Hookups — defined in this article as brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other — have emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century.Hookups began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the upsurge of automobiles and novel entertainment, such as movie theaters.The media suggest that uncommitted sex, or hookups, can be both physically and emotionally enjoyable and occur without "strings." The 2009 film "Hooking Up," for example, details the chaotic romantic and sexual lives of adolescent characters.Another film, "No Strings Attached," released in 2011, features two friends negotiating a sexual, yet nonromantic, component of their relationship.Popular pro-hookup same-sex representations have also emerged in television series like "Queer as Folk" and "The L-Word." When it comes to real life, most of today's young adults report some casual sexual experience.The most recent data suggest that between 60 percent and 80 percent of North American college students have had some sort of hook-up experience.With more emerging adults having casual sex, researchers are exploring psychological consequences of such encounters. Garcia, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Chris Reiber, Sean G. Merriwether, Binghamton University, State University of New York February 2013, Vol 44, No.2 Print version: page 60 "CE Corner" is a quarterly continuing education article offered by the APA Office of CE in Psychology.
This is a transdisciplinary literature review that draws on the evidence and theoretical tensions between evolutionary theoretical models and sociocultural theory.The media have become a source of sex education, filled with often inaccurate portrayals of sexuality (Kunkel et al., 2005).The themes of books, plots of movies and television shows, and lyrics of numerous songs all demonstrate a permissive sexuality among consumers.This is consistent with the view of emerging adulthood (typical college age) as a period of developmental transition (Arnett, 2000), exploring and internalizing sexuality and romantic intimacy, now including hookups (Stinson, 2010).Although much of the current research has been done on college campuses, among younger adolescents, 70 percent of sexually active 12- to 21-year-olds reported having had uncommitted sex within the last year (Grello et al., 2003).