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A study of Northeastern University students found similar results: 78% of students reported hook-ups, but only about a third of encounters included intercourse.These figures remind me of what I recall from my own casual relationships four decades ago. From the 1970s through the 1990s, young adults interested in casual sex—or meeting long-term mates—often met at parties or singles bars.In 1940, the median age at first marriage for men was 24, and for women, 21. During those three or four extra years of singlehood, there are a lot a Friday and Saturday nights, and plenty of time to explore casual liaisons—whatever they’re called and however sexual they become. Every time a man is having casual sex, there's a woman who's having that casual sex with him.Or is it that she does not see it as casual in many instances where he does?
Other studies have investigated not just regret but a full range of possible emotional reactions.
A University of Illinois survey found that 49% of college men and 38% of women reported having sex as a direct result of drinking.
Canadian researchers (Fisher, 2012) asked college students about alcohol and hook-ups. As I’ve discussed previously [7.1.14], alcohol is a major factor in collegiate and military sexual assaults.
Which suggests that, post-hook-up, around 16% of young adults should primarily feel regret, while 84% probably feel differently.
Young adulthood is a time of sexual experimentation, and unfortunately many experiments fail.