Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 661-669

First online:

To Hook Up or Date: Which Gender Benefits?

  • Carolyn BradshawAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, James Madison University
  • , Arnold S. KahnAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, James Madison University Email author 
  • , Bryan K. SavilleAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, James Madison University

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Hooking up on college campuses has become more frequent than dating in heterosexual sexual interaction. Analysis of the relative benefits and costs associated with dating and hooking up suggest that women benefit more from dating while men benefit more from hooking up. U.S students (150 women, 71 men) at a midsized southeastern university indicated preferences for dating and hooking up across a number of situations and indicated the perceived benefits and risks associated with each. As hypothesized, in most situations women more than men preferred dating and men more than women preferred hooking up. Both genders perceived similar benefits and risks to dating and hooking up; differences provided insight into the sexual motives of college women and men.


Dating Hooking up Gender differences