Lecture speaks on hook-up culture and sex

Students sit in on lecture that discussed the sexual behavior and hook-up culture of young adults in the United States. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

Students attended Dr. Jeremy Uecker’s lecture about Society and Sex at the Bill Daniel Student Center Thursday evening to listen to part of a four-part series titled “Let’s Talk About It.”

Uecker, an assistant professor of sociology at Baylor, focused on describing what is actually happening among young adults in the United States with respect to hooking up and sexual behavior in a more general sense.

“I know that young adults have inaccurate information about their own peers’ sexual behavior. College students and young adults in general tend to overestimate wildly the proportion of their peers who are sexually active,” Uecker said.

Uecker started by showing a misconception around colleges that almost everyone is no longer a virgin. According to a study done by National Survey of Family Growth conducted from 2011-13, nearly 31 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 23 are still virgins.

Uecker also said that a recent survey of 500 Baylor students showed that only 17 percent of Baylor students have had two or more sexual partners in the last year. This was less than the same number of surveyed students from the Texas Tech University. Uecker also said people who do not go to college are more likely to have sex than those who do not.

“College students are much less likely to have sex than those who do not go to college among this age group. 29 percent of college students are virgins,” Uecker said.

Uecker was quick to point out that even though college students are less likely to have sex than non-college students, more than 70 percent of students have participated in oral sex.

Uecker then switched his focused to those who are in a relationship. Only 4 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 23 who are in a relationship are not having sex.

Perhaps one of the greater causes of sexual relations in colleges are non-romantic relationships. According to Uecker, almost 25 percent of sexual relationships are non-romantic or “friends with benefits.” These relationships usually tend to not last very long, he explained. Uecker said only 4 percent of non-romantic sexual relationships will last more than one year.

Non-romantic sexual relationships, or “hooking up,” is defined as a “casual physical encounter between two people,” Uecker said. He added that 75 percent of people say that they have hooked up at least once by the time they are a senior in college.

The average number of hookups per year by a student by his or her senior year is only one, according to Uecker. It’s not as common as one would think, Uecker said, however, men tend to be initiating these hookups more than women. Women tend to be more interested in a romantic relationship instead of just physical, Uecker said.

“The hookup culture … seems to be structured around giving men the pleasure. Men generally have most of the power in the hookup culture. Women are more interested in relationships than men before and after they hookup,” Uecker said.

Overall, students who attended the lecture found it very informative and appreciated Baylor providing a free lecture regarding the topic of sexual behavior of college students.

“It was really interesting seeing the comparisons between men and women when it came to different sexual activities,” Houston freshman Sofie Hernandez said.

San Antonio junior Paige Hardy said this type of lecture was something all Baylor students should attend.

“I think this series is something that every Baylor student should be learning. I really hope that this type of curriculum is something that we can see in Chapel in future years,” Hardy said.

The final lecture in the series will feature Dr. Ryan Richardson, Dr. Beth Lanning and Dr. Christopher Pieper. The talk is titled “Let’s Talk About Us” and will take place at 6 p.m. on April 27 in room D110 Baylor Sciences Building.