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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.
Hooking up is engaged in for the instant gratification for sex, pleasure, a feeling of being loved, an emotional feeling of being adhered to, the thought of the potential of the hook up developing into something less casual, and many more reasons.
The term "hooking up", meaning an instance of casual sex, differs from hook up culture.
Young women tend to be honest about their sexual encounters and experiences, while young men tend to lie more often about theirs.
Another study shows that once a person has sex for their first time, it becomes less of an issue or big deal to future relationships or hook ups.
Self-esteem is also an indicator: men with high self-esteem and women with low self-esteem are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, but hookups are less likely among both genders when they have high self-esteem.
Many female college students explained how the "frat boy" perfectly embodies the persona of a sex driven male.
Students often feel that hookups are the only option and that their peers do not date, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as fewer students date because they believe their classmates do not believe in dating.
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.