Kuperberg found that most people who identify as straight but have same-sex hookups are “experimenters:” students in college who want to try something new, without considering the experience something that changes their sexual identity.
Others are part of a “performative bisexuality” group (primarily women, typically a low-level hookup, like kissing, in a public place), and a third set was made up of those whose sexual identity is in its early stages of evolving.
“Not everybody who has same-sex relationships is secretly gay,” says co-author Arielle Kuperberg, Ph.
D., director of Undergraduate Studies in Sociology at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who has written extensively on student relationships.
Through a survey of more than 24,000 university students, researchers found that many people engaging in same-sex hookups identify as heterosexual.
One in 4 women and 1 in 8.5 men in college whose most recent hookup was with a partner of the same sex consider themselves straight.
Experimenting is an important part of a lot of people’s development, she adds.
Walker believes that such rejection of labels is likely to increase, especially as Generation Z—less than half of whom say they identify as completely heterosexual—comes of age.
That's troubling, Holman said, because hookups are often spontaneous and involve alcohol, making it less likely that students will protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy."The more that [students] talked to their peers about it, the more likely that they're going to be accepting of the risky behavior," Holman told Live Science.
Yet she still wasn’t sure how to describe herself when coming out to her parents.
“I told my dad and my stepmom that I was ‘mostly gay,’” says Stayman-London, now a writer living in L. “And I told my mom I was bisexual, and none of it felt like the right thing to say.”But Kuperberg says there's a fourth group of college students in her data set: those who self-identify as conservative or have strong religious backgrounds, who may face additional social pressures to identify as heterosexual or struggle with internalized homophobia.
Today, people looking to experiment with same-sex relationships have more options than he did, says Nitz, and more acceptance too.
And of course, the Boy Scouts have since reversed their position too."But this hooking-up culture is risky, so how can we help educate them so if they're part of the subculture, they can engage in it safely? , given as an exclusive to Marie Claire.com, shows that the labels “gay” and “straight” aren't always definitive.Despite the belief that casual sex in college is widespread, students are actually more talk than action when it comes to hooking up.