Black students are less likely to participate in hooking-up in the four years they are in college than white students.
The majority of students participating in the college “hook-up culture” are white and wealthy, states a study of hook-up behavior.
Definitions of hooking up range from kissing to having sex, and only 20 percent of college students report 10 or more hookups by their senior year in college.
Many studies have focused on the gender of the student, but more recent studies look at students’ race and social status.
Lisa Wade cites her own research in an article for Slate, in which she states that students who hook-up 10 or more times while in college “are more likely than others to be white, wealthy, heterosexual, able-bodied and conventionally attractive.”
African-American students are less likely to partake in hooking-up because they do not want to affirm racist stereotypes and because fraternity houses, which play a major role in the hook-up scene, are less common among black fraternities, according to Slate.
In a 2010 published study of black and white fraternity men’s approaches to women, Rashawn Ray and Jason A. Rosow found that “black men exhibit more romantic approaches, whereas White men exhibit more sexual approaches.”
Research done by sociologists Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth Armstrong found that upper-middle and upper-class students are the most likely to hook-up, noting that they are more career and self-oriented, leaving little time to devote to a relationship.
One subject of the study commented: “College is the only time that you don’t have obligations to anyone but yourself. . . . I want to get settled down and figure out what I’m doing with my life before [I] dedicate myself to something or someone else.”
It has also been concluded that lower class women generally plan to grow professionally while in a relationship and are more likely to start families at younger ages.
Most of the less privileged women studied in Hamilton and Armstrong’s research found the hook-up culture to be off-putting. One young woman saying, “Growing up to me isn’t going out and getting smashed and sleeping around. . . . That to me is immature.”
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.