By: Natasha Archary
I’m tired of the gender stereotypes around relationships and sex. Aren’t you? Dated research and statistics on how casual sex affects each gender differently. The sexist narrative that men can detach emotions from sex, whilst women cling to the hope that a steamy night with a stranger can end in a relationship.
I recently came across a collection of conversations on social media that sparked my interest in this debate. Women shared some of the calculated moves they made on their side “baes”, leaving the men wide-eyed and stunned at the deception. Which led me to conclude that perhaps women have been read incorrectly for years. That maybe women could actually switch off the emotions just as easily as men could.
Imagine my delight when I came across a study that proved this theory. In the study published in Sociological Perspectives, the reasons behind casual hookups for men and women were surprisingly similar. Researchers at Oakland University found that the top two reasons for casual sex were:
- “Because I was in the mood.”
- “I was looking to have some fun.”
The responses were the same for men and women. Both genders admitted to being stimulated by alcohol during these occurences and both genders agreed they were not ready to be “tied down”. Not many men or women wanted to be exclusive with the person they had hooked up with, almost neck and neck, 34% percent of women and 27% of men just wanted a casual fling.
The age group of the study sample was between the ages of 25 to 35 years old, and the primary reason behind why men and women choose to have hookups was identical: Sexual pleasure. Almost 90% of the participants agreed to wanting a fun experience and/or exploration.
Women were more likely to send raunchy texts and sexy pictures, 85% to be precise. Men, it seems, like to receive rather than send naughty texts, a reserved 36% of men have shared a dirty picture. (The study doesn’t specify whether these were for hetero or same sex couples.)
These results shed some light on modern day “interactions” (because heaven forbid we call them relationships) and the perception that men regret turning down a one night and women regret the ones they have had. Turning the tide on traditional relationships and tearing down gender barriers with young women owning their sexuality.
Is it any different in South Africa? Are you kidding? With more online hookup apps available than ever before, South Africans are reported to have had two or more sexual partners in the past year. Furthermore, 45% of women and 55% of men, between the ages of 15 – 49 years reported having sex with someone who was neither their spouse or live-in partner.
Gone are the days when women were more likely to “catch feelings” and men were out there playing the field. Is there a difference in the hookup culture for men and women? If these stats are anything to go by, then no, not really.
So, if you’re going to have a hookup, just remember that the likelihood of there being a remote chance for something more to it are slim.