Concord Prof. Examines “Hooking Up” Culture

For Immediate Release: 
Apr 08 2009

CONTACT: Anita Moody, Director, Public Relations/Marketing


Concord Prof. Examines “Hooking Up” Culture

Athens, W.Va. –Dr. Tracy Luff, assistant professor of sociology at Concord University, presented the results of recent research at the 79th annual meeting of the Eastern Sociology Society at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Md. The event was held Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22.

In her paper, “Hooking Up, Dating, and Everything In-Between: An Analysis of Multiple Patterns of Intimate Interaction,” Luff collaborated with two professors from Roanoke College—Dr. Kristi Hoffman and Dr. Marit Berntson—to examine and differentiate the varied ways college students view intimate relationships and traditional dating. In their research, they surveyed 395 students from the Concord and Roanoke campuses.

“In the media we have heard a lot about ‘hooking up’ and how rampant it is, but the research that we conducted suggests otherwise,” Luff said.

So how rampant is it? According to Luff’s research, not very; in fact it was just the opposite. People who “hooked up” were in the minority while around 60 percent of the students surveyed said they had been in a committed relationship while at college. This included both the Concord and the Roanoke campus.

“This was shocking to me!” Luff said. “What I found is that people think that these casual intimate encounters happen all the time, when in reality it really doesn’t. This is what we call, pluralistic ignorance—when people perceive something to be more common than it actually is.”

Luff recognized the contributions of Concord alumna Jade Perez of Hanover who worked as her research assistant during the developmental phase of this project. She is currently working on her master’s degree in sociology at George Mason University. Her thesis examines the impact of Facebook on the “hooking up” culture, and she presented preliminary findings from her research at this conference.

Five students from the Sociology Club accompanied Dr. Luff to the conference, including: Ruth Clausen of Lindside; Richard Blevins of Welch; Jerry Fowler of Athens; Rhiannon Violette of Blacksburg, Va.; and Jessica Willis of Bluefield.


NOTE TO EDITORS: Andrea Meador, a sophomore majoring in public relations wrote this news release. Her hometown is Ghent.