University of Cincinnati Study Examines Gender Differences in Goals of Campus Hook Ups

weitbrecht2A new study by Eliza Weitbrecht, a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at the University of Cincinnati, finds that the “hooking up” culture of college students can have more negative effects on women’s health than is the case for men.

“Hook ups are commonly reported by college students, yet there is a lack of research on the expected, ideal, and relational outcomes of these encounters,” Weitbrecht says. Her data shows that more than half of all college women who participated in a hook up did so with the hope of entering into a serious relationship with their male partner. Only 30 percent of college men surveyed said they participated in a hook up with the goal of entering into a relationship with their female partner.

Weitbrecht concludes that women may be more vulnerable when it comes to hooking up behavior because they are more motivated than men to look to start a relationship. When a relationship does not materialize, women may experience depression or other health problems.

The study, “Investigating the ‘Hook Ups’ of Emerging Adult College Students: Motivations, Expectations, and Ideal Outcomes Associated with Hooking Up,” is under consideration for the best thesis in the social sciences award given by the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. The paper may be accessed here.

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