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Historians D'Emilio and Freedman put the beginning of casual sex, including college hookups, further back in history, to the early 1800s, and explain the phenomenon as shaped by historical and cultural forces.They give as examples planter class white men who had casual sex with enslaved African American women, and white male college students who had casual sex with both white and black women.People are marrying and beginning families at ages later than previous generations while becoming sexually mature at an earlier age.As a result, Garcia and other scholars argue that young adults are able to reproduce physiologically but are not psychologically or socially ready to 'settle down' and begin a family.These developmental shifts, Garcia's systematic review of the literature suggests, is one of the factors driving the increase in hookups, a "popular cultural change that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Western world." The review shows that hookups are becoming increasingly normative among young adults and adolescents in North America and have taken root throughout the Western world, which represents a notable shift in how casual sex is perceived and accepted.Garcia and others have noted that the "past decade has witnessed an explosion in interest in the topic of hookups, both scientifically and in the popular media.
It was reported that a little over 59% of college students have sex once per week.A little over 31% reported to having at least one sexual partner per year, and about 50% said that they have had more than two sexual partners since the age of 18.Perceptions of "frat boys" and how this stereotype seems to be the typical male how only pursues women to have sexual relations.Jennifer Aubrey and Siobhan Smith have found that between genders there are minimal differences when it comes to behavior and frequency in hookups; on the other hand, women still face a harder social stigma, because their social status decreases with increased sexual partners, while men's social status increases with more sexual partners. Currier, she explores how the phrase "hooking up" conveys different meanings depending on whether a man or woman uses it when describing their sexual encounters; furthermore, Currier notes that men use "hooking up" to emphasize their masculinity and heterosexuality whereas women use the phrase to preserve their femininity by being strategically ambiguous in order to downplay their sexual desires.Studies have shown that most high school girls are more interested in a relationship compared to high school boys, who are mostly interested in sex.