The Campus Hook-Up Culture

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
    Offline

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,092
    Thanks Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +447
    Love's Dying Ritual
    By William Raspberry, The Washington Post
    February 14, 2005

    Maybe Valentine's Day is a good time to talk about something that's been on my mind for a while: the alarming decline of courtship.

    Calling it alarming, of course, places me firmly on the old-fogy side of the discussion. The youngsters I talk to at Duke University don't seem particularly alarmed, though a few will acknowledge some discomfort, some disappointment that they find themselves in a world in which boys don't come courting. They are, willy-nilly, in a hookup culture that they (the girls, at least) don't remember asking for but feel powerless to change.

    What am I talking about? Listen (with her permission) to a young woman in my "Family and Community" class last fall:

    "Friday night, my sorority had a function in an abandoned field, where the only activity is to get really drunk," she wrote in a paper I assigned on the decline of courtship. "I asked this older boy that I sort of knew, just because I needed a date and he was cute. Everyone was drinking so heavily that the majority of the conversations did not even make much sense.

    "When the party ended, we all got on the buses (nicknamed the 'hook-up buses') to return to campus. I went back to his room 'to talk,' but obviously talking turned into making out. Later, I walked back from his dorm all the way to my dorm by myself."

    Thank goodness she spared me the details of her make-out session, though she and her classmates drove home the point that "hooking up" can include anything from kissing and petting to sexual intercourse.

    Several of them made it clear that alcohol consumption is a significant part of the hookup experience -- as though to give all involved a pretext for saying that what happened last night wasn't really them.

    My young student said something that still has me scratching my head.

    "At the end of the night, I could have batted my eyes, given him a hug, and said 'Thanks for a wonderful evening.' But in today's society, that is rude. A hug is the universal sign for 'not interested.' "

    The disjuncture from courtship as earlier generations remember it is startling. For us, sex was the Super Bowl of relationships. For many of today's youngsters, it's just a pickup game. I don't envy them.

    I should note that the hookup, though widespread, is by no means universal. A few students still have traditional take-her-to-dinner-or-a-movie dates. Some avoid the hookup culture, either by dint of ironclad personal values or by joining up with a subgroup of like-minded friends.

    But a lot of them -- too many, by my dimming lights -- go along to get along. They are not sure who made the new rules, though they seem to believe they have something to do with gender equality. And they are not sure they like the new rules, but they like even less the prospect of being branded weird and left alone in their rooms on weekend nights.

    What I have found surprising is their willingness to talk about the trend. Several young men -- after first giving an enthusiastic thumbs up -- admitted that the new culture leaves them off balance, too. Several young women said -- sadly, I thought -- that they don't really expect to find their future husbands in such encounters. They see it, they told me, as a college thing, a phase. Grad school is soon enough to start taking relationships seriously.

    Still, more than a few young women see their "liberation" as tinged with awkwardness and shame.

    Again, I quote from my student's paper:

    "I walked home late at night by myself. He offered for me to stay at his place, but I said that I would just walk home. He responded with false concern, asking if I would be OK going back by myself. I promised him I would be fine. This dialogue is standard. The boy cannot appear too apathetic, the girl cannot act too needy and dependent. We are afraid to forfeit the independence that took so many years to acquire in return for an escort back to the dorm."

    Then this:

    "He and I could have a future together, but we will never know. There will never be a next date. If he were to ask me out next weekend, he would appear weak. I could not ask him out again for fear of appearing obsessed."

    What a dysfunctional, ego-destructive and profoundly sad "equality" the young folk have fashioned.

    Do you suppose any of them send -- or receive -- Valentine's Day cards?
     
  2. musicman
    Offline

    musicman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,171
    Thanks Received:
    533
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +533
    Only from the clinic, I imagine.
     
  3. Avatar4321
    Offline

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,537
    Thanks Received:
    8,161
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,153
    Holy crap no wonder im striking out with women:p
     
  4. no1tovote4
    Offline

    no1tovote4 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,294
    Thanks Received:
    616
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ratings:
    +616
    I fear for my daughter in such an environment. I can only hope that I can teach her that she has more value than this.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  5. Adam's Apple
    Offline

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,092
    Thanks Received:
    445
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +447
    The lack of values and self-respect seems to be a big part of the problem. The driving force in a majority of these young people is their desire to be popular and part of the "in crowd". They will give up anything and everything to accomplish this. Both my daughters went to public universities, both belonged to sororities, and both told about behaviors at social activities that were a lot worse than what Raspberry has mentioned in his article.
     
  6. Gem
    Offline

    Gem BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    2,080
    Thanks Received:
    782
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +782
    Hey, now. Don't place all the blame for this on the young women. Just as the culture has told young women that its fine to trade their bodies for the attention and respect they are seeking....its told the young men that its ok to expect whatever you want from a woman without having to give anything in return. Its taught them that they have no responsibility to a woman they sleep with because a) she should be on the pill and b) if she gets pregnant, she should get an abortion...and if she doesn't want one, thats not my fault or responsibility cause I wanted her to get an abortion...and if she CHOOSES to keep the baby, then I CHOOSE not to support it, cause I chose the abortion. Its taught them that alcohol and a few of the less serious, easier to aquire drugs like pot, x, and others are a perfect excuse for doing whatever they want, and blaming it on everything but themselves.

    The article focuses on the young woman who doesn't want to ask the young man for a walk back to her dorm room...but doesn't ask why the young man didn't think it was necessary to escort her back. Did his parents not teach him about respecting women? I don't find this plausible, considering that they make sure to mention that it is important to give the illusion of caring....when both parties no the guy has no intention of walking her home. Or did he just feel absolutely no need to show her any caring once the "deed had been done?"

    The college scene is, for many, exactly as its described in the artice...and I, for one, wonder what kind of adults that environment is going to produce.
     
  7. Zhukov
    Offline

    Zhukov VIP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,492
    Thanks Received:
    301
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Everywhere, simultaneously.
    Ratings:
    +301
    Yeah...it's a hoot alright.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  8. CivilLiberty
    Offline

    CivilLiberty Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    821
    Thanks Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Hollywood
    Ratings:
    +50

    This attitude of college sexuality is nothing new at all.

    As far as the lack of manners of the man, that is most certainly upbringing, and lack of personal responsibility, which can be laid at the feet of the parents.



    A
     
  9. Gem
    Offline

    Gem BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    2,080
    Thanks Received:
    782
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +782
    Civil,

    I disagree with your assessment of putting all the blame on the parents. We are not addressing the actions of one man, but a generation of young men and women that are acting and reacting in these ways. You have students in the college envrionment all parrotting the same thing (at least they were when I was there less than five years ago). Are all of us the victims of your "bad parenting???" Or perhaps, just perhaps, is the environment and the culture in which we emmerse our college students enough to overpower a parents control, especially over young people who are considered adults?
     
  10. Zhukov
    Offline

    Zhukov VIP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2003
    Messages:
    3,492
    Thanks Received:
    301
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Everywhere, simultaneously.
    Ratings:
    +301
    I agree Gem.

    I think the boy didn't offer to walk her home because nowadays, in the social milieu of your typical college, doing so is considered a faux pas, quaint, and fairly ridiculous.
     

Share This Page