Gender, Meanings and Casual Sex

Paula S. England, New York University (NYU)
Jonathan M. Bearak, New York University (NYU)

We use an online survey of 24,000 college students that asked them about attitudes toward sex, their sexual behavior on their most recent hookup and date, and their interest in a relationship with their partner. We examine gender differences in attitudes. We examine similarities and differences between the conditions under which men and women have intercourse in a hookup or on a dateā€”such as whether they knew the person previously, and whether they had an interest in a relationship with the person, to indirectly infer aversion to casual sex. We examine patterns in how men and women differently report about who initiated more of the sexual activity on a hookup or date. We use these patterns to move toward conclusions about gender differences in preferences and norms regarding casual versus relational sex.

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Presented in Session 47: Gender, Relationships and Sexual Behavior