Mating Patterns Between Heterosexual Students on College Campuses - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1241 Words
Date:  2022-09-23


College campuses offer students with unique environments that enable competing courtship styles for students to choose between. Students in colleges participate in exclusive romantic relationships, short-term sexual relationships or long-term sexual relationships. In recent years, students are more inclined to engage in the short terms mating relationships and less on long-term serious sexual relationships (Casale, 2010). Young adults in colleges are choosing casual sex over long-term and committed relationships due to the unique environment they are exposed to in the college social environment. From the mid-1960, a significant shift was witnessed in college mating patterns as most students started to delay marriages and to have a more liberal approach to sex which has increased the existence of casual sex amongst college students. As a result, the age of first sexual encounter for men is averagely 27 years whereas for women is at 25 (Casale, 2010). Besides, the legalization and introduction of birth control methods have allowed more women to engage in short-term mating relationships in colleges. The reasons behind the decline of long-term mating behavior are the decrease in the average age of first intercourse and increased college enrollment. This paper will assess the long-term and short-term mating behaviors of heterosexual college students using the sexual strategies theory to validate the theory ability to explain mating patterns amongst students in colleges.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The sexual strategies theory develops strategies that people use to achieve their sexual goals. Students have developed a variety of sexual mating habits that range from short-term to the long-term mating approaches to sex (Schmitt et al., 2001). Sexual relationships take different approaches to adapt to the unique environment that people find themselves in. In colleges, the sexual strategies theory can be used to explain the sexual behavior amongst students. More students today are inclined to engaging in short-term sexual relationships which are also called casual relationships due to the delayed marriages and the early sexual activity contact amongst students. The availability of potentially sexually accessible mating partners in colleges explains the high short-term sexual behavior in colleges (Garcia et al., 2012). Due to the high number of enrollments in colleges male and female students can get casual sexual mates which have declined the tendency for long-term mating patterns. A psychological shift also explains the men's behavior and short-term mating patterns as men get bored in relationships very first and to satisfy their psychological needs adapt to short-term mating. The sexual strategies theory also points out that women in colleges engage in short-term mating patterns with the aim of trading to a more fulfilling mating relationship. The sexual strategies theory can be used to explain the mating habits of students in colleges using the short term mating which is the primary trend in colleges. Romance and sex have over the years been an essential aspect of many college students' lives. Colleges and varsity institutions can actually be observed as bazaars for romantic and sexual partners. Learning institutions tend to attract students with similar backgrounds, tastes, and different aptitudes and thus expedite the search for partners among them. The sex ratios in campuses possess great influences in the way heterosexual students view their relationships, dating behaviors, partners' history, and their sexual behaviors as well. It is on these contexts that the sexual strategies theory is founded. According to Buss and Schmitt (1993), the sexual strategy theory is centered on sexual selection theory, which proposes that human beings have progressed through various strategies, both short and long-term, and which differ with regard to culture, social framework, parental guidance, and personal mate value.

As Buss and Schmitt (1993) denote, sexual strategies theory comprise two hatchets. One is the temporal duration and the second is biological sex. In its very preliminary design, the sexual strategy theory concentrates on the differences between males and females in mating predilections and approaches. It observes the minimum maternal outlay to produce a child. Women have to carry the baby for nine months after being impregnated unlike men who only need to create the same baby through taking part in sexual intercourse. The authors exemplify that differences in parental investment tend to have significant impacts on sexual strategies. For females, the risks linked with making a deprived mating choice is high. In this context, a woman might be impregnated by a male who will later neglect her and the baby, or who may have poor-quality genetic factors. For this, the mating decision for women is much more valuable. As opposed to women, the urgency to focus on chasing for a "better" mating partner is not as critical. Different from women, men biologically, have no child developing inside them and have a lesser cultural expectation to be responsible for the woman and the baby. Compared to women, men, through various empirical studies, have expressed a desire for more sex partners. Consequently, men are more willing to give in to sexual intercourse as well as less likely to oblige to emotional involvement with their sex mates. Men also ten to lower their standards in short-term mating, which denotes a willingness to indulge in sexual intercourse with a significant number of women. Nevertheless, in circumstances where both the male and female are engrossed in a long-term sexual relationship, they incline to invest collectively, for their involvement and children substantially. In such scenarios, the sexual strategies theory insinuates that the two sexes will tend to be exceedingly selective when trailing a lasting mating strategy. To a greater extent, these theoretical prediction is well supported by the facts that many people, when opting for long-lasting partners, they tend to consider people who are kind, honest, dependable, understanding, loyal, healthy, intelligent and adaptable.


In conclusion, the sexual strategies theory short-term mating ideology can be used to study the short-term mating patterns amongst heterosexual students in colleges. Brief uncommitted sex culture is the leading sexual behavior amongst students today from the mid-1960s due to the postponement of marriage and a high number of enrollments which makes short-term mating viable amongst students. Although the sexual strategies theory has been more attributive in explaining the sex variances in human sexuality, it has failed to address other factors such as adolescent sexual behaviors, instigated by such detriments such as poverty, peer pressure, unguided access to the internet and pornographic and drug abuse among others. Consequently, navigating sexuality is a critical developmental adolescence element that endures even into young adulthood. It is in this juncture that the youngsters explore the emotional and physical intimacy as they progress to maturity through their high and middle school years. With these regards, the sexual strategies theory cannot passably expound mating patterns between heterosexual students on college campuses, especially given the contemporary shifting environmental contexts and conditions such as access to reproductive and contraception technologies amongst the college students, which can allow them to control their reproduction without any deliberation.


Buss, D. M., & Schmitt, D. P. (1993). Sexual strategies theory: An evolutionary perspective onhuman mating. Psychological Review, 100, 204-232.

Casale, S. N. (2010). Entering the Campus Courtship Culture(Doctoral dissertation, Duke University Durham).

Garcia, J. R., Reiber, C., Massey, S. G., & Merriwether, A. M. (2012). Sexual hookup culture: a review. Review of General Psychology, 16(2), 161.

Jackson, J. J., & Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2007). The structure and measurement of human mating strategies: Toward a multidimensional model of sociosexuality. Evolution and Human Behavior, 28(6), 382-391.

Schmitt, D. P., Shackelford, T. K., & Buss, D. M. (2001). Are men more'oriented'toward short-term mating than women? A critical review of theory and research. Psychology, Evolution & Gender, 3(3), 211-239.

Cite this page

Mating Patterns Between Heterosexual Students on College Campuses - Essay Sample. (2022, Sep 23). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism