19.5.3. Bags and lists are the most efficient inverse collections

There is a particular case, however, in which bags, and also lists, are much more performant than sets. For a collection with inverse="true", the standard bidirectional one-to-many relationship idiom, for example, we can add elements to a bag or list without needing to initialize (fetch) the bag elements. This is because, unlike a set, Collection.add() or Collection.addAll() must always return true for a bag or List. This can make the following common code much faster:
Parent p = (Parent) sess.load(Parent.class, id);
Child c = new Child();
c.setParent(p);
p.getChildren().add(c);  //no need to fetch the collection!
sess.flush();