By Sott Casale
Drawing on data from a 2007 random sample of Duke University seniors (369 males and 381 females), this paper analyzes individual factors that influence whether men and women were more likely to engage in the hook-up culture or an exclusive romantic relationship (ERR) as compared to doing nothing. There is substantial research to support that relationship styles are changing on college campuses as students delay marriage and maintain more liberalized views on sex before marriage. The economic theory of marital-specific capital may provide some insight into why students on college campuses are developing more casual relationships as time becomes an important factor. In this college environment, student characteristics as well as personal beliefs and perceptions about these particular courtship styles may influence whether a college student will be hooking-up or in an exclusive romantic relationship his or her junior and senior year. Results from this study indicate that students on financial aid, a time variable, will be less likely to be in an exclusive romantic relationship or hook-up during their junior or senior year as compared to doing nothing. In addition, although it is difficult to attribute causality for peer effects, Duke students who believe a higher percentage of their friends hook-up will also be more likely to hook-up. Also, Duke students who have their first intercourse at a older age and are more religious are less likely to hook-up. Finally, students are persistent in their relationship behavior, meaning that their behavior junior year is a strong predictor of behavior senior year.
Advisor: Marjorie McElroy