You are on page 1of 9

Economic Statistics

Descriptive Statistics
Project 1: September 9, 2012

Greek Life and Hooking Up

Curry Clements, Yakov Kagan, Kellen Sanger

Introduction Vanderbilt Universitys Greek life undoubtedly plays a dominating role in the social scene on campus. More than 40% of all students at Vanderbilt participate in Greek life and the campus thrives on various social events that the fraternities and sororities hold. Parties, sorority/fraternity swaps, and other social events oftentimes involve casual hook ups or sexual encounters. Our project takes a closer look at how involvement in Greek life at school impacts the amount of hook ups a student has during their time at Vanderbilt. This project is of interest to students deciding on whether or not to join a sorority or fraternity, students already involved in Greek life, and also to those who are not involved. Statistics drawn from this project reveal compelling information regarding the social culture of our school. Does being in a sorority or fraternity increase the amount of people you hook up with? Our hypothesis is that due to increased social events associated with joining a fraternity or sorority at school, students who participate in Greek life will hook up with more people than those that do not participate. Social events held or facilitated by Greek life oftentimes involve alcohol, dancing, and socializing. We believe that these factors play a large role in hooking up. An increased participation in events traditionally leading to hooking up will lead to an increase in hooking up. Students in fraternities or sororities participate in these in higher quantities and will therefore hook up with more people. Our project is designed to test these beliefs. Hooking up culture in college is a widely researched topic and literature relevant to our topic exists. Our project differs in that we are looking specifically into Greek lifes correlation with hooking as oppose to various other topics. Studies have found that hooking up greatly increases as students participate in collegiate life (Owen, Rhoades, Stanley, & Fincham). Alcohol

and events that include dancing and socializing in college also lead to more hookups. While casual sexual interaction occurs in many different social and developmental contexts, the casual sexual practice of the hookup is especially characteristic of late adolescent western college students (Duck, Steve & Foley). Other literature supports the concept of alcohol leading to hooking up as college students waffle between strategically using alcohol in order to attain social goals and depending on alcohol to feel comfortable enough to engage in casual sex (Zalewski). Our project is fundamentally different than this information because we are specifically exploring Greek life and hooking up. By looking into how a fraternity or sorority impacts hooking up, we are researching a related yet different variable. Data Collection The target population of our study is the entire student body of Vanderbilt. The sample that we chose to use consists of our Econ 150 class. We collected our data by emailing a survey to the members of our economics class and asked them a series of questions related to our subject. We did the survey through and assured student their responses were anonymous in order to insure honesty on a sensitive subject. The response rate of our survey was 58.9% as 33 of the 57 students enrolled in the class completed our survey. We concluded that this response rate was high enough to lead to valid statistics worthy of analysis as the responses were highly balanced and consistent with the Vanderbilt population. Of the 33 responses, 48.5% of the students are non-Greek while 51.5% are Greek. These are highly representative of the student body as a whole. While we recognize some bias regarding nonresponse error and the size of our sample, an online survey was the most efficient means of collecting this data given the budget and time allowed for the project.

Interpretation and Conclusion After analyzing the data, we found our hypothesis to be correct. We discovered a positive correlation between Greek life participation and the amount of people someone in Greek life has hooked up with. For students that joined a social fraternity or sorority, 70.6% hooked up with 6 or more people since arriving. The same is true for only 25% of the non-Greeks. 50% of the nonGreek students fell into the 0-2 hookups range with 0% of the students falling into the upper range of 16-20 hookups. The Greek student sample size differed greatly as only 11.8% Greek students had 0-2 hookups while 23.5% had 16-20 hookups. We concluded that all of the factors associated with Greek Life at Vanderbilt, such as a more intense social scene and the consumption of alcohol, lead to more hookups.

Greek vs. Non-Greek

NonGreek, 16, Greek, 17, 52% 48%

Greek Non-Greek

An initial statistic relevant to our project is the amount of Greek vs. non-Greek students that we sampled. In the above pie chart, 52% are Greek while 48% are non-Greek. This is consistent with school norms and gives legitimacy to our results. This information also shows the dominate nature of Greek life at Vanderbilt. The fact that students place such high value in joining a social fraternity or sorority indicates that one, there may be a reason to join Greek life (more hookups), and two, students will likely desire hookups of the same social standing.

Relationship between Greek Affiliation and Hook-ups

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 (0-2) (3-5) (6-10) (11-15) (16-20)


Greek Non-Greek

Amount of Hook-ups
The relative frequency histogram derived from our data reveals that our hypothesis is correct. When observing the graph, it is important to consider that the frequencies listed under the (16-20) range are not cumulative and do not contain the frequencies of (0-15). Results are still abundantly clear as the non-Greek sample represents positively skewed, unimodal histogram. The Greek sample data appears as expected, not exactly in a bell-shaped curve but slowly increasing to the median range of (6-10) and then decreasing into the higher, more rarely obtained ranges. A more clear representation of our hypothesis can be seen in the cumulative frequencies diagram.

Cumilative Frequencies of Hookups

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 (0-2) (0-5) (0-10) (0-15) (0-20) Amount of Hookups


Greek non-Greek

Comparing the frequency distributions of the two sets of data indicate differences between Greek and non-Greek as the Greek bars show higher frequency in all ranges. This graph indicates that the total hookups of Greeks and non-Greeks are positively skewed but that Greek hookups occur at higher frequencies in the greater amounts range. This is predictable due to the increased rarity of large number of hookups. Nonetheless, the Greek sample obtains these rarities more often than their non-Greek counterparts. The graph shows that Greeks hookup with equal or more people than non-Greeks at every range. This is consistent with our hypothesis that Greeks hook up with more people than non-Greeks due to various social reasons. Apart from these visual representations of our survey, descriptive statistics also indicate trends that support the validity of our research and our hypothesis. Due to the fact that our data was reported and recorded in sets of range value for amount of hookups (i.e. (6-10)) we calculated descriptive statistics for both low end of the range (i.e. 6) and the high end of the range (i.e. 10) for each statistic. Therefore, the statistics represent a range or category of values.

The mean of hookups for Greek students is 7.7-11.1 and the mean of hookups for nonGreek students is 2.9-5.4. The larger average value of Greek student hookups at Vanderbilt supports our hypothesis. Also, the median of hookups for non-Greek students is 1.5-3.5 and the mode is 0-2 while the median and mode amount of hookups for Green students is 6-10. These represent lower occurrences of hookups amongst non-Greek students as compared with Greeks. The quartiles observed are consistent with these numbers as the bottom, median, and upper quartiles of the Greek amount of hookups are higher than the bottom, median, and upper quartiles of the non-Greek amount of hookups. The variance of the Greek vs. non-Greek data indicates that the Greek data displays more variation than the non-Greek data. The standard deviation of the Greek data is therefore slightly higher at 5.6-6.3 than the non-Greek data at 3.8-5.3. This means that the Greek data varies more from the mean than non-Greek data does but both ranges were relatively predictable. The difference in variation between Greek and non-Greek data can be explained by a more consistently low or average range of hookups in the non-Greek sample versus a scattered display of high numbers of hookups in the Greek sample. The relative frequency histogram perfectly indicates this trend and proves that scattered extreme maximums (16-20 hookups) are more likely to occur in Greeks while more consistent, low number are recorded by the non-Greeks. In conclusion, our hypothesis that Greek students hook up with more people than nonGreek students is confirmed. The frequencies, means, medians, modes, and trends of our surveyed data validate our hypothesis and answer our proposed question. However, it is important to note that various errors due to time and budget constraints may have resulted in some bias. Increased sample size, a more specific and defined questionnaire, a more thorough means of collecting data, removal of nonresponse bias, and a perfectly representative sample set

would lead to a more precise conclusion. An exploration of the specific variables that cause and lead to the hookups we studied would also help provide more in-depth conclusions on how and why the hook ups are occurring. This type of exploration would allow us to eliminate and evaluate separate variable and focus more on Greek life specifically. These many improvements would definitely lead to a more convincing conclusion.

Works Cited Duck, Steve, and Megan K. Foley. Relating Difficulty: The Processes of Constructing and Managing Difficult Interaction. Ed. D. Charles Kirkpatrick. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006. Google Books. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. <>.

Owen, Rhoades, Stanley, and Fincham. Hooking Up Among College Students: Demographic and Psychosocial Correlates. Volume 39, Number 3 Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2010. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. <>.

Zalewski, Suzanne. "Partying 101." Getting Messed Up to Hook Up: The Role of Alcohol in College Students' 'Casual' Sexual Encounters. Psychology Today, 16 June 2011. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. <>. Additional Resources: