For some odd reason I found myself disagreeing with a Jezebel article the other day.
Oh wait, that’s not strange at all.
Anyway, they wrote an article entitled “‘Hookup Culture’ Is Officially Not a Thing that Exists“, but I’m pretty sure that “official” doesn’t mean what they think it means.
First of all, it’s a single study. Other sociologists disagree with the idea that “hook-up culture” is non-existent. One specifically had a problem with the methodology that Monto used in his study.
Kathleen A. Bogle wrote the 2008 book Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus. Ms. Bogle, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University, points out that Mr. Monto’s study identifies 2002 to 2010 as the purported “hookup era” and compares students from this group with the 1988-to-1996 cohort. Yet the phrase “hooking up,” along with the behavior associated with it, “has been in place for decades,” she says in an e-mail.
“The term hooking up has been widely used on college campuses since the mid-1980s,” Ms. Bogle says. “So, it does not surprise me that there were not dramatic changes in sexual behavior between the two cohorts.”
Second of all, the word “hook-up” that the study supposedly uses (I haven’t found a copy of the study, so I can’t specify how the survey was worded) is incredibly ambiguous. From scanning through various internet slang databases and surveying my own friends of varying ages, “hook-up” refers to no strings attached sex with someone who is not your exclusive significant other.
This leads me to believe that Jezebel writers a little dense, because the author of this article had this to say:
The other prominent disparity is that young adults today are more likely to have (the same amount of) sex with “a pickup or a casual date,” which is science talk for “some guy you wobbled into at a party after guzzling Franzia right from the pouch.”
Uh…exactly how is that not a hookup?
Monto’s study also found that:
By comparing national survey data on two waves of young adults who had completed at least one year of college — the first wave was 1988 – 1996, and the second was 2002 – 2010 — Mr. Monto found that young people today are not having sex more often, nor are they having sex with more partners. Even more revealingly, the youth of today are substantially less likely go for a walk in the bone yard…once or more a week.
Why does “not having sex more often” and “not having more partners” than kids in the 80s (why not compare to say…the 50s?) equate to “there is no hookup culture”?
Are we now operating under the assumption that being a “friend with benefits” isn’t a hookup? Because I don’t care how “exclusive” you are, it’s not a relationship if the only time you “hang out” is when you’re horny.
Lastly, if there is no such thing as “hook-up culture” then why are “hook-ups” part of our culture?
What in the world are men looking for at a bar when they buy a woman a drink? Conversation? Marriage? Exclusivity?
The woman likely isn’t look for that either when she heads home with him.
Not only is “hooking up” part of our social culture on campuses, but it’s been a common theme in media. Every sitcom has episode after episode devoted to sex and the popularization of no strings attached sex.
Are Martin Monto and Jezebel really trying to blame an all too common part of social convention on the fact that there was an increase in the use of the phrase “hookup culture” in scholarly article from 2000 to 2013?
Why did we have a 51% increase in cases of Chlamydia (generally speaking you don’t get STDs if you and your partner are completely exclusive and clean from the beginning, just sayin’) between 2004 and 2006? Is it just spontaneously generating between people who have sex with only one partner now?
The fact that sexual activity hasn’t increased markedly from the 80s until now does not mean that “hookup culture” doesn’t exist…it just means it’s existed since the 80s.
In fact, it started in the 60s. Why don’t you check out the culture of “hooking up” before everyone got all “free love man”.