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Hooking up: Gender Differences, Evolution, and Pluralistic Ignorance:

Hooking up: Gender Differences, Evolution, and Pluralistic Ignorance: “Hooking-up” – engaging in no-strings-attached sexual behaviors with uncommitted partners - has become a norm on college campuses, and raises the potential for disease, unintended pregnancy, and physical and psychological trauma. The primacy of sex in the evolutionary process suggests that predictions derived from evolutionary theory may be a useful first step toward understanding these contemporary behaviors. This study assessed the hook-up behaviors and attitudes of 507 college students. As predicted by behavioral-evolutionary theory: men were more comfortable than women with all types of sexual behaviors; women correctly attributed higher comfort levels to men, but overestimated men's actual comfort levels; and men correctly attributed lower comfort levels to women, but still overestimated women's actual comfort levels. Both genders attributed higher comfort levels to same-gendered others, reinforcing a pluralistic ignorance effect that might contribute to the high frequency of hook-up behaviors in spite of the low comfort levels reported and suggesting that hooking up may be a modern form of intrasexual competition between females for potential mates. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Hooking up: Gender Differences, Evolution, and Pluralistic Ignorance:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 8 (3): 1 – Jul 1, 2010
15 pages

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470491000800307
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

“Hooking-up” – engaging in no-strings-attached sexual behaviors with uncommitted partners - has become a norm on college campuses, and raises the potential for disease, unintended pregnancy, and physical and psychological trauma. The primacy of sex in the evolutionary process suggests that predictions derived from evolutionary theory may be a useful first step toward understanding these contemporary behaviors. This study assessed the hook-up behaviors and attitudes of 507 college students. As predicted by behavioral-evolutionary theory: men were more comfortable than women with all types of sexual behaviors; women correctly attributed higher comfort levels to men, but overestimated men's actual comfort levels; and men correctly attributed lower comfort levels to women, but still overestimated women's actual comfort levels. Both genders attributed higher comfort levels to same-gendered others, reinforcing a pluralistic ignorance effect that might contribute to the high frequency of hook-up behaviors in spite of the low comfort levels reported and suggesting that hooking up may be a modern form of intrasexual competition between females for potential mates.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2010

Keywords: hooking up; hook-up; pluralistic ignorance; gender differences; evolution

References