Over the course of a year The New York Times interviewed 60 women at the University of Pennsylvania to delve into what is happening sexually on college campuses these days.
“It is by now pretty well understood that traditional dating in college has mostly gone the way of the landline, replaced by “hooking up” — an ambiguous term that can signify anything from making out to oral sex to intercourse — without the emotional entanglement of a relationship.
“Until recently, those who studied the rise of hookup culture had generally assumed that it was driven by men, and that women were reluctant participants, more interested in romance than in casual sexual encounters. But there is an increasing realization that young women are propelling it, too.”
“Hanna Rosin, in her recent book, “The End of Men,” argues that hooking up is a functional strategy for today’s hard-charging and ambitious young women, allowing them to have enjoyable sex lives while focusing most of their energy on academic and professional goals.”
It should be noted that “At colleges nationally, by senior year, 4 in 10 students are either virgins or have had intercourse with only one person, according to the Online College Social Life Survey. Nearly 3 in 10 said that they had never had a hookup in college. Meanwhile, 20 percent of women and a quarter of men said they had hooked up with 10 or more people.”
Also you should know that nationally women outnumber men four to three in college enrollment. (I absolutely see this in my journalism classes. I’ll have four boys and 16 girls in the class. And I have commented to my husband if these guys can’t get dates with these percentages then there’s no way to help them. The article thinks that disparity is giving the boys more power in choice forcing the girls to give it up more easily.)
With that said, here are some of the arguments from women in the article for hooking up and not developing a real relationship:
While I am sure some girls are happy pursuing just the physical act of sex without the emotion, I don’t believe that most of these women want sex without a relationship. I think that over time they have adapted to what the men are willing to give (what they have shown they are willing to accept) and have decided to own it so they feel less crappy about it. Here’s an example from the story.
One girl in the article went to college as a virgin thinking she would lose it her first boyfriend. But she soon realized that didn’t seem to be happening. So she settled on losing it to a boy she found hot and was nice that she knew from class. The kicker here is that he walked her home in the morning and that was a huge deal.
Standards ladies! Let’s have some standards! We shouldn’t be excited that they would do us the courtesy of walking us home after having sex with us.
“It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to get attached.”
Now, she said, she and her best friend had changed their romantic goals, from finding boyfriends to finding “hookup buddies,” which she described as “a guy that we don’t actually really like his personality, but we think is really attractive and hot and good in bed.”
Women need to have higher standards and then the men will be conditioned to behave as gentlemen again. There are loads of ways for women to satisfy that sexual urge that doesn’t allow men to stop respecting them. Who do these women think they are going to marry later in their late 20s and 30s? The same guys they let have it in their early 20s without any expectations of emotion or commitment? What has that taught this generation of men?
So I am thinking about letting my 12-year-old daughter read this article. I think now is the time to talk to them about this stuff while they are still listening to you. It seems like later as teenagers they just tune you out to spite you. I think it’s important for my daughter to know that women don’t have to treated this way and don’t have to allow it. Her generation should expect more from men even if she chooses eight years of college or more.
So what do you think of the premise of the hook up and of women being in control of it? Are they just responding to what men are willing to give? Would you share this with your daughter? What would your main points be to them?