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?


Reference:


Kalish, R., & Kimmel, M. (2011). HOOKING UP. Australian Feminist Studies, 26(67), 137-151.

Comments

This post brings needed attention to the gender roles surrounding hooking up in college. You made a good point in stating that for males hooking up is an achievement and for females it as looked at as an act to be ashamed of. This is an interesting point because it takes two people to hook up and there is such a difference in how each party is perceived. You also touched on how dating is now transformed. I feel that in a way it has become lost. From a generalized view, people no longer take the time to get to know someone first and then pursue sexual interests. Now, relationships tend to start with a hook up and evolve from there. This is seen as a backward approach from the older generation’s perspective. The hook up first approach has physical and emotional consequences. From a physical perspective, if you don’t know a person before hooking up you put yourself at risk for contracting STD’s. From a relationship standpoint people out are missing out on building meaningful bonds before engaging in more intimate activities. I feel that our generation is missing out on meaningful relationships because they tend to skip getting to know someone and get right to the physical. Everyone has more to offer than just their body; if we were to take the time to listen I bet we would learn a lot. I feel that our generation is starting to lose the intellectual and emotional value of being human.

I appreciate the fact that your article focuses more greatly on the gender roles that shape the “hook-up” culture, as it, unfortunately, reminds us that we still live in a society that readily condones the sexual exploits of men, while sharply condemning those of women. It’s interesting that you mention the genesis of the hook-up culture to be, in part, linked to the desire for college students to obtain instant pleasure or sexual gratification. This desire seems to stem from the growing pressures that many college students seem to be facing in their academic struggle to get good grades, find a worthwhile job and, of course, come out of college as a successful member of society. We live in a world where students are more gradually becoming more attuned to ditching high-risk, high-investment relationships and instead replace them with evenings and weekends of concentrated debauchery in the name of their academic and professional aspirations. In an article by Kate Taylor from the New York Times, dated July 2013, the hook-up culture is observed more so from the perspective of the female student and explores the conceived beliefs and thoughts of sex in American colleges.

Link to NY Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/fashion/sex-on-campus-she-can-play-tha...

I feel that growing up in a small town, and spending most of my childhood with my grandmother, has given me what I like to call an old soul. Especially with dating, with regards to hook ups. I personally don’t like the idea of hook ups. I also don’t really enjoying going out on the weekends, in other words I don’t like to go out drinking with strangers on the weekend. Besides the fact that it’s cold outside I don’t like the idea of making myself vulnerable to strangers. I see no excitement in, what some call having a good time, drinking with a bunch of strangers, doing who knows what, so that I don’t remember them in the morning. Even though the norm today is to hook up, I don’t follow it. I’d much rather be taken out on a date of some sort than to a party for a meaningless night. Strangely enough I’ve met people here that share similar views and those who obviously do not. Those who don’t agree are usually people who say “this is college, live your life to the fullest”, and I sit back thinking okay let me know when you get an STD, or pregnant and have to drop out. Some people can live that life, but I’m not one of them.

This post brings up an issue that is extremely prevalent at most college campuses across the nation. Hooking up with a random (or not random) person on the weekends due to a little (or a lot) of “liquid courage” is the norm for many college students. I agree with yours and the author’s opinions that gender roles influence how hook ups are perceived by others. Coming from my perspective as a girl in college, I do not necessarily believe that a guy’s reputation is enhanced in a positive way when he hooks up with as many women as he can. Those are generally the guys that most of the girls I know try and stay away from. However, it is true that women get the backlash for having a one night stand. I think that it is just expected of college guys to portray these behaviors and therefore more acceptable, but not for women – even though it takes two to tango.
Another interesting point this article brought about was that hooking up behaviors have overruled dating behaviors. This is definitely true! It is so hard to find a guy who is willing to take you to the movies or out to dinner before he wants to take you to bed. However, if you are looking for this type of guy at the bar on the weekends, then you are probably in the wrong place. Colleges are a great place for fostering hookups, but not so great for finding a relationship.

I was actually talking with my friend about this topic over break so when I saw the title it immediately caught my attention. We were both saying how now a days we hate how it is seen to be odd or unacceptable to walk straight up to someone and ask them on a date, we also discussed how we hate the view of gender roles with hooking up and such. I hate the fact that if a guy hooks up with tons of girls he is seen as a hero while if a girl does the same thing she is seen as a whore and such, i'm a guy and I will admit that this is a terrible standard and system for gender roles. The fact that dating has changed into what it has become which is mainly all about the hook up, is to me at least a downgrade of what it used to be in my opinion. The gender roles that have resulted from this change are the part that bothers me most, but unfortunately this is the world we live in for now and I don't see it changing for sometime sadly.

I enjoyed reading how this article brought to light the gender roles caused by our societies norms. As unfortunate as it is, gender roles and inequalities still are very real in our society in todays day and age. Why is it that men receive glamour while woman are shamed for sleeping around? How can we change this in society to be ethically wrong for either party? Unfortunately we may never know! The concept of college students wanting instant pleasure instead of working for a lasting relationship is very interesting. Could be because of the stress of college work, combined with alcohol and the proximity of living quarters. As a college student, I know the feeling of being stressed from school work. How you relieve that stress on the other hand, is something completely different. Outside of just hooking up gender roles, similar norms in society deter the concept of men and women being treated equal in such scenarios. Gender roles exist all through society whether it be at school, at work or in day to day interactions.

I enjoyed reading how this article brought to light the gender roles caused by our societies norms. As unfortunate as it is, gender roles and inequalities still are very real in our society in todays day and age. Why is it that men receive glamour while woman are shamed for sleeping around? How can we change this in society to be ethically wrong for either party? Unfortunately we may never know! The concept of college students wanting instant pleasure instead of working for a lasting relationship is very interesting. Could be because of the stress of college work, combined with alcohol and the proximity of living quarters. As a college student, I know the feeling of being stressed from school work. How you relieve that stress on the other hand, is something completely different. Outside of just hooking up gender roles, similar norms in society deter the concept of men and women being treated equal in such scenarios. Gender roles exist all through society whether it be at school, at work or in day to day interactions.