voices in the family

Strings or no strings? Sexual hook-up culture


Outside of marriage, a “hook-up” is described as a fleeting, uncommitted sexual encounter with no strings attached. Surveys imply more young adults are having casual sex — and talking about it. This opens the door for researchers to delve into evolutionary and social contexts for the trend and to examine psychological and other consequences of these seemingly loveless meet ups. Dr. Dan Gottlieb and his guests discuss sexual hook-up culture and how it may, or may not, have strings attached.

Guest host Jennifer Lynn discusses sexual hook-up culture and how it may, or may not, have strings attached with Justin R. Garcia and Leslie C. Bell.

Justin Garcia is a postdoctoral fellow at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. His article “Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review” (written with Chris Reiber, Sean Massey, and Ann Merriwether) is the cover story in the February edition of APA Monitor on Psychology.

Leslie Bell is the author of Hard to Get: 20-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom.

Photo by Flickr user marsmet511


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  • http://MrRightNowvs.MrRight? Fiona

    How much does female education/ambition influence how men are seen their lives? From being the ‘end goal’ (marriage) to part of a self-realized life, that a partner is part of a broad, varied life and life experience, career etc.
    So while a young woman is on that journey, a man can be part of it, but not the focus of it. So a young woman may be looking at men as part of that journey: more interesting and varied partners, and not just ‘Mr Right’. Mr Right Now

  • Lawrence Backlund

    Today’s program was of the highest quality and interest and reflects a not-so-long-term trend in youth-20s relationships that could have been predicted; these sorts of relationships have been common elsewhere in the world for at least three decades, but it was enlightening to hear about the recent research. My only qualm is a linguistic one: in English media is a plural noun. Therefore the social media are a “they” not an “it.” I look forward to every week’s program. The teach and enlighten. Keep it up!

  • http://stripey7.blogspot.com ERic Hamell

    Upper-class Victorian Era Englishwomen were supposed to loathe sex; their desiring it was inconceivable. Nonetheles, it was considered their duty to king and country to perpetuate the “better” part of the nation. Hence they were advised to “lie back and think of England.”

  • http://stripey7.blogspot.com Eric Hamell

    The remark about parents serving as role models is important. In most areas — e.g., driving, drinking — the ability to directly observe our elders is important to learning responsible behavior. So it’s a considerable impediment to learning responsible sexuality that social norms currently dictate that parents hide it from their children and vice versa.




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