Sex outside of relationships is not new, Holman said, but people are increasingly willing to talk about it over the last few decades.She said she next plans to look at how parents and college staff can talk to students about hookup culture to ensure that safety comes first."You're not trying to tell students what to do," Holman said. Safe sex Talking about hooking up, however, was common, with 84 percent of students reporting they'd talked with their friends at school about hookups.People who talked about hooking up were more likely to approve of and take part in hookups, Holman found.Sam Nitz knew he was gay in 6th grade, and even though he only dated and hooked up with men during his time at University of Wisconsin-Madison, he waited until his senior year to come out publicly.“I was involved in Boy Scouts at the national level, and back then in Boy Scouts you couldn’t be gay,” he explains. C., had been an Eagle Scout and a Section Chief in the Order of the Arrow, but felt that he lost election to be National Chief of the Order of the Arrow (the top youth position in the Boy Scouts) due to a whisper campaign about his sexuality.
That's troubling, Holman said, because hookups are often spontaneous and involve alcohol, making it less likely that students will protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy."The more that [students] talked to their peers about it, the more likely that they're going to be accepting of the risky behavior," Holman told Live Science.
For example, while about 45 percent of students said they'd never hooked up with anyone, only 3.7 percent believed that the "typical student" had never hooked up.
Likewise, only 37 percent of people reported having two or more hookups, but 90 percent of students believed that at least two hookups were "typical" for their peers.
These are people who may change their sexual identity with time and more experience.“Queer” is how Kate Stayman-London would identify herself now, but when she was in college in the mid-aughts, she wasn’t sure about her sexual identity.
She had dated men and women, and by her senior year at Amherst in Massachusetts, she had her first girlfriend.