246208 Hooking up: What do you think?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Laura Herbst, BS CHES , Department of Health Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Dawn Larsen, PhD MCHES , Department of Health Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Amy S. Hedman, PhD, MCHES , Health Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Carly Hopper, MS CHES , Student Health Services, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN
Purpose of this study: 1) explore attitudes and perceptions toward hooking-up among college students and 2) assess whether perceived subjective norms influence hook-up behaviors, frequency of hook-ups, and individual intention to hook-up within 12 months. Hooking-up was defined as sexual interaction without expecting romantic commitment. A 3-section survey instrument assessed perceptions of: 1) commonality, frequency and comfort level of hooking-up among friends; 2) situational factors influencing decisions to hook-up; and 3) personal relationship status and intent to hook up within 12 months. The survey was administered electronically to a random sample of undergraduate students at a large Midwestern state university. Responses from 975 students revealed no gender differences in perceptions of the percentage of peers hooking-up. Students believed that: 1) 65% of students think hooking up is socially acceptable; 2) 69% of their peers had hooked-up at least once in college; 3) 41% had hooked up due to pressure from a partner; and 4) 39% had done so to "fit in". Males scored significantly higher on intent to hook-up, belief that hooking-up was socially acceptable, numbers of total hook-ups, and hook-ups under the influence of alcohol. Females reported significantly higher levels of stress/anxiety and regret/shame following hookups. Those who believed college students hook-up to fit in also believed hook-ups resulted from peer pressure (r=.60). Those believing peers experienced hook-up regret also believed students experienced stress after a hook-up (r=.70). This research may be instrumental in reducing misperceptions about casual sex and illustrating possible consequences of hooking-up to the college population.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe university students' perceived norms related to "hook-up" behaviors. Explain differences in subjective normative beliefs between male and female university students with respect to hook-up behaviors. Describe the influence of alcohol on reported likelihood that university students will engage in a hook-up. Explain the relationship between peer pressure and hooking-up among university students

Keywords: College Students, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted this research in compliance with the Thesis requirement for the MS in Health Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The procedures and methodology were monitored by senior faculty and approved by the Internal Review Board on research at Minnesota State U, Mankato
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.