Previous research suggests that an increasing age at first marriage has contributed to the prevalence of sexual hookups on U.S. college campuses. In this article, we use life course and marital horizons theories to analyze the influence of ideal age at first marriage on hooking up among unmarried heterosexual college students. Analyses of the Online College Social Life Survey (N = 17,981) show a positive association between ideal age at first marriage and hookups for most students, but not for students whose mothers have no post‐secondary education, Asian men, Asian women, and Latina women. Variation in ideal marriage timing does not account for gender, racial/ethnic, and class gaps in hookup participation. Results are discussed with reference to the role of sexuality in processes of stratification throughout young adulthood.
Sociological Inquiry – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2017
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