With more emerging adults having casual sex, researchers are exploring psychological consequences of such encounters. Garcia, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Chris Reiber, Sean G. Merriwether, Binghamton University, State University of New York February 2013, Vol 44, No.

2 Print version: page 60 "CE Corner" is a quarterly continuing education article offered by the APA Office of CE in Psychology.

These developmental shifts, research suggests, are some of the factors driving the increase in sexual "hookups," or uncommitted sexual encounters, part of a popular cultural change that has infiltrated the lives of emerging adults throughout the Western world.

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In one study, among participants who were asked to characterize the morning after a hookup, 82 percent of men and 57 percent of women were generally glad they had done it (Garcia & Reiber, 2008).

The gap between men and women is notable and demonstrates an average sex difference in affective reactions.

This is consistent with the view of emerging adulthood (typical college age) as a period of developmental transition (Arnett, 2000), exploring and internalizing sexuality and romantic intimacy, now including hookups (Stinson, 2010).

Although much of the current research has been done on college campuses, among younger adolescents, 70 percent of sexually active 12- to 21-year-olds reported having had uncommitted sex within the last year (Grello et al., 2003).

This feature will provide you with updates on critical developments in psychology, drawn from peer-reviewed literature and written by leading psychology experts.

"CE Corner" appears in the February 2012, April, July/August and November issues of the Monitor.The media suggest that uncommitted sex, or hookups, can be both physically and emotionally enjoyable and occur without "strings." The 2009 film "Hooking Up," for example, details the chaotic romantic and sexual lives of adolescent characters.Another film, "No Strings Attached," released in 2011, features two friends negotiating a sexual, yet nonromantic, component of their relationship.Popular pro-hookup same-sex representations have also emerged in television series like "Queer as Folk" and "The L-Word." When it comes to real life, most of today's young adults report some casual sexual experience.The most recent data suggest that between 60 percent and 80 percent of North American college students have had some sort of hook-up experience.Hook-up activities may include a wide range of sexual behaviors, such as kissing, oral sex and penetrative intercourse.