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Poll finds athletes, BEO concentrators hook up at higher rates

Students cite time commitment, proximity to peers, culture of concentration as factors in rates of intimacy

Data from a recent Herald poll indicated that 85 percent of business, entrepreneurship and organizations and economics concentrators and 91 percent of athletes have hooked up with someone during their time at Brown, compared to 76 percent of overall students.

The poll defined hooking up as “making out or more intimate encounters,” including those between students in relationships at Brown. Its results also revealed that physical and life science concentrators hook up less than the average Brown student.

A freshman athlete, who requested anonymity for fear of personal repercussions, said that he was not surprised that athletes hook up more frequently than other students. “They’re around each other so much,” he said, adding that athletes tend to hook up with other athletes.

For athletes, successful hookups are also a source of pride, he said.

“It’s always impressive after a night out with your guys,” he said. “In the morning you wake up and you’re like, ‘anyone get lucky last night?’”

Athletes cannot always attend parties as frequently as other students due to games and “dry season,” when athletes are barred by a coach or captains from substance use when their sport is in season. When athletes do go out, they try to make the night worth it, he added. “The few times they do go out, … they’re looking for someone to hook up with.”

While some athletes may claim they choose casual hookups over relationships because of time constraints, that is not an excuse, he said. A commitment to playing a varsity sport still leaves some time for a relationship, he added.

According to the poll, while more athletes are pursuing BEO and economics concentrations than any other fields of study, they still make up less than 20 percent of all BEO and economics concentrators.

Only 15 percent of BEO and economics concentrators have not hooked up with anyone at Brown because of the personality type that predominates among students in these concentrations, said Michael McDonnell-Diaz ’19, an economics concentrator.

Because “econ people are looking into going into business in the future,” he said, “they put themselves out there and are more confident in themselves.”

The competitive nature of BEO and economics concentrators also may make them more likely to hook up, McDonnell-Diaz added.

While the Herald poll reported that life and physical science concentrators hook up less frequently than other Brown students, hookups are not necessarily the norm, wrote Naomi Ninneman, interim director of BWell health promotion at health services, in an email to The Herald. Survey research done by her organization indicated that one third of Brown students have had no sexual partners in the last year.

“While it’s totally normal to be having sex, in casual or committed relationships, when you are in college, it’s also totally normal to not be having sex,” Ninneman wrote.

The busy academic schedules of physical and life science concentrators may account for the lower percentage of hookups in these concentrations, wrote Kevin Chen ’19 MD ’23, a PLME student, in an email to The Herald. “Physical (and) life science concentrators often have much more studying to do and thus spend much more time studying than ‘going out,’” Chen wrote.

But hookups are still relatively common among students in the physical and life sciences, Chen added. “Many science concentrators still hook up as a means of self-exploration and stress relief.”

Sheila Moran ’19, a neuroscience concentrator, agreed with Chen’s belief that large workloads have something to do with the lower rate of hookups among physical and life science students. But, as far as she knows, “there’s not really any scientific reason not to” hook up, Moran said.



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