Chapter Summary

In the following chapter, our class explored the psychological effects that hookups may have on our person’s. No matter how hard we try, our brains always have influence on our actions and emotions, which can be beneficial or detrimental when participating in hookup culture; it all depends on the participant’s perception of the situation. Throughout this chapter, we touch on the ways that our emotions affect our ability to suppress “catching feelings” for the other individual(s), along with pressure that may be felt and may cause us to feel like participating in hookup culture is something that we should do, instead of it being a personal choice. Occasionally, this pressure can lead to unpleasant situations, and leave lasting trauma, especially in non-consensual interactions. On the opposite spectrum, our psychological processes contribute to the types of people we are interested in when we want to pursue a hookup. As much as we would like a hookup to be carefree, careless, and spontaneous, there are countless neurological steps and decisions that are taken before we commit to hooking up with someone, and most of these are done without actual cognition of what is happening.

Our psychological biases determine how we perceive a hookup and those who participate in hookup culture. In Michael Castleman’s article, “The Surprising Truth About Modern Hook-Ups” featured on Psychology Today, he explores the different ways in which people experienced hookup culture. In the past, there were other methods used for initiating hookup, which include where the people met. For example, Castleman states in his article that in the late 80s to mid-90s the dominant place that people met was a party. Later in 2002, and even in today’s age, there are more options for meeting people, like a friend’s house, or even dating apps. Castleman’s article goes on to talk about other aspects of hookup culture which include the possibility of exploiting women, along with the potential threat that hookups may pose to the development of long-term relationships.

In Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker’s book, “Premarital Sex in America”, the two delve into research on how sexual hookups may affect one’s emotional health and stability. Research was conducted on male and female participants and questions were asked about how often they hookup, along with how they feel post-sexual interaction. From the samples they obtained, they saw that women who have more sexual hookups and partners tend to have slightly higher rates of depression and malaise. This was contrasted when it came to the findings on men, which stated that there was no correlation between the two (hookup partners and depression/malaise). The researchers concluded that the ability a person has to separate their feelings and emotions from a hookup determines how well they are able to cope with the sexual experience.


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Hookup Culture Copyright © 2020 by IAH231B.003 Class and Dr. Denise Acevedo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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