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Jennifer Aubrey and Siobhan Smith have found that between genders there are minimal differences when it comes to behavior and frequency in hookups; on the other hand, women still face a harder social stigma, because their social status decreases with increased sexual partners, while men's social status increases with more sexual partners. Currier, she explores how the phrase "hooking up" conveys different meanings depending on whether a man or woman uses it when describing their sexual encounters; furthermore, Currier notes that men use "hooking up" to emphasize their masculinity and heterosexuality whereas women use the phrase to preserve their femininity by being strategically ambiguous in order to downplay their sexual desires.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.Research on hookups is not seated within a singular disciplinary sphere; it sits at the crossroads of theoretical and empirical ideas drawn from a diverse range of fields, including psychology, anthropology, sociology, biology, medicine, and public health." The hookup culture is vaguely defined due to a variety of perspectives taken on this subject related human sexuality.It is hard to make sense of the hookup culture with understanding why it exists in society and why individuals participate in the culture.Lisa Wade, a sociologist, documents that 19th-century white fraternity men often had what would be called hookup sex with prostitutes, poor women, and the women they had enslaved.Technological advancements such as the automobile and movie theaters brought young couples out of their parents' homes, and out from their watchful eyes, giving them more freedom and more opportunity to engage in casual sexual activity.
'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.'" Journals and letters from the 1800s demonstrate that wealthy young white male college students hooked up with prostitutes, poor women, and enslaved African American women.
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.
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.
Another study was based on a survey of over 18,000 college students from ages 18–25.People are marrying and beginning families at ages later than previous generations while becoming sexually mature at an earlier age.