As colleges across the nation celebrate homecoming weekends this time of the year, football, festivities and fun unite students, staff, fans and alumni. Whether boozing or losing, tailgating and touchdowns have the ability to – ahem – bring individuals together.
“Football season is a likely time for more hookups because students are just arriving back at school and everything is fresh and new,” says Dr. Michelle Callahan, psychologist and Durex Sexpert, who refers to the term ‘hooking up’ as sexual contact or intercourse.
Dr. Callahan, who believes college hookups are on the rise, suggests using condoms to prevent STDs and pregnancy, and notes students today are more likely to use contraceptives than they were in years past.
“Education and access/availability has made it easier and more of a priority for students to protect their sexual health,” she says.
The Ivy Leaguers Like It on Top
According to the 7th annual Trojan Sexual Health Report card – which ranks 141 schools, based on the level of resources and information obtainable to students on campus – Brown University, Columbia University, Princeton University and Yale University all placed in the top six.
The report card’s data is collected via schools’ student health care center representatives, the centers themselves and from students, in 11 categories including: contraceptive accessibility, HIV and STI testing, condom availability and quality of sexual health information/resources.
Mr. (and Ms.) Irrelevant?
Although the last NFL draft pick is deemed Mr. Irrelevant, the matter of sexual health is anything but. About half of the estimated 19 million STDs in the United States each year are among people 25 and younger, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Schools at the tail end of Trojan’s rankings include Chicago State University, Troy State University-Main Campus, Providence College, Brigham Young University and The U.S. Air Force Academy.
How Do You Shack Up/Stack Up?
Of course, not everyone is hooking up during homecoming – or otherwise. LifeStyle’s Sexual Satisfaction Survey – which instantly compares respondents’ data to others’ who have taken the questionnaire – allows participants to see how they measure up to the nation and their friends.
Happy (Ever After) Endings
Even when ‘hooking up’ doesn’t involve sex, the result of meeting someone new during homecoming can be permanent – and for the better.
“Whether a random hookup turns into a full blown relationship depends on both people's intentions and openness to having a serious relationship,” says Dr. Callahan.
At the start of Homecoming Week in 2009, Holly Hixson walked into a Gainesville, Fla. bar. This isn’t the start of a terrible joke.
Actually, the University of Florida senior was having difficulty gaining access to said pub. She was trying to attend a crush party thrown by her sorority, and because of a venue policy, she was not being admitted. As President – the leading officer of her house – she had no problem letting the bouncers know this was unacceptable.
“The first time we really met was her yelling at me,” said Andrew Guglielmo, who managed the bar. He had been pulled away from paperwork to resolve the issue. “I had already decided to let her in, but I let her vent anyway.”
Fatefully, Holly’s sorority and Andrew’s fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, were paired up for homecoming festivities, so the two met again a couple of days later – both serving as designated drivers for a foam party. It was then they were able to chat and get to know each other (without anyone raising their voices).
A week later, Andrew asked her on a date.
In 2011, they became engaged, and on April 14 this year, the two wed at a hotel on the Walt Disney World property.
“I can't say that I know anyone that has had the same experience as us. I kind of like that fact because it is special,” said Andrew. “I know there are a lot of people that hook up, and once [homecoming] week is done, never talk again. That's fine, but I know Holly and I didn't fit that mold.”
Hilary Sheinbaum | Elite.