College students’ “hookups” have been the subject of a great deal of research in recent years. Motivations for hooking up have been linked to differences in well-being after the hookup, but studies detailing college students’ motivations for engaging in hookups focus on single motivations. Using data from the 2010 Duke Hookup Survey, we consider how motivations for hooking up cluster to produce different classes, or profiles, of students who hook up, and how these classes are related to hookup regret.
Four distinct classes of motivations emerged from our latent class analysis: Utilitarians (50 percent), Uninhibiteds (27 percent), Uninspireds (19 percent), and Unreflectives (4 percent). We find a number of differences in hookup motivation classes across social characteristics, including gender, year in school, race-ethnicity, self-esteem, and attitudes about sexual behavior outside committed relationships. In addition, Uninspireds regret hookups more frequently than members of the other classes, and Uninhibiteds report regret less frequently than Utilitarians and Uninspireds. These findings reveal the complexity of motivations for hooking up and the link between motivations and regret.