Anna Carey used a nationally representative sample from the General Social Survey of more than 1,800 18 to 25-year-olds, who had graduated from high school and completed at least one year of college.
They compared responses from 1988-1996 with those from 2002-2010, the era that researchers often describe as characterized by a "hookup culture."
Monto said that they found that college students from the contemporary or 'hookup era' did not report having more frequent sex or more sexual partners during the past year or more sexual partners since turning 18 than undergraduates from the earlier era.
Among the 1988-1996 cohort, 65.2 percent reported having sex weekly or more often in the past year, compared to 59.3 percent of college students from the "hookup era."
In addition, 31.9 percent of the earlier cohort reported having more than one sexual partner in the past year, compared with 31.6 percent of contemporary college students. Also, 51.7 percent of the earlier group reported having more than two sexual partners after turning 18, compared to 50.5 percent of the 2002-2010 cohort.
In terms of attitudes toward other sexual norms, the researchers also found that contemporary college students were no more accepting than those in the earlier cohort of sex between 14 to 16-year-olds, married adults having sex with someone other than their spouse, or premarital sex between adults. But contemporary college students were significantly more accepting of sex between adults of the same sex.
--ANI (Posted on 14-08-2013)