For parents who think college and university is full of wild parties, all-nighters and hooking up — they can officially scratch that last one off the list.

A new study by The Miriam Hospital's Centres for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine suggests that college students are not actually hooking up as often as the outside world may think.

Romantic relationships were more common sexual behaviour for first-year female students, according to the study. In fact, romantic sex with a partner was twice as common as "hookup sex."

The Miriam Hospital survey interviewed 483 first-year college female students about their sexual behaviour with hookups and relationships during that first year and the summer after. Before starting school, one-third of surveyed women had one hookup and 60 per cent added they had sex at least once in a romantic relationship.

"These findings support what we know about the first year of college: That it is a time when we see increases in sexual behavior and substance use, as young people explore who they want to be and how they want to interact with others – especially romantic partners," said Robyn L. Fielder, M.S., a research intern at The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine in a press release.

"Hooking up" can mean one thing for one person and something completely different for another. A 2011 study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that even though 94 per cent of participating students had heard the term "hooking up," no one was sure what it actually meant. The study found that hookups were defined as anything from sex to just making out.

And although this kind of casual sexual relationship has been occurring between young people for at least 20 years, it wasn't always labelled in this way. A study by the University of Ottawa found that today young people are more likely to have sex but call it "booty calls," "friends with benefits" and "one-night stands."

What's your definition of hooking up? Let us know in the comments below:

LOOK: See Hollywood's modern casual sex films

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  • No Strings Attached

    The first of 2011's casual sex flicks, No Strings Attached starred Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as old friends who decide to start having sex. Will they get together in the end? We can't even guess.

  • Friends With Benefits

    Next up on the f**k buddy train were Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake in Friends With Benefits. Was it a coincidence that the two stars of Black Swan would end up making basically the same movie? Perhaps, but if they were handing out Oscars in this genre, Kunis would be the one holding the statue.

  • Knocked Up

    Big burly guy meets leggy blond, and guess what? She wants to have sex with him, just like it would happen in real life. Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogan turn a one-night stand into so much more -- and we can't help but admit we sort of love it.

  • What's Your Number?

    A woman who's willing to admit she's slept with more than four men? We can get behind that kind of plotline, particularly when it involves Anna Faris and her ridiculous antics.

  • Love and Other Drugs

    This movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway supposedly has more to it than some romps in the sack, but you don't get that from this trailer. So we'll just pretend that these two good-looking actors spend most of their time onscreen in bed, without any attachments at all.

  • The People I've Slept With

    The lesser-known The People I've Slept With is a bit grungier than the more mainstream Knocked Up, but it follows a similar premise -- have casual sex, get pregnant, feel badly about your sex life. It does, however, seem to follow a more nuanced path.

  • Bridesmaids

    Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids may ostensibly be about the nutty antics of getting married and the women that make it even crazier, but one of the best storylines has to be around Wiig and Jon Hamm's terrible casual sex relationship.

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