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Another study found that 60 percent of college women who have a sexually transmitted disease were drunk at the time of infection.Some experts suggest that pack dating is partly an attempt to deal with the risk of disease: If sex partners are drawn from a small circle of friends, whose histories and habits are known to all members of the group, the risk of exposure is theoretically lower.Although group socializing has long been popular with young people, for evidence of its place in the Zeitgiest of this generation, look no further than the television show '' Friends,'' a big hit on campuses. The show is a testament to the propensity of young people to spend endless hours in coffee shops and one another's apartments, talking about practically nothing, while dancing around the possibility of romantic involvements.'' Intimacy is a big developmental task for this age group,'' said Kathy Reese, director of counseling and psychological services at Northwestern University, who was perplexed that her 24-year-old daughter, a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, dated so little in college. Bronaugh of Lehigh said that many students are cynical about the possibilities of lasting one-on-one relationships, based on family histories.'' A lot of these students come from families where parents have divorced, remarried, divorced again, and in their mind that's the norm -- that there will be a risk should they get involved seriously with someone,'' Dr. Still another explanation is that in the era of the ,000 public-university tuition and board, when many students hold down jobs and double their course load to impress corporate recruiters, they simply don't have time for relationships.'' Our students are very stressed getting through school,'' said Darlene Mininni, director of sexual health education at the University of California at Los Angeles. Levine, who is preparing a book-length study of undergraduate life.'' They're scared of relationships, of deep involvement, and that doesn't happen. One way you overcome the fear of a relationship is you get loaded first, and after getting loaded you go back to somebody's room and do it.'' Dr.In their years at college, most members of the group have had romantic flings with one another, but none have paired off exclusively for very long. '' I hear people say, ' I've got to keep my G. '' Students are really concerned about that and working like crazy. '' We go out to dinner and I'm struck -- pretty much everyone has hooked up with someone else in the group,'' said one of the men, who asked not to be identified.
The packs give students a sense of self-assurance and identity,but keep them from deeper, more committed relationships -- which may be just the point.But the most popular term, in use almost everywhere for student relationships circa 1997, is ''hooking up.'' Depending on the context, a hook-up can mean anything from 20 minutes of strenuous kissing to spending the night together fully clothed to sexual intercourse.'' It's so easy to go to a party on a Friday night and get a little loose after drinking and find someone else who's a little loose and you casually hook up,'' said Patrick Saunders, a senior at Rice University in Houston.He described a friend who'd hooked up with the same woman once a week for five weeks, ''but he won't call her.'' Abigail Butler, who graduated from Vassar last96/ year, said: '' People who are interested in one another subtly arrange to be in the same place -- the favorite campus pub, a friend's room -- at the end of the night.None of this is to say that undergraduates of the mid-90's are chaste.To a generation grown jaded about warnings of AIDS and date rape, casual sex seems to be near an all-time high.