“Isn’t it sad that we have sex with a guy before we consider dating him?”
One of my friends recently asked me this question. We preceded to discuss it, and determined that, although the random hook-up can be fun, we would prefer to be in a relationship. As it turns out, we are not alone.
A recent study at James Madison University found that college students have twice as many hook-ups as actual dates. And, like my friend and I, most students, male and female, preferred a traditional date to the random hook-up.
In fact, 95 percent of females and 77.5 percent of males said they preferred dating over hooking up. So, why do we continue to hook up, which is defined as “a sexual encounter, usually lasting only one night, between people who are strangers or brief acquaintances?”
Arnie Kahn, one of the co-authors of the study, said the main reason for this unfortunate phenomenon is “pluralistic ignorance.” Basically, everyone thinks everyone else just wants to hook up.
“Because everybody else is hooking up you assume that they do it because they like it,” Kahn explained. “Whereas you know that you don’t like it that much, but you do it to go along. College students are very conformist.”
Another part of the equation is alcohol consumption. Most hook-ups occur after the participants have been drinking. In fact, the only situation when women preferred hooking up instead of dating was when they were out drinking with an attractive guy.
So, it seems that if you want to date someone, throw away that beer and strike up an actual conversation with someone who seems interesting. Then, don’t go home with him or her at the end of the night. Instead, play hard-to-get, and only give him your phone number, if he or she asks.
Good luck playing the field!