College Students, Hook-Ups, and Mental Health

First of all, let’s identify what it means to “hook up.” Today, this can mean anything from kissing someone to having sex (or anywhere in between), and this “someone” is typically not a significant other, but a fling. When I first read about the “hook up culture” in Unhooked by Laura Sessions Stepp, I learned that hooking up no longer means “meeting up,” as in, I am going to hook up with my friends at the mall. 

While I have a lot to say on this topic, I wanted to share results from a current study on the connection between college students who “hook up” and anxiety and depression. Dr. Melina Bersamin led the study and stated, “It is premature to conclude that casual sexual encounters pose no harmful psychological risks for young adults.” Instead, the research from the study “suggest[s] that among heterosexual college students, casual sex was negatively associated with well-being and positively associated with psychological distress.”

Read the article here.


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