At colleges, hookups are common between students at parties, in dormitories and fraternity houses, at surrounding bars and clubs, and at popular student vacation destinations.
For example, a study of Canadian college students who planned to hook up while on spring break showed that 61% of men and 34% of women had sex within a day of meeting their partner.
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.
Young women tend to be honest about their sexual encounters and experiences, while young men tend to lie more often about theirs.
The term "hooking up", meaning an instance of casual sex, differs from hook up culture.
A hook up is an act that involves sexual intimacy, claimed by many to be a sexually liberating act.
'When teenagers fool around before they're ready or have a very casual attitude toward sex, they proceed toward adulthood with a lack of understanding about intimacy.'" Nationally, women now outnumber men in college enrollment by 4 to 3, leading some researchers to argue that the gender imbalance fosters a culture of hooking up because men, as the minority and limiting factor, hold more power in the sexual marketplace and use it to pursue their preference of casual sex over long-term relationships.
One study has found that the strongest predictor of hookup behavior was previous experience hooking up.
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.
Hooking up leads to 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.
What does it mean when one uses the phrase "hooking up"?
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.