So scanning the usual battery of articles, I began my search using terms like “sexual differences in emotional processing” or “sex differences in arousal” (much like Anna’s recent post). Interestingly enough, I found that “Hook Up” has now been given a functional definition on pubmed: “Hooking up or a sexual encounter ranging from kissing to intercourse that occurs on one occasion and where the partners do not necessarily expect future physical encounters or a committed relationship has become common place among college students.” This is now being studied as a common phenomenon in college students’ lives today.
In the context of sexual differences, how does this new college culture affect each sex? The two possibilities that this study presents for students in college is either to be “dating” in a traditional sense or to be “hooking up” in a non-committed, casual form. Is one sex “losing” in either of these interactions? Is hooking up a male construct to avoid the commitment and interactions that come along with relationships, a so called “loss of freedom and independence“?
Well, cutting to this article’s conclusion: “We received support for the hypothesis that overall women more than men would prefer traditional dating whereas men more than women, would prefer to hook up.”
Here are some other interesting tidbits from the article that could elicit some good questions:
“The flirting and brief interactions that precede a hook up make rejection less likely; and women sometimes initiate hook ups”
Are guys just feeling more rejected these days? Could they be feeling inferior on other scales (note things such as the increased acceptance of women to college vs men). And are guys feeling the stress of initiating conversations?
“These sexual goals can be more easily obtained at less cost by hooking up than by dating. Although frequent casual sex is associated with greater depression in women, this is less true for men”
Girls, could we be putting ourselves at greater risk for depressive symptoms? Could hooking up be an environmental trigger to depression?
“most research suggests this double standard continues to affect the perceptions of women and men, such that women are derogated and men rewarded for frequent sexual activities”
So a guy is high-fived for hooking up with a girl, and the girl is called a slut by whoever overhears the conversation at Dana Sunday brunch? Is it possible that these gender roles are slowly being reversed (like we discussed a bit in class)?
“In Western society men more than women tend to separate sex from love, whereas women more than men link sex and love”
Is there a difference in emotional processing of arousal in men and women? Could religion, friendships and previous encounters (such as being cheated on) affect the separation between sex and love?