It’s becoming increasingly common for college students to be hooking up with one another and leave the dating realm as background noise. Students say it’s for a variety of reasons including that college is a breeding ground for hooking up because of the diverse people and new social circumstances.
Sudents like freshman Cammy Errington say the culture seems to be interconnected with technology. With technology today, people can easily seek out the types of relationships they desire.
“Apps like Tinder, Snapchat and Instagram, are contributing to hook up culture today. On these apps you can send pictures and private messages, and there are even apps specifically designed for hooking up. The technology we’re surrounded by heavily impacts how people are hooking up,” Errington said.
Some say hook-up culture has existed longer than we think and isn’t any better or worse these days. Others disagree.
“I think hooking up has become the new cultural norm. Teenagers are moving away from relationships and hooking up more. We grow up in a world where when we go to college, we are supposed to live the ‘college life’ and a lot of teenagers explore that,” said sophomore Bryan Vachereau.
On the other hand, freshman Kollin Witham believes hook-up culture has been reoccurring, and is now just becoming noticeable.
“I don’t think that hooking up is considered a new cultural norm. People seem to have always been doing it and it sparks up during people’s college career because it’s the prime time to do it,” he said. “Teenagers drink a lot. They want relief from stressful classes, and work and they’re constantly around other people who are in the same boat as them.”
While it may be more the norms these days, not all students feel it’s a good thing. Freshman Jack Workman said it may be the easy way, but not the right way
“I don’t agree with hook up culture because I believe that people should form strong emotional relationships before they form physical ones. Men do not stand to lose nearly as much as women do from sex. Therefore, chastity removes the gender imbalance, so that women may rise to their proper status alongside men. Promiscuous sex is often called ‘adult’, but part of being an adult is ethics before expediency. We should not hook-up because we feel that we owe it to any other person, “he said.
Jamie Bentley, Castleton University’s coordinator of campus wellness services, and Amy Bremel, CHANGE coordinator, have good insight on the factors that contribute to this culture.
“It has always been a phenomenon over the years. Recently, however, it has taken over as the ‘social norm’ and there is social pressure to engage in this type of behavior,” Bentley said. “We see over and over that students are more interested in forming connections and relationships than one-night stands, but feel the pressure to conform to social constructs. Students have shared that dating is desired.”
It’s important that students who decide to engage in hook-up culture are alert about the factors that contribute to hook-ups.
Bentley and Bremel note that factors include alcohol, social pressures, perceptions that everyone is doing it and that it’s instant gratification, even though orgasm rates in hook-up culture are dismal for both men and women.
The hook-up culture also takes pressure off that person to ask someone out and then face potential rejection. We also believe that alcohol and drugs are used as an excuse for certain hook-up behavior. People will say “I didn’t know what I was doing. I was so drunk or high.”
Contrary to the myth there are no strings or emotions attached, we know that is not the truth for most sexually intimate encounters. In hook-up situations many people end up feeling hurt, rejected, ashamed or guilty.”