The Benefits of our “Hookup Culture”

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Apr 1, 2013    •    815 Views

By Lilli DeBode, guest blogger, senior at Kent Place School

Generation Y is living in hookup culture… and this may not be as bad as it seems. In Hanna Rosin’s book, “The End of Men: and the Rise of Women,” she talks about how “sexually free” young adults are today, (particularly on college campuses) and how this is actually helping young women get ahead in life.

Hooking up has largely replaced dating all across America, and this has gotten many people squirming in confusion and/or repulsion.

For instance, many people from different countries and cultures are disgusted by how little meaning intimacy has to young people in America. A student from Argentina gave her view on America’s hookup culture: “Before they even know the guy. It’s like, ‘Hello.’ ‘Hello.’ ‘You wanna hook up?’ ‘Sure.’ They are so aggressive! Do they have hearts of steel or something? In my country, a girl like this would be desperate. Or a prostitute.”  Although this seems a tad harsh, she is being completely honest, and points out the difference in regard (or lack thereof) for chivalry between America’s culture and that of a foreign country.

Another negative take on the hookup culture that many people, (predominantly of older generations) have is that this nonchalance inhibits young adults from being able to maintain intimate relations once they actually do decide to settle down with one person. They also tend to perceive women as the victims in this situation—that since the introduction of reliable birth control, men have become sexual deviants and women have no choice but to go along with it.

Rosin offers a different perspective though, claiming that the hookup culture is actually acting in women’s favor. Thanks to the pill and legal abortions, the hookup culture allows young women to postpone serious relationships. In college, a serious relationship has a high cost; one that many girls simply can’t afford if they are going to excel in other aspects of their lives. Thanks to the hookup culture, instead of limiting all social relationships, girls can now have lighter hookups and not jeopardize their studies.

Perhaps, it is really women who are leading the hookup culture, using it as a strategy to get the best of both worlds—social fulfillment and academic or economic success.

Sources and Resources: This Slate article talks about Rosin’s new book and more about the hookup culture. This Atlantic article also discusses the hookup culture and its benefits.

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