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UIC Study Examines Views Toward College Students Who ‘Hook Up’

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CHICAGO (CBS) — College student “hook-ups” are the subject of the latest study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Yes, those kinds of hook-ups.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, there was a time when a young woman who slept with a lot of men was looked down upon, but the men with whom she hooked up were not.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports


Such attitudes are still around, but according to UIC researcher, they are not as prevalent as they once were. Now, she says college students look at hooking up for casual sex the same for women and men.

“In our study, 75 percent of students overall held men and women to the same sexual standards,” Allison said.

The study relied upon a sample of 19,000 students from the 2011 Online College Social Life survey, which includes 22 colleges. They were asked if they agreed with the statement, “If (wo)men hook up or have sex with lots of people, I respect them less.”

Of those surveyed, 48 percent judged in a negative way people who hooked up frequently, while 27 percent did not lose any respect for men or women who bed-hop. About 12 percent said they lost respect for women who hooked up frequently, but not men, and about 13 percent held the opposite view with respect to gender.

Women were more likely than men to judge both sexes negatively for hooking up frequently, with about 54 percent of women reporting that view, and more than 35 percent of men.

The study also found that men who belonged to fraternities or played on sports teams were more likely to evaluate women, but not men, in a negative fashion for hooking up.

The study also examined religion. Buddhist, Jewish, and non-affiliated students were less likely than Roman Catholics to judge people negatively for hooking up, while women who identified as evangelical or fundamentalist Christians were 76 percent more likely than Catholic women to view hooking up negatively.

In addition, the study found that gay or bisexual men and women were less likely than heterosexual students to lose respect for people for casual sexual activity. The geographic placement of the college also played a role – West Coast colleges tended more liberal in their views, Midwest colleges more conservative, and East Coast colleges somewhere in between.

Allison, a doctoral student, says the average number of hookups college students report is about two.

And as anyone who has spent time on a college campus knows, hookups do not always happen at frat parties or other social events where the cheap beer is flowing freely. At the University of Chicago – an institution known far more for its academic rigor than its social life – students set up a Web site to enable students to find each other for casual sex.

The site, originally called UChicagoHookups.com, urged students to spice things up on a campus that was described by the site’s founders as socially “repressed.” It was later renamed eduHookups.com and expanded to Northwestern University in Evanston and Columbia College in Chicago.

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