"Gossip Girl" and "Skins" Hookups: Young Adult Trends in Sex and Sexuality

"Gossip Girl" and "Skins" Hookups: Young Adult Trends in Sex and Sexuality

When you read young adult novels or watch TV shows like Gossip Girl or Skins, you might start to think that dating is going out of fashion.  Younger people don’t seem to follow the same courtship rituals that they used to.  They don’t go out on dates or make deliberate plans to be together.  They just “hook up.”

Studying Hook Up Culture

A study presented at a meeting of the American Sociological Associationsurveyed young adults, between the ages of 18 and 25.  They took two groups, one which was at this age between 2002 and 2010 and another which was at the same age between 1988 and 1996.  They found that the number of casual hook-ups were the same in both groups.  About 31% said that they’d had only one sexual partner in the last year while about 50% said they’d had two.

Hooking Up Doesn’t Equal Promiscuity

This study indicates that there was no change in the number of partners people had and the amount of sex they had between 1988-1996 and 2002-2010.  Whether college students are just hooking up or going out on dates and having relationships in the conventional way, they’re not actually having more sex with more people.  Maybe this means that the hook up culture is here to stay or conventional means of getting into relationships may triumph after all.  But it would be a mistake to think that just because young adults are hooking up, they’re also having more partners.

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