Take a moment and think about your friend group. Who in your group has a boyfriend or girlfriend? Who does not? More than likely, you have more friends participating in the hookup culture than in monogamous relationships. The hookup culture may seem ideal to many, but it can actually have damaging effects to those involved. Why is this? Lets find out.
What people expect from hooking up
The beginning of the hookup culture is a mystery, but nearly 70% percent of college students admit in partaking in one during their time at a university (Sienbenbruner).
This statistic does not necessarily suggest that students are less likely to be in a monogamous relationship, because they are still very popular. However, it gives a sense of normalcy to the act of hooking up, which was not always accepted.
A reason to blame for this shift in societal norms could be the lack of supervision dorm rooms have to offer (Laird). The lack of rules in dorm rooms make hooking up to students more attainable.
Also, the casualness of hooking is really appealing to college students, which is easy to understand why. No feelings, no strings-attached relationship=No heartache, confusion, or commitments.
Proof that College Aged Students are More Prone to STD's
While hooking up may seem ideal, it is a main culprit for the spreading of STD's. For example, one in every four college students have an STD, and 80% of those people do not even know that they have one due to no noticeable symptoms (Nursing Schools).
This statistic would most likely be smaller if people did not participate in casual sex.
While I am not saying it is impossible to obtain a sexually transmitted disease if you are in a committed relationship, it becomes easier to get them if you partake in random hookups on a regular basis.
Mental Health is important too!!!
Not only does hooking up effect your physical health, it can effect your mental health as well. Boston University Professor Donna Freitas conducted a study, and found that because of the emotional vacancy of these sexual acts, students that partake in hookups perform significantly worse in school than students who are in committed relationships (Laird).
This is due to the fact that a lot of college students stress or focus too much on this aspect of their life, making it harder to do well in their studies.
Hookups can't be all bad... right???
Still believe the hook up culture pros outweigh the cons? Besides, hookups help you relieve stress! And who cares, you and your friends do not have STD's or bad grades. But not only are you more prone to STD's and lowered grades, you are also putting yourself at risk for stunting your ethical development.
ethics: a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values - Merriam Webster
According to Christopher Kaczor, a professor at Loyola Marymount University, hooking up, "inhibits ethical development through the focus on private indulgence of using other people for pleasure, rather than on loving, committed relationships” (Laird).
You are probably thinking, "Well now what? you can't just stop people from hooking up!" And the truth is, I can't. But what I can do, and what society can do, is make others aware of its damaging effects and take preventative actions to help people to focus on healthy monogamous relationships.
MAKE STATISTICS ABOUT DAMAGING HOOKUP EFFECTS MORE WELL KNOWN: If more people know about the physical, mental, and developmental aspects of hooking up, they may partake in it less.
STRICT RULES IN DORMS: Enforcing rules that prevent over night guests or same gender halls would help students be less inclined to hookup. Strict repercussions for the students who break them should be in place, so that they actually follow the rules to begin with.
Overall, we are in college, and it is important to have fun and experience new things. With that being said, hooking up should not be on your list of experiences due to its negative effects.
Laird, B. (2013, May 28). Uncoupling the hookup culture. Retrieved April 02, 2017, from http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/28/opinion/la-oe-laird-hookup-culture-20130528
(n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.goodthing.co.nz/
Rparker3@mlive.com, R. P. (2015, July 23). Sexually transmitted disease cases soar in Kalamazoo County. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/07/stds_soar_in_kalamazoo_county.html
Siebenbruner, J. (2013). Are college students replacing dating and romantic relationships with hooking up? Journal of College Student Development, 54(4), 433-438. doi:10.1353/csd.2013.0065
Whelan, C. B. (2010, August 20). Conflict Over Hook-Up Culture. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://bustedhalo.com/features/pure-sex-pure-love-110-conflict-over-hook-up-culture
10 truly shocking stats on STDs and college students. (2010, May 17). from http://www.nursingschools.net/blog/2010/05/10-truly-shocking-stats-on-stds-and-college-students/