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At colleges, hookups are common between students at parties, in dormitories and fraternity houses, at surrounding bars and clubs, and at popular student vacation destinations.
For example, a study of Canadian college students who planned to hookup while on spring break showed that 61% of men and 34% of women had sex within a day of meeting their partner.
These developmental shifts, Garcia's systematic review of the literature suggests, is one of the factors driving the increase in hookups, a "popular cultural change that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Western world." The review shows that hookups are becoming increasingly normative among young adults and adolescents in North America and have taken root throughout the Western world, which represents a notable shift in how casual sex is perceived and accepted.
Garcia and others have noted that the "past decade has witnessed an explosion in interest in the topic of hookups, both scientifically and in the popular media.
Where men use hooking up to increase sexual experiences and gain their manhood, women tend to hook up with the hopes of it becoming a long-term relationship and to satisfy their partner. Currier, she explores how the phrase "hooking up" conveys different meanings depending on whether a man or woman uses it when describing their sexual encounters; furthermore, Currier notes that men use "hooking up" to emphasize their masculinity and heterosexuality whereas women use the phrase to preserve their femininity by being strategically ambiguous in order to downplay their sexual desires.
Studies have shown that most high school girls are more interested in a relationship compared to high school boys, who are mostly interested in sex.
Self-esteem is also an indicator: men with high self-esteem and women with low self-esteem are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, but hookups are less likely among both genders when they have high self-esteem.
Most predictors among males and females rarely differ.
Technological advancements, such as the automobile and movie theaters, brought young couples out of their parents' homes, and out from their watchful eyes, giving them more freedom and more opportunity to engage in casual sexual activity.
Journalist Sabrina Weill asserts that "casual teen attitudes toward sex—particularly oral sex—reflect their confusion about what is normal behavior," and adds that they "are facing an intimacy crisis that could haunt them in future relationships.
"When teenagers fool around before they're ready or have a very casual attitude toward sex, they proceed toward adulthood with a lack of understanding about intimacy." Journals and letters from the 1800s demonstrate that wealthy young white male college students hooked up with prostitutes, with poor women, and with enslaved African American women.
Perceptions of "frat boys" and how this stereotype seems to be the typical male how only pursues women to have sexual relations.
Many female college students explained how the "frat boy" perfectly embodies the persona of a sex driven male.