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As a result, Garcia and other scholars argue that young adults are able to reproduce physiologically but are not psychologically or socially ready to 'settle down' and begin a family.
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 is hard to make sense of the hookup culture with understanding why it exists in society and why individuals participate in the culture.
Hooking up leads to instant gratification for sex, pleasure, a feeling of being loved, an emotional feeling of being adhered to, the thought of the potential of the hook up developing into something less casual, and many more reasons.
For some adolescents, sex and relationships have been decoupled.
Some worry that if society disconnects intimate sexual behavior and emotional connection, teens who hook up will have trouble forming stable intimate relationships later in life.
Jennifer Aubrey and Siobhan Smith have found that between genders there are minimal differences when it comes to behavior and frequency in hookups; on the other hand, women still face a harder social stigma, because their social status decreases with increased sexual partners, while men's social status increases with more sexual partners. Currier, she explores how the phrase "hooking up" conveys different meanings depending on whether a man or woman uses it when describing their sexual encounters; furthermore, Currier notes that men use "hooking up" to emphasize their masculinity and heterosexuality whereas women use the phrase to preserve their femininity by being strategically ambiguous in order to downplay their sexual desires.