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The term "hooking up", meaning an instance of casual sex, differs from hook up culture.

A hook up is an act that involves sexual intimacy, claimed by many to be a sexually liberating act.

Another study was based on a survey of over 18,000 college students from ages 18–25.

This survey asked questions like how many sexual partners they have had since graduating high school, how many sexual partners per year, and how many times per week they have sex.

These developmental shifts, Garcia's systematic review of the literature suggests, is one of the factors driving the increase in hookups, a "popular cultural change that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Western world." The review shows that hookups are becoming increasingly normative among young adults and adolescents in North America and have taken root throughout the Western world, which represents a notable shift in how casual sex is perceived and accepted.

It was reported that a little over 59% of college students have sex once per week.

A little over 31% reported to having at least one sexual partner per year, and about 50% said that they have had more than two sexual partners since the age of 18.

Technological advancements such as the automobile and movie theaters brought young couples out of their parents' homes, and out from their watchful eyes, giving them more freedom and more opportunity to engage in casual sexual activity.

People are marrying and beginning families at ages later than previous generations while becoming sexually mature at an earlier age.

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