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That definition was used to ask students about their own participation in hookup culture.
Slightly more than half of the students, 54 percent, said they had hooked up with someone else during the school year.
Sex outside of relationships is not new, Holman said, but people are increasingly willing to talk about it over the last few decades.
She said she next plans to look at how parents and college staff can talk to students about hookup culture to ensure that safety comes first."You're not trying to tell students what to do," Holman said.
Men were more likely than women to say they had a hookup, at 63 percent of men versus 45 percent of women.
[10 Facts about the Teen Brain]But students' perceptions of hookups were out of line with the reality.
Sam Nitz knew he was gay in 6th grade, and even though he only dated and hooked up with men during his time at University of Wisconsin-Madison, he waited until his senior year to come out publicly.
“Hooking up is one way some young people try to get through the long period between their sexual coming of age and their achievement of educational, professional, and relationship success,” says Stephanie Coontz, head of the Council on Contemporary Families, which has published Kuperberg’s previous research on hookups.
"And the more likely that you're going to engage in it."Hooking up Holman and her colleagues queried 274 college students on how they defined the term "hookup" and how often they themselves hooked up.