HARRISONBURG, Va., April 7 (UPI) -- Given a choice, men prefer "hooking up" to dating, while women prefer dating with the prospect of a relationship to causal sex, U.S. researchers said.
Carolyn Bradshaw of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and colleagues exposed 150 female and 71 male college students to a variety of situations involving dating -- when the man asks a women on a date and the woman accepts or rejects any sexual overtures and there is the prospect of a relationship -- and/or hooking up -- a casual sexual encounter between strangers or brief acquaintances.
The study, published in the journal Sex Roles, found women seemed to want a relationship more than men, but women fear, whether dating or in hooking up, they will become emotionally attached to a partner not interested in them.
The study also found men seemed to value independence and they feared that even in hooking up, a woman might want to have a relationship.
In addition the study found, 41 percent of the women strongly preferred traditional dating to hooking up, 20 percent of the men strongly preferred dating, while 2 percent of the women strongly preferred hooking up and 17 percent of the men strongly preferred hooking up.