“Just Talking” is an emerging phenomenon used to maintain casual, non-committal relationships; it is intentionally ambiguous and lacks definitional consensus. Analysis of the “Just Talking” terminology allows for further understanding of the role of sex and emotions within college hook-up and dating culture. Qualitative data from same and mixed-gender focus groups (n=37) and quantitative survey results from open-ended questions on the “Hook-Up Study” (n=335) have shed light on the purpose behind the “Just Talking” stage, suggesting that its purpose is often related to “keeping options open” more so than other coded categorizations. The role that emotions and sex play in the overall purpose of “Just Talking” as well as the gender differences in responses are important elements of the phenomenon. Differing perspectives on the purpose of “Just Talking” may be reflective of the differing perspectives that exist on the connections between sex, emotions, and the phenomenon itself.
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Radetsky, Liat; Holen, Jillian; Agnello, Adrianna; Garrett, Estelle; Smith, Claudia; and Wasserman, Leora, "The Purpose of "Just Talking": The Role of Sex and Emotions" (2023). Research Days Posters 2023. 79.