-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- College students today are
not having more sex than they were two decades ago, according to
new research that challenges the perception of a campus "hookup
culture," in which students regularly have sex with no strings
The study involved more than 1,800 students who graduated from
high school and completed at least one year of college. Co-authors
Martin Monto, a sociology professor at the University of Portland,
and Anna Carey, a recent graduate, compared survey responses
compiled between 1988 and 1996 to responses collected between 2002
"We found that college students from the contemporary or 'hookup era' did not report having more frequent sex or more sexual partners during the past year or more sexual partners since turning 18 than undergraduates from the earlier era," Monto said in American Sociological Association news release.
Instead, 65 percent of students surveyed in the late '80s and
early '90s said they had sex at least once a week in the past year,
compared with 59 percent of students surveyed between 2002 and
Moreover, 31.9 percent of the earlier group surveyed said they
had more than one sexual partner within the past year, compared
with 31.6 percent of students from the so-called hookup era.
Similarly, 51.7 percent of the earlier group said they had more
than two sexual partners since turning 18, compared with 50.5
percent of the students surveyed between 2002 and 2010.
All of the students involved in the study held similar views on
adultery, premarital sex and sex between young people aged 14 to
16, the researchers found.
The study did reveal some differences between study eras. One
was that contemporary students were more accepting of adults having
homosexual sex. Students surveyed between 2002 and 2010 also were
more likely to report having had sex with a casual date or a
friend. These students were less likely to have a spouse or regular
sexual partner than the students surveyed between 1988 and
The fact that more people are waiting until they are older to
get married could have played a role in their results, the authors
said, making it less likely that young people will hold off on
having sex until they are married.
The new findings are expected to be presented this week at the
American Sociological Association's annual meeting in New York
City. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary
until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
health and safety issues.
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