Pluralistic ignorance (PI) has been demonstrated to play a role in hook-up behavior. PI is characterized by individuals behaving in accordance with (generally false) beliefs attributed to the group, regardless of their own beliefs (Fields and Schuman, 1976; Miller and McFarland, 1987). Lambert, Kahn, and Apple (2003) found that young adults routinely believe that others are more comfortable with various sexual behaviors than they, themselves, are. This leads them to behave as if they were more comfortable than they actually are, and engage in behaviors with which they are not actually comfortable.

Engaging in uncommitted sex may be one form of female-female competition. If this is so, we would predict that women attribute to other women comfort levels that are higher than they, themselves, feel; this would generate PI that would heighten women’s awareness of potential threats from female competitors and may motivate women to engage in competition.

Men’s higher comfort levels with these behaviors, paired with their overestimations of women’s comfort levels with these behaviors, may have unfortunate consequences including men inadvertently pressuring women, and women outwardly succumbing to the pressure in spite of their inward aversion to such behaviors in the context of hooking up.

And neither have you disproved that women enjoy hooking up. If anything, you’ve gone out and done the opposite. Why didn’t you read your own evidence before submitting it? =/

133Isabel October 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm
*Proved. Not disproved, sorry. =]

134Susan Walsh October 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm
That study is a good one, but as far as I can see it doesn’t address the question of frequency. It does say that 81% of respondents have engaged in some form of sexual behavior at least once while hooking up. What I find particularly interesting about Wade’s study is not that many students have hooked up, but how rarely most do it.

135VJ October 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm
Once again, something that repeated academic studies have shown, as per ‘redneck’s comment & cite above: