The Hook Up Scene at College
by mrobinson22 on March 14, 2014 - 11:43pm
College, in general, has become pretty notorious for its hook up scene. Mixed together are hormonal, stress-piled kids in close proximity to the opposite gender in buildings of beds. The students are almost guaranteed to make stupid decisions already so when alcohol is added to the equation, hooking up is too easily the result. As a student here at the magnificent College at Brockport, it is safe to say this situation applies. In Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel’s article, “Hooking Up: Hot Hetero sex or the New Numb Normative”, they explore the separation between casual hook ups and dating and the consequences that stem from each.
The traditional diner and a movie for a typical date between a man and women sharing a sense of attraction has become almost entirely desolate in the college environment. The new norm has become going out on the weekends to parties or the bars together. More often than not, alcohol play a major role in the social interactions of the students by giving both parties ‘liquid courage’ to act a lot differently than they normally would when sober. They are able to come out of their comfort zone in a way and put themselves out there more. This could be good in some ways but it also encourages bad decision making. The article goes into depth on the difference between hooking up and pleasure. The two differ very much in their own aspects, but have a common thread that both are desirable at college. Double standards are also inferred within the article. Gender roles allow for men to hook up much more easily without the negative backlash that women often received for such acts. Kimmel and Kalish go into detail about the circumstances leading to hooking up, the role alcohol plays and how society made the switch from traditional dating to spontaneous hook ups. Casual hookups have left us with problems of awkward encounters, possible regrets, spread of sexual diseases, and lowered morals.
So from my perspective, the article brings up very real problems for many colleges. As the articles states, “The vagueness of the term ‘hooking up’ turns out to be a way to protect the reputation of the woman while enhancing that of the man (Epstein et al. 2009).” (Kimmel & Kalish, 142) which demonstrates the idea of gender roles. Men gain positive exposure from hooking up with as many women as they can, but woman face the consequences of lack of self-respect and reputation for hooking up too much. This double standard encompasses the idea of gender roles by allowing for men to hook up but deterring women. In my opinion, Kimmel and Kalish give solid evidence that hooking up mainly benefits the men and that women see no benefit, other than pleasure from their actions. It is because of this that women receive a poor reputation. So who or what’s to blame for the regularity of hook up occurrences? Alcohol and accessibility. As it goes on to state, “A notable feature of hook-ups is that they almost always occur when both participants are drinking or drunk’ (Glenn and Marquardt 2001, 15)”. This describes how alcohol is the main issue for creating hook ups. Alcohol and hook ups go hand in hand because going out is often centered on drinking. So as hooking up became more popular, the standard form of dating took a hit. Similar to society, where we demand constant media, hooking up is the more instant reward versus the effort it takes to date.
In conclusion, hooking up transpired from the older form of dating, through the changes in society. Alcohol played a major role in making hooking up more socially acceptable and common at colleges now a days. Due to ease of hooking up, dating took a back seat because of the enjoyment of instant pleasure. Now a norm in society, hooking up has not come with its share of consequences. When will our society learn that instant pleasure doesn’t always compare with the reward of substantial effort?
Kalish, R., & Kimmel, M. (2011). HOOKING UP. Australian Feminist Studies, 26(67), 137-151.