“Hooking Up” at College: Does Religion Make a Difference?

Authors


Correspondence should be addressed to Amy Burdette, Department of Sociology, P.O. Box C, Mississippi State, MS 39762. E-mail: amb670@msstate.edu

Abstract

Recent attention from media, scholars, and religious leadership has focused on the dating activities of college students, particularly in relation to casual physical encounters or what some have termed “hooking up.” In this article, we examine the impact of both individual and institutional religious involvement on “hooking up” in a national sample of college women (N= 1,000). The results of our analysis reveal several important patterns. First, Catholic college women are more likely to have “hooked up” while at school than college women with no religious affiliation. Second, conservative Protestant college women are less likely to have “hooked up” while at school than college women with no religious affiliation; however, this difference is mediated or explained by church attendance, which is protective against “hooking up.” Finally, women who attend colleges and universities with a Catholic affiliation are more likely to have hooked up while at school than women who attend academic institutions with no religious affiliation, net of individual-level religious involvement.

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