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New site helps students arrange casual sex 'hookups'

College is a place where casual sex and arranged "hookups" are the primary objective — or at least that's the impression someone would get after browsing through a new site called eduHookups.

The site is a limited and exclusive network of college students — who can only become members after proving that they belong to one of the eligible schools — and it seems to nurture an atmosphere filled with casual sex with no strings attached.

While a bit messy-looking at first glance, the eduHookups website will easily let you sift through listings based on whether they are "casual," "serious," or "platonic." You can also filter listings based on the gender of the person posting it (as well as the gender the listing is meant to attract).

Students from select colleges — Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago, though others will soon be granted access — are able to register for the site by using their official school email addresses as proof that they are eligible to become members of eduHookups.

After signing up, students are can post listings to search for their ideal casual hookups — note that there is a section dedicated for those looking for something "platonic" or "serious" as well — and participate in a member-only live chat.

A brief look through the current listings — which can be viewed by unregistered members — reveals that the eduHookups differs little from the personals section of CraigsList. There are listings which are sad, serious, raunchy (we won't reproduce those here!), and everything between — with the occasional bit of satire thrown in:

After sifting through some of these listings, TODAY's Matt Lauer talked about eduHookups with Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist, and Jeff Gardere, a psychologist, in an attempt to better understand how a site like that could affect young adults.

Ludwig plainly explained that "we don't know the short-term or long-term effects of a site like this."

Instead she focused on the fact that college students are seeking out a website in order to have sex in the first place. "It's not that hard to lose your virginity," she remarks. She doesn't think "we need a site like this to help college students have sex with each other."

What's worse than the fact that students are using a website like this, as Gardere explained, is that "when kids are in college, their identities are still forming. They don't necessarily know what they want." These kids might seek out casual sex because they believe that's what they want and need, but the reality might be entirely different.

He added on that he suspects that many will log on to eduHookups not just for the sex, but instead to see if they "can find a relationship or whatever is missing in their lives."

So aside from these worries and cautions, what's the general reaction to this site?

Based on the postings in eduHookups' ShoutBox section — a spot where anyone can anonymously post quick 150 character messages — it's a mix between moral outrage and concerns regarding the membership base of the site:

It remains to be seen just how eduHookups and its 800 or so members will develop. This project could turn into the CraigsList of colleges — or it could fizzle out and become little more than a pile of desperate and forgotten late-night personals.

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Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook