Date of Award

Spring 4-12-2010

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Psychological Science

Department Chair or Program Director

Steckler, Debra

First Advisor

Erchull, Mindy J.

Second Advisor

Liss, Miriam

Third Advisor

Kilmartin, Christopher

Major or Concentration



Research shows that traditional dating in college has been replaced with a “hook up” culture, defined by casual sexual relations. This change has been attributed to the growing permissiveness of young people’s sexual attitudes. However, the most drastic increase in uncommitted sexual activity has been observed among young women. The current research investigated how enjoying sexualization and participating in self-sexualizing behaviors may influence young women’s casual sex and hooking up behaviors. Participants completed an anonymous online survey that included the Enjoyment of Sexualization Scale, the Sexualizing Behaviors Scale, and measures of sexual assertiveness and sexual esteem. Using these variables, we were able to predict young women’s number of casual sex and hook up partners, as well as their willingness to have intercourse during a hook up. This suggests that factors specific to women (i.e., sexualization and sexual objectification) may be contributing to the observed increase in their casual sexual activity.

Included in

Psychology Commons