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In this article, we review the literature on sexual hookups and consider the research on the psychological consequences of casual sex.
This is a transdisciplinary literature review that draws on the evidence and theoretical tensions between evolutionary theoretical models and sociocultural theory.
A number of studies have looked at regret with respect to hookups and have documented the negative feelings men and women may feel after casual sex.
In a large Web-based study of 1,468 undergraduate students, participants reported a variety of consequences: 27.1 percent felt embarrassed, 24.7 percent reported emotional difficulties, 20.8 percent experienced loss of respect, and 10 percent reported difficulties with a steady partner (Lewis et al., 2011).
In one study, among participants who were asked to characterize the morning after a hookup, 82 percent of men and 57 percent of women were generally glad they had done it (Garcia & Reiber, 2008).
The gap between men and women is notable and demonstrates an average sex difference in affective reactions.
The APA Office of CE in Psychology retains responsibility for the program. In the United States, the age when people first marry and reproduce has been pushed back dramatically, while at the same time the age of puberty has dropped, resulting in an era in which young adults are physiologically able to reproduce but not psychologically or socially ready to "settle down" and begin a family (Bogle, 2007; Garcia & Reiber, 2008).Instead of courting at home under a parent's watchful eye, young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely.By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events.This feature will provide you with updates on critical developments in psychology, drawn from peer-reviewed literature and written by leading psychology experts."CE Corner" appears in the February 2012, April, July/August and November issues of the Monitor.