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The test fee is for members; for nonmembers. It is an unprecedented time in the history of human sexuality.The APA Office of CE in Psychology retains responsibility for the program. In the United States, the age when people first marry and reproduce has been pushed back dramatically, while at the same time the age of puberty has dropped, resulting in an era in which young adults are physiologically able to reproduce but not psychologically or socially ready to "settle down" and begin a family (Bogle, 2007; Garcia & Reiber, 2008).This feature will provide you with updates on critical developments in psychology, drawn from peer-reviewed literature and written by leading psychology experts."CE Corner" appears in the February 2012, April, July/August and November issues of the Monitor.These developmental shifts, research suggests, are some of the factors driving the increase in sexual "hookups," or uncommitted sexual encounters, part of a popular cultural change that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Western world.Hookups are becoming more engrained in popular culture, reflecting both evolved sexual predilections and changing social and sexual scripts.Today, sexual behavior outside of traditional committed romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable (Bogle, 2007, 2008).Influencing this shift in sexuality is popular culture.
By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events.
In a qualitative study that asked 187 participants to report their feelings after a typical hookup, 35 percent reported feeling regretful or disappointed, 27 percent good or happy, 20 percent satisfied, 11 percent confused, 9 percent proud, 7 percent excited or nervous, 5 percent uncomfortable, and 2 percent desirable or wanted (Paul & Hayes, 2002).
However, this same study found that feelings differed during hookups compared with after: During a typical hookup, 65 percent of participants reported feeling good, aroused, or excited, 17 percent desirable or wanted, 17 percent nothing in particular or were focused on the hookup, 8 percent embarrassed or regretful, 7 percent nervous or scared, 6 percent confused, and 5 percent proud (Paul & Hayes, 2002).
It suggests that these encounters are becoming increasingly normative among adolescents and young adults in North America and can best be understood from a biopsychosocial perspective.
Today's hook-up culture represents a marked shift in openness and acceptance of uncommitted sex.
In this article, we review the literature on sexual hookups and consider the research on the psychological consequences of casual sex.