Turning Tables on the One-Night-Stand

Something I see and hear a lot about in my life is “hookup culture.” This refers to the way in which many people, usually members of my generation, approach sexual relations: casually and without commitment.

When I was researching this topic I was surprised to most easily find articles that did not necessarily consider hookup culture negative. These articles also took different stances on the subject, justifying it in different ways. It is important to note that this culture occurs most commonly amongst college students (as it is the most prevalent community of single, similarly situated individuals that one is likely to encounter); the remainder of this blog post assumes this association.

An article from The Washington Post cites ‘math’ as the primary cause of today’s college hookup culture, meaning that statistically, there are generally more women than men in college, which promotes this type of activity. This is similar to the flapper generation of the 1920’s, when the “death toll of WWI caused a shortage of marriageable men.”

Another article, from Huffington Post, takes a similar stance, but uses it to question the current popularity of the subject. “Sexual behavior among contemporary college students has not changed greatly over the past two and a half decades.” Evidence from the first article could also be used to back the idea that “hookup culture” is far from a new phenomenon.

Finally, a New York Times article I found gives reason for “hookup culture” by pointing out that it has many convenience factors. Busy college students have a lot to focus on and achieve in their (usually) 4 years at school, so the time needed to start and sustain a serious relationship is not necessarily prioritized, or even available.

These viewpoints on hookup culture are varied and interesting, but they most clearly point out to me that the stigma against a culture of casual sex is no longer the primary perspective, which was news to me. Whether such a culture is good or bad, I do not know, but it certainly seems to have become acceptable enough to discuss openly.


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