Gender Differences between Hooking up and Alcohol

Dana Nocera


College student alcohol consumption has many associated risky behaviors. For example, one issue in the college community is alcohol’s role in “hooking up” behaviors. Hooking up is defined as engaging in physically intimate behaviors, ranging from kissing to sexual intercourse, with no committed relationship or expectation of a future relationshi. Additionally, alcohol use is consistently associated with hooking up behaviors for both males and . However, male and female college students experience the outcomes of hooking up (both positive and negative) differently. Whereas women experience more negative outcomes, men tend to experience more positive outcome, and the role of alcohol in hooking up is more prevalent for women than me. Although the previous literature has established the long-term relationship between alcohol consumption patterns and hooking up, it is unknown if recent hook up experiences were alcohol-involved. To replicate the previous literature, the current study sought to determine the behavior of college students with regards to alcohol and hooking up. To extend the previous literature, the current study sought to examine gender differences with the amount of alcohol consumption and hook up encounters in the past week. Data for this study were collected via an online survey. A total of 454 college students at a Midwestern university participated (72.2% female and 24.7% male). An independent-samples t-test compared the alcohol consumption and hook up encounters for males and females. There was a significant difference between males and females for alcohol consumption and hooking up. Males reported drinking more days per week and consuming more drinks in a typical drinking day than females. Males and females both reported hooking up at least once in a typical week, but males reported having more hook up encounters than females. However, the number of hook up partners for males and females was not significantly different. Future intervention efforts could potentially tailor materials to gender. Messages could address recent alcohol consumption and number of hook up encounters since recent behaviors are more predictive of future behavior, according to the health behavior change theory.


Alcohol; Hooking Up; Gender

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