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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.It suggests that these encounters are becoming increasingly normative among adolescents and young adults in North America and can best be understood from a biopsychosocial perspective.Today's hook-up culture represents a marked shift in openness and acceptance of uncommitted sex.A number of studies have looked at regret with respect to hookups and have documented the negative feelings men and women may feel after casual sex.In a large Web-based study of 1,468 undergraduate students, participants reported a variety of consequences: 27.1 percent felt embarrassed, 24.7 percent reported emotional difficulties, 20.8 percent experienced loss of respect, and 10 percent reported difficulties with a steady partner (Lewis et al., 2011).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).
On average, both men and women appear to have higher positive affect than negative affect after a hookup.
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.
In a qualitative study that asked 187 participants to report their feelings after a typical hookup, 35 percent reported feeling regretful or disappointed, 27 percent good or happy, 20 percent satisfied, 11 percent confused, 9 percent proud, 7 percent excited or nervous, 5 percent uncomfortable, and 2 percent desirable or wanted (Paul & Hayes, 2002).
However, this same study found that feelings differed during hookups compared with after: During a typical hookup, 65 percent of participants reported feeling good, aroused, or excited, 17 percent desirable or wanted, 17 percent nothing in particular or were focused on the hookup, 8 percent embarrassed or regretful, 7 percent nervous or scared, 6 percent confused, and 5 percent proud (Paul & Hayes, 2002).