Personally, I think our class definition perfectly describes the culture most of us live in. Most people our age (college students) aren’t in serious relationships, most of us will not be marrying the person we are currently sleeping with and most of us talk to more than one person at a time in the hopes of having sex. What our definition doesn’t cover is what that does to a person’s head. So many college aged students have mental health issues, and while I am not saying these issues stem directly from hookup culture, I do think hookup culture plays a part. According to Psychology Today’s Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., “Researchers examining the mental health associations of hookup sex also report that participants who were not depressed before showed more depressive symptoms and loneliness after engaging in casual sex” (2013). Meaning that participants in the study were actually sadder after they had causal sex than they were before. College aged kids seem to be against relationships because they don’t want anyone holding them back, but they still want the benefits that would come from a relationship (i.e. sex and attention).
According to our definition (and the cultures norms) there should be no commitment and you should not get attached. However, that is rarely the case. Many times one person will develop feeling toward the other. I am guilty of this as well; I have been sleeping with the same person for two years, we are not dating, and it is casual- we have never had “the talk” and we are both free to see other people. However, I do like him and could potentially see myself dating him if the opportunity ever arose. According to our definition, I should not have those feelings. I should only be in it for the sex. But ultimately, that is not human nature. Human nature is to care for others and to be a part of something that means more than sex. I know most of us will get there someday, but until then I think we are doing what believe we are supposed to be doing at this point in our lives.
Although our definition covers a lot of the aspects of “hookup” culture because of its broadness, I feel as though the definition does not do justice to everyone individually. Everyone has their own definition of hooking up and “hookup” culture, so I feel as though our class definition wouldn’t apply to every group or person. Me personally, I can connect to this definition when I think of “hooking up” I think of sexual intercourse of any kind between people who are not together. This definition especially applies to “hookup” culture in my generation because hooking up and friends with benefits is a mind game to some. People get manipulated or sweet talked into hooking up or mixed signals are given and feelings end up getting hurt.
Something that resonated with me in this week’s category was that the term “hooking up” is widely known to be something where no feelings are supposed to be attached. With that being said, many people go into a hook up or friends with benefits situation with the intent to not bring their feelings along, but most of the time that is what ends up happening. What’s even more interesting is that women are always portrayed to be the ones who catch feelings from a hook up or friends with benefits (unless it’s a random one night stand) and we get our feelings hurt. Yes women are more emotional beings, but I believe men go through it too.
Key points my team made about the psychological element are that hook up culture is ruining our generation’s ideas of sex, relationships, and romance, Donna Freitas researched this concept by surveying thousands of college students and different types of universities. She found that college students hooking up was connected to isolation, loneliness, and boredom. Hook up culture has also stopped college students from pursuing long-term romantic relationships because so many of us conform to the norms of hooking up and don’t bother stepping outside of the box.
In my personal experience, hookup culture played huge mind games on me that were not healthy. I was the one who would catch feelings or past feelings would come back even though they would make clear in the beginning what we were doing. But as always, as things progress, words and boundaries would get blurred making it hard to know what was going on. They would act as if they wanted something but would “ghost” me or barely text back, and I would be the one left waiting for them to say or do something.
Throughout the past few weeks we have developed and discussed the psychological aspect of what hookup culture is. I really related to the class definition of “hookup” because it personally followed my beliefs of hooking up. Not only this; I also believe that the definition of hooking up is fluid and that also relates to my definition. I think that the definition being fluid allows individuals to identify and find their place inside the culture. This allows for everyone to connect on some level within the community. This all leads back to the connection people want from others.
I really enjoyed talking about the psychological part of hooking up because this part affects almost everyone in some way. If certain people come off in the wrong way the hookup probably won’t happen. This could happen from someone being too straight forward and scaring the potential person away. Another outcome could be that you don’t show your intentions at all leading to yourself entering a state of friend zone or potentially nothing at all. Lastly this can change depending on what people want and what rules they have established for themselves. If someone doesn’t hook up on the first day knowing someone ever this could lead to a whole new situation that requires more work and effort to achieve whatever goal is intended.
This week the group discussion of hooking up led to many discoveries for our group. This later developed into many important discoveries about the psychological aspect. The process of hooking up involves a place to start. Whatever this place is on an app on your phone, or a bar/party we have to communicate in these situations. If some people do not understand the idea of a hook up this can make them have a completely different idea or feeling during these situations. Furthermore, questions came up about what happens after the hookup. Does getting ghosted or even if people talk about you after it is done. These issues are seen as important but largely don’t cause too many problems for the culture. With this in mind we even noticed that there are this involve using a script as well. People have to talk their way into the situation sometimes and this can be a process and isn’t always successful. Not only this but different groups and people are all affected differently by these situations making it difficult to understand its full psychological effects.
One thing that was really interesting to me is that people get upset by hookup culture.
This was really interesting to me because it shows that not everyone understands the rules of hooking up. Even more so even when people communicate there wants from a situation some people can still get the wrong idea. This can happen when someone says they only want to hookup and one party ends up getting attached for some reason even though they know what is going on. This can send the wrong message and make one party change their mind on everything. This violates the rules of hook up culture which could lead to the ghosting or other negative outcomes. This is why I feel hookups become complicated because not everyone is on the same page. This makes me think that people need a certain level of maturity to participate in the culture without experiencing any of the negative psychological effects.
The focus of these two weeks has been the Psychological aspect of the hookup culture. I believe that the phrase “without commitment” that we as a class include in the definition is very important. Personally, if I am just hooking up with an individual, whether it be a one-night stand or it happens more frequently, that is really all that it is. It is simply “skinful lust,” and I believe that does have a certain psychological impact on those involved. For example, almost a year ago I had a FWB situation going on with a girl and she wanted more out of our relationship. However, I am moving to a different state in a few months to start a new job so I am not looking to start something that will very quickly turn into a long-distance relationship. So I explained this to her and she understood but told me she couldn’t keep seeing me. I totally understood, but I found myself feeling bad. I was asking myself: “was I being mean,” “did I lead her on and then just ‘drop’ her?” So, while we both knew what we were getting into, and both enjoyed it a lot there was still psychological impact to both of us.
While the hookup culture is still relatively new, people have been looking into this subject. One interesting article that I found discussed how people who participate in the hookup culture tend to become “…more lonely and show depression symptoms after engaging in casual sex,” (Whitbourne 2013). Another very interesting facet of this article is that it states that a FWB situation is less damaging in psychological terms then “sex with a random stranger,” which is how Whitbourne defined the term casual sex (2013). While I believe in historical terms, people have always expressed themselves sexual frequently, I believe that the fact that most people are hooking up with random people after a night out or through Tinder is a relatively new addition to the hookup culture.
My team has been conducting research, specifically on the psychological impact of the hookup culture. One of the sources we have discovered is the Whitbourne article I previously referenced. This was a rather interesting article because it connects psychological damage, in terms of showing more depression-related symptoms, to the hookup culture. Another key aspect of this article was the fact that they found having a romantic partner or FWB situation do not lead to as bad of a psychological impact (Whitbourne 2013). Another source discussed how more frequent participation in the hookup culture leads to “a greater negative perspective on hooking up” (Napper 2016). It also discusses how psychological aspects, like anxiety and depression, increase related to frequency of hooking up (2016). Ultimately these sources will be a great tool when we are conducting our final drafts for the book.
My own personal experiences with the hookup culture and specifically the psychological aspect of this culture are mostly all positive. It was a good time for both of us, and generally no one catches feelings or anything like that. However, when that does happen it ensures an awkward conversation that leaves at least one person not happy. I will also say that I agree with the article by Whitbourne, that FWB in my experience does not bring the negative psychological impacts. There have been times where after hooking up with a random person after a night of partying where I feel more alone then if I had not hooked up with the individual. There were also times when I would hookup with someone just to feel good about myself, which consequently I received the opposite result. I do think this is the most interesting aspect of the hookup culture that we have researched to date, and am excited to see what people write about and discover.
Our class definition relates to my personal definition of hookup culture regarding our class category of psychology because I believe consent and intimacy are highly important in the aspect of hookup culture. The consent of those involved in the act are incredibly important in my opinion in order to differentiate between a hookup and a sexual assault. This relates to the topic of psychology because of the trauma that can be involved around sexual assault or rather the lack there of in the case of a consensual hookup. I also believe the consent and intimacy deals with the subtopic within psychology of shame. Women have been consistently shamed for their involvements with hookup culture and they themselves sometimes feel shame and self-guilt for taking part in it. This can have a major effect on their mental health.
I feel as though a major part of the foundation of hookup culture is in human evolution. This is due to several different social psychology theories regarding choice in partners. Throughout early history and reproduction, women have chosen reproductive partners based on who they believed would be able to protect them and their children by providing the best and largest amount of resources. Men, on the other hand, chose their partners based on different physical features that indicated whether or not the women would be able to successfully reproduce and tended to have multiple partners in order to have more offspring. The difference between this is due to the heavy amount of women’s time and investment needed in order to carry and raise a child. Even though we don’t hookup for reproductive purposes, sex is still rooted in the human brain as a means of reproduction. This means these evolutionary forces influence our hookups and our choice in partners. These forces can help describe why women might get attached to their hookup partners more easily than men do as well as why men with a massive amount of hookup partners might disgust women (lots of sexual partners = low amount of resources left over for mother and child). It can also help describe why men feel as though they may need a lot of hookup partners since it was so common in the past.
One of our team’s resources for this category is a textbook called Discovering Human Sexuality. Within this textbook, it goes over different psychological concepts that help describe humans experience within sex and hookups. One of the subjects the book covers is attraction and how we choose other partners. One of the important concepts of attraction is symmetry; those whose faces are more symmetrical appear more attractive. This is because symmetry implies that the individual is more highly genetically evolved because of the lack of imperfections. Therefore, people choose partners based off this because of the potential of better genes for their children. The textbook also breaks down what men and women find attractive in the opposite gender. In women, a big forehead, big eyes, and full lips were all deemed attractive qualities; all qualities that make a woman look younger. In men, a larger jaw, smaller forehead and bushy eyebrows were all deemed attractive qualities.
Being a psychology major, I tend to relate all my sexual and social experiences to psych already. I’m well aware of the shame I feel regarding my sexual experiences, especially those that relate to “hookup” culture. While I feel shame regarding sex in general, the shame with hookups is a different type of shame. It’s a disgusting type of shame that makes my skin crawl and something that I’ve spent years trying to block out. It’s something that makes me feel mentally weak and small. Something that I want to hide from as much as I can. Whether this be due to the shame that has been instilled in “hookup” culture or to other personal reasons, it’s still something that appears to be somewhat common across women who have participated in hookup culture.
For the most part I agree with our definition of “hookup” culture, besides the part on the 2+ people. I don’t see anything intimate about hooking up with more than one person. After learning and reading about psychological situations in hookup culture, I realized that the psychological impacts of hooking up coincide with attachment.
Hooking up comes with all different stages. Normally if you’re hooking up with someone it isn’t supposed to mean much; or if you go home with someone once it shouldn’t mean anything at all. Yet, there can be a gray area when hooking up with people – maybe you agreed you wouldn’t catch feelings, or maybe you entirely caught the wrong idea on what the other individual was thinking in the first place.
This unit made me reflect on my personal experience about the psychological affects that come with hooking up. I’ve had good luck with friends with benefits and have been the one in the “relationship” that didn’t catch feelings. I ended up having to remove myself from talking to the guy, since it made him extremely upset that I didn’t feel the same about him. We later on became friends again but, he opened up to me on how he’d never want to so friends with benefits with a good friend.
I feel that the class definition of “‘hookup’ culture is a consensual, intimate interaction between 2+ people, without commitment” relates greatly to the psychological category. The elements of pressure, gender differences, body image, and emotional suppression/catching feelings all have to do with this idea of what hookup culture really is. The ones that I think relate most to the definition are the emotional suppression/catching feelings and the pressure aspects. I know that both the “consensual” and “without commitment” parts of the definition are very much so consistent with my idea of what hookup culture is. If a hookup doesn’t involve consentuality, then it is sexual assault. If someone goes into a hookup with the intention of something more feelings-based, then it is not technically a hookup. This is easier said than done, though. Personally, I think with my heart, so the idea of just giving myself to someone without having any feelings whatsoever, really doesn’t seem possible. I totally think that a hookup can lead to something more, but I just believe that a true hookup starts off without any commitment between the parties involved.
I feel like a real life consequence to not having this commitment less hookup can lead to emotional distress for one or all of the people involved. I know from experiences people have shared with me, that it is hard to have sex with someone and then just forget about them. Most of the stories I’ve heard that ended with this longing for something more have been shared by female friends of mine, but I feel like this can definitely happen with males, although, it is more often seen (by me) with females.
My team found an article discussing the impact hookup culture has on one’s psychology, and how catching feelings is way more common than we like to admit. I feel like this is connected to the idea of ghosting, since it can lead to one being hurt. By this, I mean that if someone catches feelings and then is ghosted, they can experience emotional distress.
I personally have never been affected by any of this since I do not actively participate; however, I do feel that catching feelings (regardless of sexual intercourse) truly does exist more often than not.
We used quite vague terms when we originally defined hookup culture as a class because everyone has a different general definition for hooking up. This could lead to some misunderstanding so we decided to leave it more open. I do agree with all of the psychological aspects of hookup culture that our class outlined, however I probably wouldn’t include some of these as part of my own idea. Some aspects like post-rape, body image, and trauma are not things that I have considered in the past because I’ve never had to worry about them but I think it is good that we covered these bases as a class.
I have in the past and am currently psychologically effected by hookup culture. Obviously there are certain times where this is a bigger deal than other times but it is always in my life. In the past I have felt that it was necessary to hook up with someone because of the pressure of the situation which in my opinion is still within my control and consent, but still something that I would have chosen not to do if given another chance. I’m sure many people have similar regretful stories were they were pressured to do something that they wouldn’t have done with a clear head or in a different situation.
As a small group we decided to choose an interview for our psychology source about hookup culture. This interview was given by NPR so we have deemed it to be trustworthy in its dependability. This interview brings up a really relatable and truthful statement in the fact that we are more sexual as a generation than our parents were but we don’t have more sex than our parents’ generation on average. This concludes that there is just more of a sexual atmosphere in this stage where there used to be a relationship centered atmosphere. College is an unusual time in life when many people are living alone for the first time in their lives. In my own words, this may cause a spark in sexual experimentation that people feel they can act on in a more open environment like a college campus. This slowly turns the whole focus of college free time into trying to find people to hook up with.
I don’t have many more stories of specific times where I have been psychologically effected by hookup culture but in my day to day I do feel a small amount of social pressure to continue hooking up with people so I won’t be the only one ‘not getting any’.
When reviewing the class definition of hookup culture, the psychological aspect of hookup culture does not really have a connection to it. When I think of my own definition, I also don’t find a connection between the two. Although I am unable to find a connection, I do feel that there are psychological aspects to hookup culture. In relation to the elements of this aspect, I find that emotional suppression would serve as the main component when discussing psychological aspects of hookup culture.
Not everyone is able to engage in my or the class’ definition of hookup culture if they are unable to separate their feelings from these encounters. This issue could lead to a variety of problems due to one person having emotions that aren’t shared by the other individual. I’ve learn that it is best to keep your feelings and emotions suppressed if you decide to engage in these encounters which would essentially prevent a person from getting hurt.
None of the resources my group researched discussed really discussed the psychological aspect of hookup culture. You could argue in that in the documentary, Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age, they cover some psychological elements not included in the class list. For example, the director included individuals who discussed how dating apps are used by some individuals to build their self-esteem. Also, they mentioned how easy it is to hook up with people in a timely manner so this could possibly contribute to the suppression of feelings element.
Based on personal experiences of hookup culture in relation to the psychological aspect of it, I can say that I have struggled to suppress my emotions at times which complicated things for me. In addition, there have been times where I was on the opposite and that also complicated things. I personally don’t believe an individual can truly suppress all of their emotions in instances such as friend with benefits. These forms of relationships are essentially committed relationships without the title. I’ve been in some and I can attest that feelings and emotions easily present themselves in these arrangements.
So, for the last two weeks, the class has been focusing on the category “psychological.” I wanted to talk about when we read each other’s reflective narratives in class, because I felt the one that I read had a lot to do with psychology. I thought the one that I read was really interesting because the student author brings up this idea of women as nurturers and men as providers, which could definitely be an explanatory factor in the differences in terms of shame in the hookup culture, in the double standards we see regarding a large number of hookups or hookup partners. It relates to this thing in social psychology called parental investment theory, which basically says that because women physically invest (and maybe emotionally) more into childbirth than men do, they are choosier when it comes to who they will have sex with. I believe this could lead to women overall hooking up less, and then this reality could kind of give way to the double standard we see today. What I think maybe happened is women were choosier from the start and so when a woman hooks up a lot, people make the inference that she’s less choosy. This inference isn’t too problematic as it logically makes sense. If someone is doing something a lot, they probably aren’t as choosy about what they do it with. Assuming that there isn’t an endless supply of high-quality things that are needed for this person’s activity. Anyways, I think there’s a reality of women being choosier, and that reality becomes an idea we all hold over time- this led to the double standard. I think in a lot of cases, anytime a person deviates from what is expected of them, especially when it comes to identities in society, there’s shame. The thought process is like “I am x, so I should behave in Y ways, but I behave in Z ways and that’s not okay.” I think society reaffirms this kind of mindset. Therefore, women in a very real sense are choosier, and are expected to maintain behaviors that are consistent with that idea, such as having fewer sexual partners, and when a woman behaves in a way that is contrary to that idea, then there’s shame.
My group talked about shame and how it might differ for men and women and how for women the shame typically comes from others. I found that interesting, because, for me, it feels like my shame that I have around hookup culture comes from myself and others. I don’t know, for me, hookups in general are a very shameful thing. I wonder if that could have an evolutionary aspect like the thing I was talking about earlier. Like, because we evolved to associate sex with child-bearing, maybe we instinctively feel shame when we have sex and it isn’t for that purpose? I like the discussions we have in class because I can live vicariously through these people’s experiences. I am a gay male, and don’t really share any of the same experiences in terms of hookup culture, with the mainly straight people in this class, so the discussions are fun because it really is a look inside of something that I don’t have much experience with. My experiences might be really similar to my class mates, and I’m just not aware, but I kind of feel like my experiences are very different.
Overall, I think that psychology plays a huge role in hookup culture, both individual psychology and the psychology of groups. I think the way one experiences the hookup culture is really affected by one’s personality and the aspects of a person’s psychology that were shaped by their environment growing up. I know, for me, one of the biggest differences between my experience of the hookup culture, and what my classmates say about the hookup culture, is the psychological experience of it all. I think the hookup culture really negatively effects my self-image and self-esteem.
I think our class definition is relevant/connects to week 8 and 9, where we talked about psychology in the hook up culture. To me, hooking up with someone is a very mental think. You’re judging a lot of factors to the person before you hook up with them. Looks, conversation, body language are all factors that you created in your head top see if they are what you’re looking for.
The start of hooking up for me was in high school my sophomore year. I’m still close to the person I lost my virginity to and we have all the same friends from home. Clearly, my past hookup experience shape the way I hookup with people now and who they are. I don’t think everyone does this, but I am sure there is a piece of your first hookup that stays with you. So, when you do go to hook up with someone there is maybe some moves or ways that were founded from your first hookup.
What our group has talked about is the psychological part of hooking up which involves mostly the fear. The fear of being judged by your friends or whoever is around you. The fear of pregnancies, STDS and other diseases. The fear of not feeling loved or treated right after the hookup. The fear of becoming a stereotype or getting involved into an environment that isn’t you. I think all of this is true, hooking up can be scary for people, but it is a culture and people wouldn’t hookup if they didn’t want to.
Recently, I hooked up with my best friend since pre-school and that definitely twisted with both of our heads. I think the experience was good and she agreed, so after we talked for a couple hours the day after, it was all good. The wait is what killed my head. I literally had to wait 15 hours to talk to her about how she felt and what was going to happen. My mind was playing tricks on me, but I stayed focused because I know what I wanted. I was scared of what she was going to stay, but it worked out in the end.
Our class definition of hookup culture is something that I believe to be the true definition of the topic. I would in fact simplify it more just by saying that it’s the culture where people prioritize sex over any other relationship. This week’s topic of the psychological aspect is really important because of factors like ghosting and the “what are we?” conversation.
History and learning from the past is very important topic and that resonated with me the most because being gay, I did have to experiment at a young age with what I liked and didn’t like and now I know exactly what I want. There are a lot of things that you’ll learn from experiences, like if a guy is hitting you up every night asking you to come over, he doesn’t love you he just wants to hook up. That’s something freshman year me wouldn’t grasp until I went through it and learned.
Our group has utilized a lot of databases so that we can have peer reviewed articles that will be valuable elements to the production of this book, however we did notice that minority groups like the LGBTQ+ community are underrepresented and there’s very limited data on their role in hookup culture. This is especially concerning due to the fact that hookup culture is a huge part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Throughout the semester, I have learned a lot about hookup culture and it’s really interesting to hear other people’s testimonies on the topic that I wouldn’t normally get exposed to if I was not enrolled in this class. I surround myself with friends who share the same morals and values and our personalities are very alike and our experiences in hookup culture so it’s very interesting hearing testimonies of people that are in a different demographic. Personally for me, hookup culture is such a big part of college culture because most people aren’t ready to slow down and be in a relationship and I personally think that being in a serious relationship would get in the way of my full college experience and I would regret it later on in life.
Looking back at our definition of hookup culture, “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment,” I believe it can relate to our psychological category and our subcategories of pressure, post-rape, gender differences, trauma, how they dress, emotional suppression/catching feelings and body image. Obviously there needs to be no pressure in this definition due to the fact that all hookups should be consensual.
Since we weren’t able to discuss this category in class like we did in-depth with the other categories, this narrative is going to be mostly about my opinions, but I think this was possibly one of the most important categories to discuss. I learn better by hearing other’s opinions on hookup culture, so I wish I had some knowledge from my class members instead of just reading our resources. After reading a couple of articles, I found an interesting piece published by Psychology Today. After multiple surveys conducted, ‘they found no negative psychological effects of participating in hookup culture’ (Weiss 2). But what surprised me the most is that women are more susceptible to experiencing negative effects because of shaming and emotional suppression. I feel like this is such an important note, and I want to talk about it in the last paragraph more.
As a team, my groupmate had taken a class on women studies, which looks at feminism specifically. This was during the time that this was a specific category, but there’s plenty of parts of feminism that relates to the psychology of hookup culture. Women are constantly reminded that they are the ones to typically catch feelings in these relationships. Hookups are supposed to be a mutual agreement between two partners, so why are women perceived as the ones always catching feelings?
I wanted to focus more on what I talked about in the second paragraph about the idea of how women are more susceptible to emotional distress or attachment to this topic. I’m not sure the exact psychology behind why they believe this, but I’m assuming that women are more in touch with their emotions and that we crave some type of partner. In my personal experience, when you hook up with someone that you’ve connected with on a deeper level than just sex, it’s hard to just ignore that. Instead of just leaving after the hookup, when you stay and talk or even if they just want you to stay after to cuddle, it makes it that much more susceptible for I think women in general to catch feelings. Guys might just make it a courtesy thing or even just to get to know you, but for me, if they continuously do these acts, it can be a little damaging when they don’t want to pursue you any further.
From weeks 8 to 9 of the course we discussed hookup culture in relation to psychology. We identified category elements such as pressure, gender differences, trauma, how they dress, emotional suppression/catching feelings and weight/body image. “Hookup” culture was defined as a consensual intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. I think the definition is interesting in specifying intimacy because an intimate interaction emphasizes the relationship between those in the “hookup” is private/personal/ close.
For spring break I went to Vegas for a week with my two best friends. There are significant benefits to the female gender compared to the male gender regarding clubs. Promoters get paid by clubs to bring in attractive girls. Clubs want to bring in girls so then guys will spend lots of money. Every night me and my friends got into clubs for free, received bottle service and tables and some nights even received free meals. For the male gender to receive the same every night they would have to pay hundreds and for the nights we had front row tables to see performers such as Zedd, 2Chainz, Timmy Trumpet, Dillion Francis etc. guys would have to pay thousands. Simply being girls we got placed at tables with MLB players, reality TV stars, millionaires and NHL players. My friends and I found we paid more attention to them knowing that they were famous even though sometimes they were not attractive and sometimes didn’t have good personalities either. Simply because they were famous and rich, they were more interesting.
Our team discovered two sources in connection to the psychology category. The first source is an article which discusses how vapid exploitations of sex through dating apps, kinks and pornography has led to a major decrease in intimacy between young people. I disagree mainly because our class definition of hookup culture includes the word intimate. Although there are many different definitions, I personally believe a hook up connection is intimate. The next source discusses research on hookup culture and the conclusion the current generation is polluting the ideas of romance and sex. The source frowns upon hookup culture and she states connections with hooking up were made with boredom, isolation and loneliness and are deprived of true romance and intimacy. I think hookup culture is a great way for people to connect and have fun and should in no way be frowned upon. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with hooking up with someone because you are bored. It is a type of interaction that can boost happiness and increase connections.
As I mentioned over spring break I traveled to Las Vegas. Here I viewed the hookup culture in a new setting. My friends and I dressed up and went to the clubs every night. The club setting was overwhelming with opportunities to hookup. As young girls me and my friends were approached by several guys, received high amounts of unwanted attention and cat calls. We would be walking through our hotel casino to the Uber or walking a block to the club at night and it seemed like every man we passed had to look at us or say something. At first it was fun to know we looked good but it got old very quick. Being in good shape in college our body images contribute to how men view us and our overall experience with guys being friendly and wanting to hook up.
Finding a connection or disconnection between the psychological aspects of hookup culture and our definition of hookup is much deeper than I had originally envisioned. My first thought was that the idea of hooking up is inherently psychological as we tend to crave things such as intimacy as part of our human nature. Making a connection with an obvious psychological undertone seems tedious and monotonous. Thinking more deeply, we begin to look at the multitude of hook up relationships that can be had. With that we begin to question things such as what drives some people to hook ups with strangers and others to friends with benefit relationships. I feel like looking into psychological aspects this way changes the perspective of hook ups as a whole.
I feel like history plays a role in the psychological aspect of hook ups when thinking about the rise of teenagers. The thought of this made me think about the day we discussed questions through sticky notes. The group I had worked with discussed the idea that people hook up sometimes to feel a sense of freedom from their parents and things along those lines. I found an article through the APA that discussed the growing popularity of hook up culture. They discussed that in the 1920’s, “young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely,” which was made possible by the rise of transportation options (Garcia 2013). Most major events in history could be potentially connected to hookup culture as a whole.
Our team had also looked at the gender differences in sexual relationships. The article by Whitton had described that many men had been reported to be looking into one time sexual encounters whereas women were mostly looking for repeated sexual encounters (2018). I thought this was interesting in the fact that it aligns well with societal stigma. I think that looking into the why of this would be interesting as well.
I feel like I don’t really have much personal say on the psychological aspect of hookup culture. I do think I have seen some of my friends and other people use it like a coping mechanism for traumas they’ve had. They use it like a distraction. That is something else I would like to look into. I know that hyper-sexuality is sometimes the aftermath of sexual abuse and assault, which I feel like is important to remember as the sexual assault advocacy efforts rise.
For the past few weeks, we have talked about the psychological aspect of hookup culture. To me, there are many subcategories when it comes to the psychological aspect, so this was an interesting topic to explore, research, and talk about.
Again, just like with the previous categories we’ve talked about in relation to hookup culture, I have a lot of personal experiences, opinions, and emotions when it comes to the psychological aspect of hooking up. One of the big things we’ve talked about under the psychological category has been attachment. I have hooked up with several people since I’ve been at Michigan State, and with a couple of those hookups, feelings of attachment came with them, which obviously takes a psychological toll, depending on how strong those feelings are. For example, during my freshman year, I ended up hooking up with a guy in my close friend group, and even though I liked him as more than just a hookup, he established that he wanted a no strings attached, friends with benefits type of deal. I agreed, but it ended up harming my emotional and mental health more than anything. I found myself emotionally attached to him for a short period of time and I was left wondering why I was only good enough for a hookup and nothing else. It also put a damper on our friendship when things ended, because frankly, things were just awkward for a while (thankfully we’re past that now). All of those factors really impacted me psychologically and had me to the point of tears on a few occasions, and I have now learned to not put myself in situations while hooking up that will harm me emotionally.
As for the research I’ve done on this category, I found an interesting article that discusses how men and women seem to feel about “no strings attached” sex/hooking up. The article stated that neither men nor women seem to be very happy with hooking up, but women are even less happy/satisfied with it than men (White). This is interesting because it brings us back to the central issue we always seem to come back to when it comes to talking about and questioning hookup culture: why do women seem to have such different psychological reactions to hooking up compared to men? Or why do we constantly perceive it that way?
In conclusion, attachment is a huge part of the psychological aspect of hookup culture and hooking up can have a negative effect on people’s mental health, like it has for me in certain situations. However, it can also have positive psychological effects for people who enjoy doing it, but unfortunately it’s been harder for me to experience that during my own experiences with hookup culture.
Hookup culture can be defined in many ways, the definition is different for everyone. Our class definition is very similar to how I would define hookup culture. The psychological part of hookup culture is very broad, but also very prominent during hookups. A lot of what you do is determined by how you think and what you believe.
The way you feel about yourself, others, intimacy, and much more determine how you participate in hookup culture and what part you play in it. Some of your psychological beliefs are determined by stereotypes or what society shows is right or attractive, no one wants to be an outcast or not considered socially acceptable. Who you are attracted to is purely psychological. Psychological also has to do with catching feelings and genuinely liking someone. Nowadays, no one wants to be emotionally vulnerable or show their feelings, which is why you don’t hear or relationships as much.
According to Psychology Today, there was a study done by Vrangalova which considered college students for a year and tracking their motivations for hookups and sex and seeing if it overall increased or decreased their overall well-being (2014). The following categories on motivations were autonomous, controlled, amotivational, and relational. After over a year of study, 37% of participations reported to have autonomous motivations, meaning they were interested in the possibility of enjoyment and considered it a positive experience. Looking at this data, you can see that majority of college students experience negative effects from hooking up, and overall decreases their well-being.
Personally, I believe psychology is one of the main aspects of hookup culture and should be thought of more when thinking about it. It is a huge thing and affects people very deeply. When I am hooking up I initially go more on looks and first impressions, but if I am getting more serious with someone I look more at personality and that is more attractive to me.
The psychological category seems a bit broad in my opinion. Psychological could be what people think about hookup culture. It could be what someone feels pressured by in hookup culture. Psychologically, our hookup culture can put a lot of pressure on someone, especially someone our age. I believe that today, people feel a lot of pressure to lose their virginity just to fit in socially. I think the category of psychology fits mostly with the category of social because they share some characteristics.
The psychological category also ties in with the feelings that may be attached to hookup culture. For some people, there may be zero connection to the person they’re hooking up with, but in some cases there are feelings. Furthermore, the feelings may not be mutual. One person may catch feelings for the other, but it is not reciprocated. This can end up taking a toll on someone’s mind because this is a gateway into getting ghosted.
Psychology can be a factor in a person’s mindset when going out to a party. Some people have the intentions of looking for someone to hook up with when going out to a party or the bars. These people seem to have a bit more confidence, however there is people who go out with less confidence. Confidence is huge in hookup culture; it gives someone the ability to talk to others without being nervous. Confidence comes from what you wear on a certain night or your image in general.
In the first two weeks of school our class defined “hookup” culture as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. Not everyone agrees with our definition so we have the quotation marks around hookup. The part of the definition that goes with physiological is no attachment. I agree with this part of the definition, I believe that a “hookup” is a little emotion interaction. A “hookup” only happens once or twice and doesn’t lead to anything more than a sexual interaction.
From the start of the semester to now I have learned a lot about “hookup” culture. Some parts of the psychological that resonate with me are pressure, how they dress, and emotional suppression. First off pressure, I am male and I have had personal experiences of pressure. I feel that men have more pressure to participate in the “hookup” culture more than women. I have seen on multiple occasions of guys trying to help out their friends and get them laid. Another part of psychological is how they dress. I personally feel like when I go out to parties I don’t talk to many people that don’t dress well. When you dress better you look more attractive and it shows they care about your appearance. The last part that resonates with me is emotional suppression. When I hear people talk about “hookup” culture they don’t say how they hoped for more after a one-night stand. Some people catch feelings but you should have the mindset going into a “hookup” to not catch feelings because it could get awkward and also someone’s feelings could get hurt. When I participate in the “hookup” culture I don’t look at it as romantic but just as a sexual interaction and nothing more.
The external sources my team has for psychological is interview and survey we will conduct. First of we will survey a roommate of a person in our group. The person we have chosen to interview participates in the “hookup” culture often and is a reliable source to question. They will talk about why they participate in the “hookup” culture and how their emotions play a role in it. The other source our team has is the survey we will conduct. We are giving our survey out to our friends and colleges. We are hoping we can get a lot of responses that will answers crucial questions about the “hookup” culture.
Throughout this week I learned a lot about the psychological aspect of “hookup” culture. A part that stood out to me is pressure to hook up. As a male, I have been pressured and I have pressured others when it comes to “hookup” culture. Men want to help their friends get laid they will help push them to talk to girls and be a wingman for them.
What resonated with me on this topic was when we talked about what makes someone attractive to others, and our need for approval. I do think that there is a lot of pressure on both men and women to reach certain standards of being attractive. If you are attractive or perceived this way, then there is a greater chance of a hookup. When it comes to what makes someone attractive, I think that each person has their own idea of this although society can influence this.
An external source that we found which related to this week’s category is titled “Can Casual Sex Ever Be Good for Your Mental Health?” written by Ashley Laderer. This article gave insights both from professionals as well as normal people who participated in hookups. The article shows that sexual activity and orgasms are scientifically proven to release multiple hormones that provide mental health benefits. Oxytocin, and dopamine are released which make us feel good and keeps us wanting more.
One subcategory that plays a role within psychology is catching feelings. This is a big part of hookup culture as typically no feelings are involved. If you do end up catching feelings, you could either take it further to a relationship or stop hooking up with the person. As a guy I don’t typically have any problems with catching feelings with a girl after a hookup. I understand that they we are not exclusive and if they wanted to be something else, we could have that conversation. I do understand that this is more difficult for girls and they can sometimes struggle with this.
Our classroom definition of hookup culture actually encapsulates the idea of a hook up quite well and is basically how I would define it. This week’s category of psychological effects from hook ups is something that most people can relate to compared to the other categories because most people, if not all, think about sex before and after the act (if that makes sense). Personally, I feel like I can talk more about this category because I relate to more of the subcategories compared to previous weeks.
The sticky notes activity resonated with me the most just because my group established that a “hookup” is just that, and nothing more. It’s not that big of a deal if you hook up with someone and they end up ghosting you because it’s something that is universally agreed upon one you communicate that you’re only looking for a hookup. If somewhere along the line you didn’t establish that you aren’t looking for anything other than a hook up and aren’t communicating everything that is where people get their feelings hurt. This resonated with me the most because communication is key to everything in life and this is an example where a sticky situation can be completely avoided.
Our external sources for the psychological category was from the “psychology today” website that mainly discussed the reasons why people hook up. What I got out of it was that today’s generation doesn’t want a “relationship” holding them back from their full potential, but we would still like to satisfy that hunger with a hookup and I completely agree with that mindset. I’m not saying that a relationship will hold me back from things, but some people might feel like they can’t be in a committed relationship which is completely fine with me.
The personal experiences I’ve had with the psychological effects before/after a hookup are usually self-depleting and not very pleasant because I am very insecure about my looks. For a guy, a hookup is probably something they just brush off their shoulders and maybe celebrate after it’s done. A guy could also be praised for sex while the girl could be labeled as a “slut/train” which is something that could be holding one back from participating in hookup culture. For pressure, I feel like it all depends on your friend group and who you hang out with because I have friends who pressure the virgin of the group to “get some action” while other friends could care less about who anyone hooks up with. Also, I know I shouldn’t judge people based on their looks, but I feel like it’s something everyone habitually does anyways. Personally, I am more attracted to anyone who has a good style and good hygiene in general; guy or girl. The effort that they put into their presentation is definitely eye catching and this also plays a huge role in body image. I still struggle with body image because life is basically like tinder without the app because people are looking at you and making a judgement; If someone doesn’t look a certain way, some people can feel self-conscious about themselves which will affect their overall confidence.
Before these two weeks, we all came to a conclusion on our definition of the “hookup” culture. “Hookup” culture is a consensual and intimate interaction that is sexual and is between two or more people without any prior or current commitment to each other. Keeping this definition in mind, as a class, we wanted to bring up the psychological topic and how it can relate to “hookup” culture.
We haven’t really had a lot of class time to discuss the psychological category, so it was kind of hard to think about this topic deeper. So, I really had to think about my past “hookup” experiences to get a deeper meaning about this topic. Since I don’t actively participate in “hookup” culture anymore it was difficult for me to pinpoint what this really means. But, I started thinking about my own experiences and how I felt about my past decisions, who I’ve hooked up with, how it psychologically affected me, and I also decided to think about my friends experiences as well.
“Hookups” can have a great amount of psychological effects on a person. When I did participate in “hookup” culture, ghosting was a huge thing to do. Basically, this is a way to let someone know that their “hookup” with you was a one-time thing. Any sort of communication just stops and usually it becomes awkward when you do come face to face with this person again. Personally, I have had my fair share of being ghosted as well as being the one to ghost someone. For some, this could be pretty discouraging because you don’t always know what their intentions were when someone did decide to ghost you. It really was either they didn’t see themselves “hooking up” with you any more or in the future or it could be they didn’t like what you did to try to sexually please them. There could be many other reasons for ghosting, but, these are the two main reasons that I could come up with. This could have a different psychological effect on people and could affect everyone differently.
In this article called 7 Sensible Reasons Why Casual Hookups Leave You Emotionally Drained, by Srija Banerjee, really allows you to think about other reasons “hookups” have a psychological effect on people (2017). I found this article and I really like it because it explains many different ways that hook ups can be emotionally draining and how each of these could affect your psychological state. I really like it because I think “hookups” are different for everyone and everyone is affected differently.
Our definition is very close and similar to what my personal definition and belief of “hookup” is. Emotional suppression/catching feelings is covered within the psychological category. This element can relate to the “without commitment” part of the definition. No commitment is a huge portion of hooking up. As no commitment is a large part of hooking up, I feel that people struggle with it the most. Emotions can sometimes get involved which doesn’t usually end well. Psychology plays a large role within hookup culture. Psychologically, one of the biggest parts of hooking up is weight and body image. In a relationship with no commitment and strictly just hooking up, you only care that you are attracted to them and nothing else matters.
In Wade’s book, she outlines some gender difference in the way that girls and boys get ready to go out to a party. It is explained that girls usually put a lot of time, effort, and thought into their outfits as they want to look their best. Whereas boys are described as more careless and have a simple process for getting ready (2017 27). I completely agree that girls care and put more effort into their appearance than boys. As a female, I feel that appearance and weight/body image are very important to girls. Many girls wear revealing or tight-fitted clothing when they go to parties. In addition, girls are focused on their image as this is an issue and a huge part of society. Confidence in yourself and how you look plays a role in how comfortable you are with hooking up.
Another subcategory that plays a role within psychology is catching feelings. This happens when you start to have feelings for someone that you didn’t plan on. Usually only one person within the partnership catches feelings and ends up getting hurt. Some individuals are able to hookup without catching any feeling while others may start to develop feelings for the person they are hooking up with. From my personal experience in hooking up there have been times I have caught feelings. When I expressed those feelings with the guy I was hooking up with, his feelings didn’t replicate with mine. It ultimately led to the end of us hooking up. I think that long-term hookups are more likely to lead to caught feelings compared to one-night stands. At least that is the case for me.
For the fourth to fifth week of material we began covering the category of psychological within the topic of hookup culture. Prior to this focus we, as a class, came up with a universal definition of “hookup” culture for the duration of the semester. I don’t think our definition particularly incorporates psychological because when I think of that category I think of the way hookups effect people mentally rather than the way a hookup is defined. Personally I don’t believe that the category of psychology applied to me because I don’t read into hookup culture or what it might mean. My personal definition of hookup culture would include what we have already created but also include more about the approach people have to hookup cultures or tools people use to aid in that approach.
I don’t think there is a major difference throughout history of “hookup” culture that applies to psychological. I think this because emotions haven’t changed through a period of time, emotions involved with a hookup is something that may have been felt the same in past generations as it does in this generation. Also I think that the same associated with hookups hasn’t changed, if anything it has gotten worse through different groups and types of people. Pressure to hookup in college in also something I feel hasn’t changed throughout history. This is more present now than it most likely was in the past, but there is an expectation for how people dress when they go out to find a hookup or to meet someone they are hooking up with.
Our source for this section was an article about what happens in the brain during sex. The lateral orbitofrontal cortex becomes less active, which makes people feel bolder and more confident, it also decreases depression and anxiety. The thalamus helps integrate information about touch, movement, and any sexual memories or fantasies that someone might call upon to help them reach orgasm. Meanwhile, the hypothalamus is busy producing oxytocin and may help coordinate arousal. Dopamine and oxytocin are released which are both hormones. Dopamine is often referred to as a “pleasure chemical” and oxytocin promotes a feeling of closeness and affection. Endorphins, vasopressin, and oxytocin also numb pain receptors (Mitrokostas “Here’s What Happens To Your Body And Brain When You Orgasm” 2019). This source was found before psychological became its own category and we had subgroups within that category. If we would have had more definitions when this was done we probably would have sources for the subgroups such as body image, and gender differences.
I have experienced the stigma with gender differences related to hookup culture and the standards associated with that. It is expected that men will have as much sex as they possibly can and not be judged for it. While women are expected to keep their virginity until marriage or as long as possible. This is an unfair standard and enforces shame upon women. This also promotes judgement and psychologically impacts women that participate in hookup culture.
As a class, we decided to define a hookup as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2 or more people without commitment, and while there is no direct mention of anything psychological, the use of “without commitment,” to me, touches on it. Being committed to someone implies that there is some kind of feelings involved. You don’t commit to someone you have no feelings for. Hookup culture is the opposite of “catching feelings.”
I think the talk we had about what makes someone attracted to another person and our need for approval from other people to agree is what stuck with me most. I do think that there is a lot of pressure for people to strive to be what society thinks of as beautiful. With that comes the pressure to be with people who others find attractive. In my experience, as a woman, I think men care more about the way that women look than women do men and there is more pressure on women to look a certain way. Women tend to go for men often because of their personalities. With that being said, however, men do face pressure to be certain ways both physically and emotionally.
Our group’s external resource for the category of psychological is an article from a therapist named Sarah Whitton. It’s titled The Reason Why People Hook Up. The article talks about different reasons that both men and women choose to hook up. The results from a study recourses a lot of what we have already talked about as a class. The idea of social pressure that women face is brought up and the fact that men are more likely to benefit from hookup culture is discussed.
During the section, we talked, as I mentioned earlier, that often women are the ones who want relationships more than men. I personally have experienced this but I do think women are also more liberated sexually than they ever were before. Slut-shaming still happens but I think that a good majority of women support other women in their decision to hook up. I think as a society we are starting to accept women as more than just an object but rather a person who has the same desires as men.
When looking at our class definition of hooking up, I believe that it relates extremely well to this 2-week category of psychological. As a psychology major, this definition can be broken down into many psychological aspects. The biggest part that can be looked at through a psychological perspective is intimacy and as well as commitment. There are so many psychological factors that play a role in how a person feels intimacy and as well as having commitment issues (or lack thereof).
This week during our sticky note discussion, there were a few categories/thoughts from other people that really stuck with me. One of the things we talked about in our groups was if the idea of physical appearance played a big role in hooking up. In our group, we said it did. The reason behind this being that our definition of “hookup” is brief and without commitment meaning you don’t really even have time to get to know the person you are hooking up with besides what they look like. Another thing that resonated with me, especially being a psychology student, was attachment or commitment. Many of the sticky notes asked about why some people get attached and others can hook up with hundreds of people and still not feel any type of attachment. One really interesting thing from previous psychology classes that talked about attachment is actually parenting style/how you were raised. While this is a little deeper than hooking up, it does play a role in how people view relationships and could also result in relationship commitment issues and different attachment styles.
One of my favorite external sources this week was an article on dating apps and how they can damage our self-esteem. Dating apps are one of the most common ways for people to “hookup” now a days and they can really do a number to our mental health. Many people are using dating apps to just mess around or have fun but if no one is “swiping” on you then it can have a pretty harsh impact on your self-esteem. One of things that I think dating apps are doing as well is really disconnecting us from the real life dating scene and giving us a false sense of reality. In the article by Dominique Astorino she has a quote in there from author Mark Manson which reads, “Basically, the more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting” (2019). This quote describes dating apps to a T, there is always someone who is going to be better looking or have more followers, etc. that you are going to want to go after.
As for my personal experience of the psychological side of hookup culture, there really isn’t much too it. Although I have participated in hookup culture all throughout college, I never personally felt any “bad” feelings from participating in hookup culture, though I do know a good number of people who have/do. The psychological aspect of hooking up is definitely an area that still needs some more studying to be done in. The role that hooking up can play on someone’s psychological state can be a scary thing and I think that gets overlooked a lot.
The “psychological” category is a bit hard to pin down or find within our class’ definition of hookup culture. One thing that could maybe be related to this category of psychology would be how words like intimacy and brief are used in the class definition which are words that are feelings and also relative to time. Feelings of intimacy and time going by stem from the brain which processes both of these. This is a bit far-fetched but those are the closest descriptor words that have any relatedness to the “psychological” category.
Personally I feel that I can relate to the category of the week because as a woman there is a lot of pressure to conform and to get validated by others. I honestly feel badly for women because let’s face it, guys run the hookup game, they have the penis and they have the booze. Many women like to compete for approval of guys and get their attention and although this seems pretty blunt and straightforward the “girl competition” is actually pretty covered up. All of the competing and backstabbing is always as mentioned, behind each other’s backs. So that is how I relate to the psychological category as sad as it may seem. I have been working on myself and have been trying to make sure that I do not get caught up in trying to seek approval from guys but let’s cut to the chase, it feels good to get complimented, just have to try to not let it get to one’s head I suppose. Oh and it’s so much better not to get caught up in drama, even though that’s the first thing people go to when there’s ever a pause in conversation.
The psychological source that my team and I have is from an online article, the title is “Here’s What Happens to Your Body And Brain When You Orgasm.” Honestly I find the article quite interesting because it dives into the chemicals that are released from the brain during a hookup and also touches on why you feel certain ways from hooking up and around certain people. For example, the article explained how after cuddling or kissing someone certain amounts of the chemical oxytocin will be released which is the same type of chemical released when a mom is breastfeeding her child and that the hormone facilitates feelings of closeness with the baby. I learned that this is part of the reason why you feel so connected to your mother, because of the oxytocin hormone.
I very much enjoyed learning of the psychological impacts that come from hooking up with people because it has only further aided me in my decision to be very cautious with whom I hookup with and I actually decided to stop hooking up with people for a while because it has caused me more harm than good. I am sure the fact that I am a female may have to do with myself getting attached more so than the guy but anyways for good measure I have just been deciding to stay away from hooking up altogether. I would love to see some research on if guys get attached as much as girls do since we all have the same brains right?
At the beginning of the semester, our class collectively decided on a definition for the term “hookup” culture. One of our five main topics our class is focusing in on relating to “hookup culture” is psychological. I believe that our class definition relates to the psychological aspect in some ways, but not in others. On one hand, our definition addresses the concept of no commitment. Usually, having no commitment means that one must suppress their feelings, or not even catch feelings in the first place, because a “hookup” is usually a one-time thing and people are free to “hookup” with other people as well. I also think that the idea of getting consent is very important, because if there is no consent, this can lead to a traumatic experience for an individual which would cause major emotional distress and psychological problems. Our definition does not address things like how weight, body image, or how people dress could influence people when attempting to engage in “hookup” culture. Another aspect our definition does not touch on is how prevalent pressure is in “hookup” culture. Even if someone is not being pressured directly, I believe that existing and living on a college campus and attending parties, bars, etc. really has an influence on people when considering joining the “‘common’ hookup culture.” At least at MSU, this culture seems to be the “norm,” and many people may feel the need to fit in and join what “everyone is doing,” even if this is not necessarily true.
Both Kathleen Bogle and Lisa Wade address the psychological components of “hookup” culture in their books (2008; 2017). As Bogle interviews many girls and guys in college, it becomes obvious that there are gender differences when thinking about “hookup culture.” One of the biggest gender differences Bogle addresses is how college men are just looking for sex, whereas college women are looking for and wanting to pursue a relationship (Bogle 76). This difference in the mindset of college men and women often leads to one person “catching feeling” while the other person doesn’t. This can lead to psychological issues for the person who hasn’t suppressed emotions during a “hookup.” One student in Bogle’s book states that “guys like to look at girls and their body structure” as they walk by (73). This same student states that guys watch girls walk by and literally rate them based on their body and how they’re dressed. There is no mention of girls doing this to guys. The more men continue to objectify women’s bodies, the more women are going to worry about how they look during sexual encounters, and the more psychological issues they might develop because of this. In Lisa Wade’s book, she addresses what psychologists think of this. They claim, “no matter how attractive a woman actually is, the more she worries about how she looks, the less likely she’ll experience sexual desire, pleasure, and orgasm” (Wade 199). Although our class collectively believes that “rape culture” is completely separate from “hookup culture,” Lisa Wade addresses the pressure and danger relating to “hookup culture.” According to Wade, at least one in five women in college, and one in sixteen men, will be a victim of sexual assault (2017). Although sexual assault is different from “hookup culture,” since college campuses have a large “hookup culture,” sexual assault remains a serious problem here.
Our team’s external source from our annotated bibliography relating to the psychological category is a survey we plan to conduct. We will send the survey to members of a fraternity and a sorority here at Michigan State in an attempt to learn more about the psychological impacts of “hookup” culture. We are also interested to see how Greek Life influences “hookup culture.” Our survey questions focus on how appearance, weight, body image, pressure, gender differences, and feelings influence what guides people to participate in “hookup” culture. One downfall to this survey could be that people may lie about their experiences with “hookup culture” as they may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable discussing this topic with others. This is often a problem when conducting surveys, where participants do not answer with complete honesty. Since we have not yet conducted this survey, I cannot elaborate on the outcome of this survey.
From my personal experience, one thing that I notice on a daily basis when living on a college campus is that it seems that girls are “expected” to dress a certain way when attending a party or a bar, but guys literally wear whatever they want, and don’t think twice about what they’re wearing. The reason for this is unclear to me. Also, in my personal experience, I choose to not participate in “hookup culture.” One main reason for this is that I believe that I would “catch feelings” and I would want more out of the “hookup.” I think having a sexual encounter with someone is very intimate, and I would be unable to suppress my emotions and feelings, and I would feel connected to that person after our experience together.
I think our class’s definition sums up exactly what hookup culture is, at least in my opinion. I think no matter what “group” believe they belong to, when asked what their definition of hookup culture they would say something along the lines of what our class came up with.
In terms of history and hookup culture. I think what resonates with me is learning from each “hookup” experience. I think before we participate in hookup culture we all have ideas, and expectations of what it’s supposed to be and then once you’re a situation, you realize that it can sometimes be completely different from what you initially thought it would be. The more I participate in the hookup culture the more I learn about myself and what I want in a partner, once I do decide I want to get serious with someone. This week my group found that even though every generation before us has participated in their own form of “hookup culture” our generation is the first generation to have this many access to people. Social media has made it possible for us to not only develop friendships with people halfway across the world, but has made it easier for us to have access to a wide variety of potential hookups. Apps like tinder make it easier, because there’s no awkward stage of “does this person like me” on tinder when we match with someone who automatically knows they find us attractive because that is the nature of the game.
I have decided to stop participating in hookup culture because I feel it does more damage than good for me. Recently I’ve learned that I’m codependent and this has affected me in all my relationships. I always find myself craving for more than a hookup, even when deep down I don’t like the person all that much. I tend to create meaning where there concerning the guys that I hookup with, I overthink and always end up feeling like my current guy is my dream man who has come to love and save me. This happens because of my anxious attachment style and obviously I end up with emotionally unavailable partners. I’ve decided the best thing for me is to take a long time off and just work through my childhood trauma. I think this week’s topic of Psychology is something that should definitely be explored regarding hookup culture. I think a lot of people even though they won’t admit it are using hookup as a way to deal with past trauma, and self-esteem issues. Psychology plays an important role in our everyday lives and I think the way we think effects what we find attractive and how we see ourselves.
Our definition doesn’t clearly state anything about psychology, but it is underlying. I believe psychology plays a large role in hookup culture. Even though I think this, I don’t fully understand it. Everyone acts differently while hooking up and it leaves many people confused. I will discuss how feelings and judging people play a big role into hookup culture.
A big part in hooking up is determining whether or not it is more than just sex. It is commonly said that once someone has feelings for the other one, the casual hooking up is over. I think this happens to more girls than guys. Guys have a way of shutting off their feelings while girls tend to express them more. I’m not sure why but this tends to scare guys off or make them not attracted to you for some reason. Whether they didn’t want a relationship or don’t want an emotional investment it is still a mystery on why they act like they do sometimes. As someone who tends to have lots of emotions towards people, I have learned to suppress it well since it is basically a ‘no-no’ in hookup culture. I wish I knew the magic way to change guys’ minds about their feelings, but this is what I and many others have experienced.
I think that people have a hard time dealing with the ‘repercussions’ of hooking up. While everyone has different opinions, there are a lot of people who are quick to judge others when it comes to their own decisions. When people are constantly being torn down either to their face or behind their back, it can have a large impact on them mentally. The psychology behind why this is a bad thing is unknown to me. I don’t believe people should be shamed for what they do. If you want to participate in hookup culture, that’s up to you and if you don’t that is also your personal choice.
It’s still confusing on how much psychology play a role into hookup culture. Everyone has their own mind about it and what they do about it. I don’t think anyone knows the secret to hookup culture either. It is something we all explore and learn on our own. Whether you are judged for it or shamed for having feelings, there is no reason for it. You should be able to do and feel what you want.
Over the course of our class we have discussed many different aspects of “hookup” culture including the social and communicative aspect and the different groups that are involved in “hookup” culture. These past two weeks have been focused on the psychological standpoint and the many different psychological effects involved in “hook up” culture. When looking at our class definition in regard to the topic at hand this week, psychological, there is not a huge connection between the two. This definition does not discuss or even touch on the psychological aspects that go into how people choose “hookup” partners, how “hookup” culture impacts participants, and its overlying psychological impact on how people are viewing relationships in our current world. For the lack of discussion on the psychological impact’s “hookup” culture has I would have to say our classes definition is a bit disconnected from my own as I do believe it needs to at least briefly touch on the psychological aspect. I am also aware that it is easier to discuss this topic in a more in-depth way compared to just a definition which can add to difficulty of discussing this topic in a definition.
As our class discussed this idea and we had the chance to read our classmates anonymous views I was able to see how “hookup” culture has had a really negative effect on people’s lives. In some of the anonymous papers I read people discussed how they have had negative thoughts about themselves after participating in “hookup” culture which sometimes led to them not wanting to form any type of sexual relationship with anyone. In an article written by Justin Garcia, a researcher at Indian University, he discussed how the 1920s kicked off the time of people participating in hookups and by the 1960s young adults became more sexually liberated and it has continued to grow since this time (Garcia 2013). As our group has discussed this more and have decided that a large majority of people are participating in “hookup” culture, we think this has a large effect on people’s mental health as we had gathered from our classmates’ writings. Overall, there is not a lot of research on “hookup” culture and it is hard to say exactly how “hookup” culture is impacting the psychology of people when looking at the greater picture as it has increased so much in recent years.
When trying to think about the psychological aspect in relation to my own personal experiences it is hard for me to say exactly the effects. I personally have not participated in “hookup” culture as much as the average person as I have spent quite a few years in a long-term relationship. With that being said I have seen some of close friends participate in “hookup” culture in an extreme way and I have also seen how it has impacted them. I have seen the majority of my friends participating “catch feelings” for a person they are “hooking up” with and when those feelings are not reciprocated it can cause similar feelings as when a couple breaks up. I have also seen how this can impact their mental health such as self-confidence issues, body image problems, and sometimes getting them to a point where they are avoiding the opposite sex all together. I believe the same thing has happened to many others and I think this plays a key part in the way people are viewing relationships and struggling with the idea of only being with one person. As there is not enough research around the psychology of “hookup” culture I do not have search to back me up, but this could be playing a big part on there being more divorces and less relationships in our current day. Overall, this is a difficult aspect of “hookup” culture to discuss and I believe there needs to be some serious research occurring in the future on this topic.|
Our class defined hookup culture as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between two or more people without commitment. I would say that this definition of hookup culture fits very well with my personal definition of hookup culture as it relates to this week’s topic of psychological. First, I agree that hooking up can be seen as consensual and intimate because the two people need to both agree on the hookup, as well as the interaction must be intimate in some sort of way. Both members must mutually consent to the hookup for it to be classified as one. What lands in the gray area, and what fits most with the psychological category, is the idea of how the members of the hookup feel after or during the hookup. The hookup definition does not say anything about the people participating having feelings for one another, or loving each other in any sort of way, and these feelings do not pertain to the hookup itself. People are supposed to see hooking up as a very casual thing, no strings attached, with no label on the relationship between the two people (although some may say that couples who do this can also be seen as hooking up). However, feelings can arise very quickly because of the hookup. The consensual part of the definition addresses that both parties agree to it, but cannot control whether or not one person may catch feelings for the other, and this is the part where it can hurt someone mentally if one person does or does not feel the same way for the other. Consensual also plays a role because since both parties must agree mutually, one person cannot pressure the other person into participating in the hookup if they don’t want to. Pressuring someone into this intimate interaction when they clearly state no can be seen as rape, and this is another gray area that some people deal with as well. The other person must clearly state “yes” for the interaction to be seen as consensual, and they must ask every time. Assumptions is where this can be misconstrued, and people can be hurt psychologically if the experience does not end with both people giving clear consent.
Pertaining to the psychological category, I can see that there are a lot of similarities and differences where history comes into play. Firstly, the way people dressed back then and the way people dress now are a completely different ball-game. Going back to the 50’s/60’s, it seemed that people at parties or social gatherings would be very modest in their clothing choices, wearing long, big dresses and being a lot more conservative. This kind of dress does not scream “hookup” to me. Nowadays, when people go out to potentially find someone to hook up with, it seems like the less clothing the better. People dress a lot differently than back then, not necessarily saying they are dressing to find a hookup, because that is not always the case, but dressing in the hopes of meeting someone and looking your best is definitely a prevalent theme. This also comes with another gray area as well, as some guys will use what girls wear as an excuse to get with them or do things to them that the girl would not consent to. This is prominent in the guy saying the girl is “asking for it” by what she wears, which is completely wrong and can mess with a girl psychologically if the guy ends up doing something that the girl does not vocally consent to, (or vice versa). Another difference between back then and now can be seen in how weight/body image is viewed. Some guys (not all) may say that they prefer thinner girls, and this puts a lot of pressure on a girl to look a certain way to seem more desirable to guys who they potentially may want to hookup. I think that this is a more prominent theme than in history, as nowadays girls have social media, where we can easily compare ourselves to other girls and have more of a negative self-image of ourselves, to whereas back then, they did not have so much at their fingertips. This can weigh a lot on a girl because the way she views herself affects her confidence and she can blame herself if she does not get as many hookups as she wants or with the people she desires. The same is vice versa for guys, guys may see a photo on social media and compare themselves, and have a negative self-image of themselves that can easily affect their confidence.
For the psychological category, our team used an article titled “Here’s What Happens To Your Body And Brain When You Orgasm” by Sophia Mitrokostas. Basically, this article runs through what your brain and body goes through while having sex, down to very specific details about parts of the brain that are affected and how someone feels as a result of it. Firstly, Mitrokostas states that during sex the lateral orbitofrontal cortex becomes less active, which makes people feel bolder and more confident, while also decreasing depression and anxiety (2019). This is an interesting point to make, and may explain why many people get so addicted to having sex. Next, the thalamus helps integrate information about touch, movement, and any sexual memories or fantasies that someone might call upon to help them reach orgasm. Meanwhile, the hypothalamus is busy producing oxytocin and may help coordinate arousal. Dopamine and oxytocin are released which are both hormones. Dopamine is often referred to as a “pleasure chemical” and oxytocin promotes a feeling of closeness and affection. Endorphins, vasopressin, and oxytocin also numb pain receptors (2019). This article is very useful because it goes in depth about the parts of the brain that are affected during sex and what the outcomes are, and provides insight into what scientifically happens to someone when they are having sex to produce the feelings they have. It provides explanations to why sex can be so addicting and such a powerful tool for couples and people who want to hookup who want to get to that intimate level with one another. That amount of closeness and affection provided during sex is what draws people back to one another and contributes to feelings being spread for one another, which is not supposed to be part of the hookup definition. Some downfalls to this article may be that it isn’t very easy to understand if you are not familiar with different parts of the brain and how they fit into the entire piece in the body.
Personally, I have some experience from hooking up that pertains to the psychological category. I have fallen into the trap of hooking up with someone just to hook up, but instead having the hook up mess with my head, and unintentionally catching feelings for someone when it isn’t supposed to be like that, and they did not feel the same way. It is such an emotional burden when you mentally feel that way about someone, but it isn’t supposed to be like that, and you know that, but there really isn’t anything you can do about it but to try and move on. It doesn’t help either that the more you hook up with the other person, the more you may feel these same feelings when the other person does not reciprocate. This can be one of the damaging effects to hooking up, and why I have chosen to not participate as much as I had in the past. In addition, I have had my experience of someone pressuring me to do things that I was not comfortable with doing, and this affects how you feel psychologically as well. I would think into my decision. I knew I did not want to do this with this person, and that it did not feel right for me, but the other person’s pressure made me rethink myself and possibly have me questions that maybe there was something wrong with me for not wanting to participate in that way. This is another way that hookups can affect someone. Hopefully in a relationship with someone you trust, your significant other would not act that way. But with hookups, one person may have other ideas in mind than the other, and this can lead to things going wrong, lack of consent, and lack of communication that I have experienced first-hand.
The definition for “hookup” culture that we come up with as a class and my personal definition for “hookup” culture does not saying anything related to the psychological aspect of hooking up. However, the definitions do not disconnect from the psychological aspect. I believe that the psychological part of hooking up cannot be explained in the definition itself. It has to be explained in greater detail, with more thought put into it.
Since we have not had much class time to discuss the psychological category, we have not been able to go deeply into the history of the psychological aspect of “hookup” culture. However, I believe that a person’s own history of past decisions, actions and real-life consequences can heavily impact their psychological well-being. If a person has had good or bad experiences in “hookup” culture, then that will impact their future decisions and actions.
For this category or chapter of the book, psychological, my group found an article about how “hookup” culture can dominate and diminish a person’s self-worth. The article talks about how it can be hard to define the pros and the cons of a casual relationship. It also talks about how much easier it is to have a casual relationship with someone because of all the dating apps that have come out in the past few years.
Since I do not actively participate in “hookup” culture I do not have any personal experiences with the psychological aspect of it.
The class definition of hooking up is “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. I personally have a very similar definition to our class definition. I believe hooking up is having a sexual relationship. Although kissing is a form of hooking up, personally I don’t believe that that ‘counts’ as hooking up. I think our class definition relates very closely to this week’s topic of psychology. I think the psychology of why someone hooks up is very interesting to think about and the fact that it took us so many weeks to even determine a definition for hooking up shows the complexity or the subject and people reading this might not agree with my own perspective of hooking up but psychologically, that is what is right for me.
We did an exercise where in groups we answered different questions that were asked by our fellow classmates on Post it notes. I think it is really interesting to think of it from a psychological perspective. One of the questions I found most interesting is a very simple question. What causes someone to hookup? And from a psychological perspective the main answer that we kept coming across from multiple articles was the fact that it’s easy. It’s easy to hookup and not have to put emotional feelings in it. Emotions can be exhausting and hookups take that out and put some fun in. There isn’t any time or commitment needed which is the fascination of hookups.
In our group we have someone who studies psychology so they used a source that they had used in another class. This source is super interesting because it talks about in a lot of detail the brain functions that happen and what chemicals are released when we are happy, or scared, or excited…. It’s a really detailed psychology book that I quite frankly don’t know much about. But it’s interesting to read for sure.
I think personally looking at my psychological approach to hooking up is very interesting. I find it very hard to hook up with someone and separate feelings and just hookup which is probably why I don’t hook up with people very often. I think an aspect that is interesting is who we hook up with. Personally I have a very specific type, and I mainly hookup with people that fit my type. However, I think it’s interesting to look at my friends’ type for example, and how we are so close yet wouldn’t hook up with similar people at all. It is interesting to look at what I find attractive and what my friends find attractive.
I agree with our class’s definition and believe it is broad enough to encompass everyone’s beliefs surrounding hookup culture. I was very excited when I found out that this week’s theme is psychology. I think psychology is very interesting, especially relating to hooking up and the culture that surrounds it.
When I think about psychology in “hookups,” my first thought relates to gender and sexuality differences. I think psychologically there are differences, and this could be the source of why men and women view shame and body count differently. For women especially, it is seemed that shame plays a big role in hookup culture. Women typically receive shame for having more than one partner or even having a one-night stand. Personally, I have friends who participate in hookup culture and while I do not judge anybody I know many people who will say things to me about how they should feel bad about what they are doing and how it is wrong, or that they are “sluts”. For men this is not as common. I have seen first-hand my guy friends brag about how many girls they have slept or hooked up with like it is a prize. They even make a game out of it. My question is why is it ok for guys and no ok for girls? I believe it probably has something to do with stereotypes and gender roles that people hold deep and do not let go of.
Something else I find interesting on the psychology side is how people deal and differentiate between love and a friend with benefits hookup experience. Personally, I do not participate in hookup culture but, I think this would be something that would be very difficult for me. I become attached pretty quickly and I do not think I would be able to deal with the emotional side of just hooking up. My group used the Bogle book these past two weeks for the topic of psychology. In the Bogle book, she talks about this and says that women are looking more for a relationship while men could separate a hookup and emotion (2008). I do not completely agree with this. While there are some, like me, who are looking for a relationship, there are also many who can separate the emotion. I have many friends who find it easy and are only looking for sexual relationships. I also know many guys who want a relationship and are not looking for just a hookup. I think it all depends on the individual and who they are as a person.
I think guys are very different from girls on a psychological level. While there are exceptions I think girls care more about appearance and how they look, and guys do not really focus on that. I think there are standards placed on girls to look a certain way and dress a certain way while guys do not have the societal pressures. Body appearance is more heavily valued for a girl and many girls are not happy with the way they look because they are not like the Instagram models. From experience I have also seen that guys are more open than girls, guys do not fear that they will be judged while girls tend to hold things in or not want to talk about it because they do not want to be judged or criticized. Again, I believe it is this way because of what society has shaped gender stereotypes to be.
The thing about psychology and hooking up is that there are gender differences relating to it. In most of our research it says that women value finding love and have a harder time hooking up because of intimacy. When you are intimate, it makes it difficult not to catch feelings for the other person. For men, it is seen more as just a hook up and that is that. Therefore, it is harder for some people to disconnect hooking up from love, making the definition a little complicated. To me, intimacy means love and/or commitment, so it is challenging to say that when thinking about psychology that intimacy is a part of hooking up.
Many people close to me study psychology. I never had any real knowledge about it until now. I actually had a discussion about hooking up with my friends who analyzed the conversation. When discussing with my male friends, they disproved the study about men thinking about hooking up as just hooking up. Of course not everyone falls into a category and age may play into it. Every person I talked to has a struggle with disconnecting hooking up from love, both men and women. Talking about experiences with friends helped me feel not alone, therefore helping my psyche. By just analyzing what we have discussed, it is clear that psychology plays a role in every decision we make.
We found an article relating to psychology for our bibliography. It was actually from a website called Psychology Today, how ironic. It follows a study the author did in response to a previous study she conducted about how people act and feel after a hookup. It highlights what percentage of men and women want any contact with the person they hooked up with the night before. It also studies what percent actually do want a relationship or other romantic aspects to come out of the hookup. Although those seem like direct opposites, there are people that fall in between those categories and potentially want something in between, such as friends.
As stated before, I did not have any knowledge of how psychology related to hooking up. I now understand more about it upon discussing with my psychology majored friends. The main differences come from different genders and also relate to age. Although these two weeks have not been focused on groups, they relate heavily to psychology considering how the brain develops over time. As you get older and your brain can comprehend more, hooking up is seen differently and you are affected differently by an experience. Overall, this category was slightly more difficult to understand because of the lack of class time, but I did my best!
During the first two weeks of class, we created our definition of “hookup” culture. The psychological impacts of hookup culture disagree with this. Post rape and trauma can cause risks of triggers and lack of comfortability during a hookup. This can lead to difficulty for a member to feel weak and scared in an environment that is meant to be consensual and comfortable. I am fortunate to not have any post rape/trauma that affects me because I have always felt safe in hookups. Additionally, the definition does not discuss the pressure that people of different genders and sexualities have to endure. As a women, I feel pressured to not been gaging in hookup culture. I even catch myself shaming myself for not being a “lady” in the bedroom. And because of my place in the LGBTQ community, I feel pressured to either have sex all the time or not have sex at all. Another thing the class definition doesn’t cover, is that people are pressured to look a certain way and be a certain way. We are only the copy of the thing we want to be. We dress a certain way to look attractive to a certain person. This causes the exchange of pressure on appearance between 2 people hooking up. The last thing the definition doesn’t address is feelings being caught. It is very common for people to get into a no strings attached hookup and end up catching feelings for the other person. In fact, I know some girls who know they want an actual relationship but choose to agree to non-committal hookups in hopes to get the other person’s attention. And that right there is proof that it’s not only a problem on the girls’ side because the other person needs to deal with the awkward situation of explaining they don’t have the same feelings. As I expressed, I do feel pressure from both sides to either be super engaged in hookup culture and to not be. I know my decision, which is to stay loyal to my partner. This also leads to seeing the pressure my partner faces. I have been able to see many times where my partner’s friends don’t find a problem with girls around my partner when I’m not around. These past experiences make me paranoid (which is another problem) but I just have to live with the fact that my partner’s friends are just like that and that the real issue is whether I trust my partner. I do not feel any association to post trauma. However, I do feel pressured to look good for my partner. Even in a relationship, I see that I want to change my body to look more desirable to what I feel like my partner likes better now. Now that I think about it, even if I felt like I had the perfect body for them, I would want to change to make sure they don’t get bored of me. They say that they like whatever I am, and that I am their type, but they don’t tell me what they want my new hair look to be or what my nails should look like. Sites like Cosmopolitan endorse women wearing lingerie and dominating in bed (Hsieh 2019). This article is brainwashing their readers to think that this is what men want, and it gets thousands and thousands of reads. And to think, if an article titled “17 sex cravings all girls have” that is directed to a straight male audience came out, men who are insecure of their appearance or activity level in the bedroom would pick up.
My Team is using a TED talk video and an American Psychological Association article. The TED talk is about how our society engaging in hookup culture is convenient in this day and age but makes us invisible to forming bonds and connections to people because the hookups are just distractions from our life. I agree with this idea because I am a believer that love is needed for happiness. Forms of love come from family, friends, and a significant other. If you put yourself in a position of 0 percent contribution of love from a sexual partner, you open yourself up to less love and less happiness. The APA article goes over the highs and lows of hookup culture from the point of view of a straight male and female. It is interesting because even though a straight male and straight female will both feel the highs of sex, they also have to endure the shame, their self-respect, and any feelings they might have.
I believe our class definition is very close to my personal definition of “hookup.” Many of the things such as “consensual” and “brief” really describe it from my personal standpoint. The one main thing I would disagree with due to personal preference is the statement in which we concluded that hookups can be 2 or more people at the time of the hookup. For me personally that isn’t considered hooking up to me. I believe that is the only skewed description for our class definition although it does a great job including and broadening the hookup culture due to others preferring more than one person. Another thing that could be included is the idea of texting the next day. As I think the next day is actually the most important phase of the hookup due to the sober dealings of all the events that happened that prior night. Sometimes the most feared part is the next day as well due to people worrying about the opinions of others and wondering if this will be a recurring thing or just one time. The tension created by this “next day” phase sometimes outweighs even dealing with the hookup in the first place. Therefore, making the next day important.
Many of the things we talked about relate to the psychology of the hookup culture in which I have experienced. One thing that caught my attention was the timing of the text and what is said can affect the way the person may feel about the relationship. If a text is sent early and has heart emojis that person may conceive that hook up as something more than just a physical experience. Whereas, if there is not a text message sent after the hookup for a while that can relay the un-said message of the relationship just being physical. Many do not realize it, but psychologically that first text can very likely sway the way the person feels about you. There have been times that I thought one way, but a text from the person leads you to think well maybe our relationship could lead to this. Since you sometimes come off of a physical experience with that person that was full of pleasure for both sides it can lead you to look at things with an overly optimistic outlook rather than with real life pros and cons. That is what I found to be the biggest thing that has stuck out to me during our last class session discussing the psychology of hookup culture.
Over the past two weeks, the few times we actually had class, we discussed in depth the psychological aspects of hookup culture. This is a very critical part of the culture, and perpetuates the positives and negatives of it. Psychological ties in both groups, and social/communicative. Through groups, such as friend groups and seeing other people participate, individuals feel pressured to participate in the culture. This is prevalent especially in the bar scene on campus. If one’s friends are actively trying to hookup, or do so occasionally/regularly, one feels heightened pressure to not ‘fall behind’ or be lame. This is purely psychological, and can have very negative impacts on individuals who might not otherwise have participated. Social/communicative is also a critical part of the psychological aspect of the culture. What one sees on social media, dating sites, and other social platforms is crucial to understanding what maintains the prevalence of the hookup culture. Tinder, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites encourage individuals to explore and hop around from one person to another. One rarely sees commitment, or a desire for commitment on these sites, and that certainly impacts young people. If other people can ‘have fun’ and fuck around, why can’t they do it too. But like I’ve written about before, hookup culture is not inherently bad. What is bad about it is the effect it has on people who might not willingly want to participate. It drags people in its circle of influence who might not want to be involved, but do not have the mental fortitude or will power to stop themselves. This leads to unhealthy life decisions that severely impacts the mental health of younger people, and makes them feel less than and insecure. For many, hookup culture is a good thing. It is a medium of stress relief, experimenting, and fun. These individuals acknowledge what they are doing, and are not necessarily pressured to act any certain way. However, many do not always acknowledge they are not prepared to be in the culture, and realize its adverse effects on them after participating. The psychological aspect is crucial, and is important for everyone to be aware of. I was not aware, as we have discussed several times in class and read in Lisa Wade’s book, that people now are not necessarily hooking up more than previous generations. I know many people who would argue that people now are hooking up way more than they have before, but that is a product of the increased presence and influence of social media, and is also a pure product of psychology. Perception is what matters, and not necessarily reality. That is what drives the culture, and what will continue to drive it in the future.
Consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment is what we defined a hookup to be. It really does demonstrate the psychological part of a hookup. “Without commitment” can really be a hard thing for people to do. Since sex is very intimate people sometimes cannot distinguish between feelings and just sex.
One thing I feel like is talked about a lot is “not catching feelings”. Catching feelings is when you realize that someone means a little more to you than you wanted. I get that getting feelings for someone can be kind of heartbreaking. But now-a-days I feel like we kind of try to have a competition with whoever can be less attached. It is so frowned upon to start liking someone after you hookup with them. Even I am guilty of this with my friends. If one friend is starting to like a boy she was hooking up with, we all kind of hype her up to stay single and that “boys ain’t shit” type of mentality. Which is not healthy. But catching feelings is bound to happen, especially if it is a friend with benefits situation. It is mentally exhausting trying to constantly show that you are the person that doesn’t care more than the other person. I feel like our generation with hooking up is not psychologically healthy.
Shame. Which is such a huge psychological part of hooking up. I really feel like the next couple of generations will eventually almost diminish all types of shame with hooking up. Hopefully. There is no reason that people should be upset or embarrassed for being sexual. It is literally part of our human nature. I feel like mostly with girls that being known as “easy” is so hurtful. It is crazy how having sex can automatically give you a bad reputation. I know of multiple girls of being pretty much harassed in high school for not even having sex just from getting handsy and giving oral. It definitely was not good on their mental health. Psychologically it can give them a negative outlook on being sexual, and kind of scare them into doing anything again. I also feel like girls need to stop putting girls down for also having sex. (It has gotten a lot better in the past couple years but I know that some girls still judge.) If we band together we could finally shut down all the shame for just hooking up all other.
Of course there are other reasons for shame, like being drunk and hooking up with someone that you wouldn’t of have if you were sober. I feel like we all regret things, just constantly being hard on yourself will be really bad for your mental health. Long story short hooking up is very psychological so be prepared to possibly catch feelings but things happen don’t let things bug you that are not in your control.
During this two week period, our class explored the psychological aspects of hookup culture. This includes the emotional suppression that comes along with a hookup, or even the opposite of catching feelings when you didn’t intend to. As a class, we decided that the definition of a hookup was “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment,” and I believe that the elements that we chose for the psychological aspects of a hookup do reflect what goes into a successful brief sexual interaction. A large chunk of being able to have a hookup without commitment is being able to suppression emotional feelings that accompany having sex. For some this is easier than others, and helps deflect any emotional stress, trauma, or guilt from having a hookup that wasn’t what you thought it would be. Being able to flip that emotional “switch” is vital to not catch feeling.
When we talk about learning from past decisions, especially decisions about hooking up, there is no way possible that psychology isn’t an aspect of that. The whole reason that we are able to learn from the past is by evaluating experiences in the past that were either positive or negative, and based on your own personal evaluation, that is how you decide if you wish to continue a certain action in the future, particularly hooking up. For example, if someone had a hookup and they caught feelings for the other person when they didn’t plan to, and that partner didn’t reciprocate those same emotions, it can leave a very messy and stressful situation that can influence that person to not want to hook up again for the fear of going through that cycle of catching feelings again. On the other hand, if someone partakes in a hookup that was successful, and no one caught feelings, then they would be more willing to participate in another hookup in the future because they never experienced those negative consequences.
In reference to my team’s annotated bibliography, we included one source on the psychological aspects of hookups. In the expert from the book, researchers looked at men and women post hookup and found that there was a general tread that each person involved in a hookup may feel general malaise or depression, it depends on how well that individual is able to control their emotional feelings towards their hookup partner. This is why it is so important to have larger sample groups when conducting research like this because people are so different in the way that they process their own emotions, and no two people do it in the same way.
When I think about how I process my emotions and psychological processes when it comes to hookups, I think back to one specific event. I was at a friend’s house party and I thought one of my friend’s friends was attractive. We hit it off talking and by the end of the night we were laughing and eventually exchanged numbers. Later on, we ending up kissing and during the moment, we were both enjoying it. It wasn’t until after I went home that night and woke up in the morning and really thought about it that I felt gross for doing that. I couldn’t tell you why I felt that way; maybe it was due to the fact that I never pictured myself doing that, but either way, it left a bad taste in my mouth and kind of made me reevaluate how I would go about a similar situation like that in the future. Without me processing that whole event, I wouldn’t have come to the conclusion that situations like those maybe aren’t my cup of tea. It is crucial that we all use our own psychological evaluations of our own experiences to determine what we like and what we don’t like.
Our class defined hookup culture as consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. On the surface of our definition, it doesn’t seem to mention the psychological topic, but it’s there. Implying that something is intimate means that it involves feelings and emotions. Implying that something that is intimate without commitment gets a little messy when feelings are involved. And although our definition doesn’t go into detail discussing the specific psychological aspects of hooking up, it is implied.
There are a lot of emotions involved with hooking up, good and bad. The article “Social Interaction is Critical for Mental and Physical Health” form the New York Times focuses on the importance and benefits of social interaction. Although the article doesn’t touch on the topic of “hookup” culture, it is a form of social interaction, a very intimate form. The article concludes that those who have a higher amount of social interaction will live longer and have fewer health problems. The study found that those with close social ties lived longer, regardless of a healthy or unhealthy lifestyles, implying that social interaction and connectedness is just as important, if not more so, than any other form of healthy living. This ties into our discussions of “hookup” culture because even if one isn’t participating in hooking up, settings like parties and bars that often lead to hookups, are places of high social interaction. It could be very beneficial to immerse oneself into these settings, regardless of hooking up or not.
Another very important psychological part of hooking up revolves around how media portrays “hookup” culture and how that affects one’s view of themselves, their hookup behavior and hookup culture in general. Especially with the rise of dating apps and people meeting partners online, media can be detrimental. Hookup culture has become a major theme for all forms of media, like movies and TV, books and songs. Movies often portray an unrealistic image of what a hookup is. This can create an unrealistic “hookup” script and can make many people feel question if they are doing something right, what they’re doing wrong and critique themselves for not being like the movies. In both books from Bogle and Wade, their research found that many people overestimate how much people are hooking up (2008; 2017). This could be because it is a common misconception that is often portrayed in popular culture, that especially in someone’s college years, they should be hooking up well and often. This places a burden and pressure on students to live up to the ‘expectations’ of society.
Another big topic regarding hookup culture is the feeling of regret. There have been many studies done on college students to measure feelings of regret after hookups. One particular study from “The Surprising Truth About Modern Hookups” found that 74% of women expressed regret after a hookup. This is a similar trend, that more than half of women from each study, felt regret after the hookup. Within this same study it was also found that 35% of people were highly intoxicated during their last hookup. This could contribute to the regret that they felt, feeling like they made some questionable decisions when they were under the influence.
One thing I found very interesting in regards to social interaction was that feelings of loneliness and isolation was the leading cause to seek therapy in recent years. This was surprising but also very surprising to me at the same time. It makes sense to me for that to be a leading cause, but it shocked me that it was the leading cause. On a very personal note, I did seek therapy because of the same feelings of loneliness and isolation mentioned in the article. This makes it easier for me to understand the importance and all the benefits that come with social interaction and connectedness, regardless of hookups, but also allows me to understand how hookup culture is a big part of social interaction in our society today.
Our class has defined a hookup as “A consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” In a general sense, I accept this definition to be my own as it directly related to my personal perspective of what a hookup is. To broaden that definition, we identified several categories which are made up of elements to accommodate for all the aspects that are incorporated in hookup culture. Over the past two weeks the focus of our discussion has been on the category of physiological aspects that are incorporated in hookup culture. This category is made up several elements consisting of pressure, desire, post-rape, gender differences, trauma, how they dress, and emotional suppression, catching feelings, weight and body image. I feel that our class definition of hookup culture directly relates to my personal definition of hookup culture, however I don’t think that the definition itself identifies how our psychological category is related to it. Even though I still believe and agree that psychology is an important element to hookup culture.
There were some elements of the psychological category which resonated with me and there were also some that necessarily didn’t. Some of which didn’t really resonate with me were the elements of how they dress, weight, and body image. My perspective of these elements is that specific characteristics of people’s appearance doesn’t play a detrimental role in the choosing of a hookup culture. This is because in most cases people have a type and they are most likely to hook up with someone who is their type. Therefore, they make a collective choice of a type rather than choosing a partner based specifically on what they are wearing, and their body image. As well as the idea that not all hookups are purely sexual and, in some cases,, people develop a friendship with their hookup partner in which case a persons’ personality also plays a role in the other persons’ desire to hook up with them. On the other hand, there were also elements which I did resonate with, such as trauma, emotional suppression and catching feelings. In terms of the element of trauma, I view that as the occurrence of past experiences, mostly negative, which affect the way in which a person view a hookup and how that affects their perspective and actions regarding hookups in the future, just as trauma of any type for any situation does. The next was the negative effects associated with catching feeling and suppressing emotions due to the likelihood of causing emotional damage to at least one of the participants when occurs. Considering the elements which I did specifically discuss I believe that they those additional elements provide an important contribution to our psychological category and our definition of hookup culture.
While conducting research at the start of the semester regarding hookup culture my group identified a source which provided insight to how the brain and body process the stimulation of climaxing. This scientific article was written was written by Sophia Mitrokostas and is titled “Here’s What Happens to Your Body and Brain When You Organism.” This article focused on discussing what happens in the brain while having sex and an organism is reached. As well as how the mind reacts to such stimulations. Due to the activity of the brain during sex if is known to make people feel more confident and bolder, while it decreases depression and anxiety. The article also discussed what types of chemicals are released during sex and how the body reacts to those stimulations. For instance, it identified that dopamine and oxytocin are two major chemicals which are released and affects a people’s mind/body during sex. Specifically, it stated that dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure while oxytocin stimulated the feelings of affection and closeness to the person you are interacting with (Mitrokostas, 2019). The main intersectionality of this article and to our category of physiology, is the changes which are experienced in the mind when sex chemicals are affecting a person. As well as the desire for those chemicals and feeling produced during sex. Which increases peoples’ desire to have sex and their willingness to participate in hookup culture since in hookup situations people receive the positive feelings of having sex with someone without the difficulty of being in a relationship.
Since I don’t participate in hookup culture, my personal experiences regarding this category of hookup culture are limited to the narratives that my friends have told me about their personal experiences. From what I have seen and heard from other peoples’ experiences with hookup culture emotional suppression and catching feelings seem to be the most prevalent elements of our psychological category. Some of the common issues with those two elements is when one person is emotionally invested in the interaction while the other isn’t. This can be seen when the intentions of the hookup are not clearly stated and one person in the relationship has the intention on only hooking up and having sex with the person, while the other develops romantic and emotional feelings such as attachment to the other person. *I use the term relationship very loosely in that sense, as into people interacting in a hookup scenario. Something people have discussed about catching feelings is that when that happens in a hookup scenario is not a good occurrence for either of the participants since it “ruins” the hookup and puts both people in a bad spot. Since the person without feelings is pushed away by the involvement of emotions since that’s not what they were looking for, and the person who caught feelings is then put in a place of emotional damage when those feelings aren’t mutual. In addition to that, from what I have been told about people’s experiences hooking up the occurrence of people being hurt by catching feeling leads to the manifestation of emotional suppression in hookups. Emotional suppression occurs when a person realizes they are developing an emotional connection to the person they are hooking up with and they either continue hookup with the person while hiding the fact they have caught feelings for them, or they end the relationship as soon as they begin developing those feelings to protect themselves from any type of heart break later on. From what I can conclude in general is a lose-lose situation no matter the case when one person in a hookup develops romantic feelings and the other doesn’t.
The focus category for weeks 8-9 was psychological with a variety of subcategories. Through class discussions we have defined a “hook up” as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. Although this definition does not address the psychological element, the definition relates to the category as “hook ups” can impact individuals differently. Everyone has different experiences and some people may become more attached after a hook up while others may move on quickly. After many class discussions, I still feel that the term “hook up” is vague and can be interpreted differently depending on an individual’s personal definition.
Focusing on the category of psychological both the books we have chosen to read as a class by Lisa Wade and Kathleen A. Bogle have items that connect to this category. In Wade’s book she describes some gender difference in the way that girls and boys get ready to go out. She explains that girls tend to put a lot of time, effort, and thought into their outfits as they want to look their best. As for boys, Wade describes a more careless and simple process for getting ready (2008 27). I do tend to agree that girls seem to care and put more effort into their appearance than boys. Another item from Wade’s reading is that she makes a connection between “hook up” culture and rape culture. Wade believes “hook up” culture is a breeding ground for sexual assault as many incidents occur at parties where substances are typically involved. Bogle also briefly discusses rape and how in many states the legal definition of rape is defined as any sexual activity while the victim is intoxicated (64). I don’t know if I agree with this definition as I feel sexual assault can occur without an individual being intoxicated. In addition, through class discussion we, as a class, have decided we do not think rape is connected to “hook up” culture. It is interesting that both authors make a connection and relate the two items.
During our research time as a team, we did not find any articles that related to the psychological category. However, we were planning to obtain more information related to the psychological category through a survey. My team was hoping to conduct this survey with students involved in Greek Life because we feel that this community has my individuals who have experience or participate in “hook ups.” With this survey we would ask questions related to appearance, body weight or body image, pressure, feelings, and gender differences. Through the survey we hope to gather a better understanding of what factors influence people to “hook up.” The only potential trouble with a survey is that people may not answer honestly. I do look forward to conducting this survey and seeing the results.
From my personal experience, I feel like some subcategories of the psychological category are highlighted more than others in our current “hook up” culture. I think appearance and weight/ body image are two items that are very important to girls. Many girls when they go to parties wear certain clothing such as revealing or tight-fitting tops that they would not wear to other events. I also believe girls are focused on their body image, as this is an issue and is a large part of our society. Everyone wants to be skinny and if they are not, they experience a loss of confidence. Another subcategory that is prevalent in the current “hook up” culture is emotions. Some individuals are able to hook up without catching any feeling while others may start to develop feelings for the person with whom they are hooking up.
My personal definition connects with the class definition in the fact a “hookup” entails a sexual interaction. It is easy to connect with such a fluid definition, and I prefer that the definition be fluid due to many people viewing the topic completely different. The class definition relates to psychological by using the term intimate. I feel that intimate can cause emotion, which is a subcategory of psychological. I know within class we tried to separate “hookup” and feelings, but I think it depends on the individual. Of course there are some individuals who do have feelings about a “hookup” and maybe even both of the individuals that “hooked up” with each other have those feelings. Again, it really depends on the situation and the individuals within that situation.
The thing that resonated the most with me was the idea of how women tend to look more for one partner to provide for them, and men try to get to as many women as possible. This idea stems from scientific research and humans being mammals. Another group had brought this idea up and I had never really thought about the idea in relation to “hookup” culture. Obviously, this isn’t the case for everyone, but it was just extremely interesting to hear about. When you think about animals, the female is searching for one male to breed with, while the male is getting to as many females as possible. I think when you would ask someone if this was the case, they wouldn’t know the answer, because this is more of the individual’s instincts acting. Another extremely interesting idea was that most individuals tend to find the “average” looking person to be the most attractive. In class, it was mentioned that combining a bunch of different individual’s faces together creates the most “average.” Most of the information learned this week is quite different than the topics we have been focusing on. I feel the information provides more scientific meaning to “hookup” culture. The idea of pressure resonated with me as well, I know one of my extremely religious friends ended up “hooking” up simply because all of her friends were doing it. She ended up going against what she had grown up learning. I supported her through whatever decisions she made, but made sure I was there to just be her friend and not judge the situation.
My team had a very limited amount of external resources for the topic of psychological, but the most important one to me was an article about why people actually end up “hooking” up. The article touches on how men are more likely to hookup, but women are more likely to think the hookup will lead to romance. The author goes on to research if these theories actually exist. The article focuses on the gender differences. I liked how the author made sure to mention that obviously these theories regarding gender differences do not hold true for everyone.
Over the last three years of college, I have not been participating in the “hookup” culture, but I have plenty of friends who do. By having plenty of friends who do it is easy for me to hear about the “hookup” culture here at MSU. Relating to psychological, body image is a huge factor. I have a girlfriend that continues to mention how much she has had to eat over the course of the week. This friend tends to “hookup” a lot and she always relates the guys not wanting to be with her because of how she looks, mind you she is extremely small all around. It is also easy for me to comment on gender differences, as I grew up with brothers and have quite a few close guy friends who openly talk about “hooking up”. My guy friends are usually more open than my girlfriends; they tend to go into a lot of detail, whereas the girl mostly focuses on the fact that it only happened and nothing more. My guy friends also make it more into a competition; meaning they talk about the way the girl looked. I know it is very important to realize that this isn’t what happens with everyone, but also how everyone has a different experience with “hookup” culture.
Our class definition of “hookup” is: a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. I feel like this definition is very close to what my personal definition of “hookup” is. Our class definition only really hits on one of the elements from the psychological category, which is emotional suppression/catching feelings. This element relates to the “without commitment” part of the definition. That is a big part of the hookup culture. In my opinion, that is the part of a hookup that people struggle with most; emotions sometimes get involved and it doesn’t usually end well. I would say this category overall plays a large role in hookup culture. Psychologically, I feel the biggest part of hooking up is weight and body image. If you are strictly looking for a no strings attached, completely physical relationship with someone, you only care that you are attracted to them and nothing else matters.
In Bogle’s Hooking Up, she talks gender differences and explains that men think women are usually looking for something more than a hookup, like an exclusive relationship, while women believe that men could hookup with any woman and could separate sex from emotion. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the first point she makes. I think there are some women who are only looking just for a hookup, just like there may be men who are interested in something more than just a quick hookup. I do believe men are better than women at separating emotional relationships from physical relationships. Men just tend to be better at not catching feelings, they aren’t as emotional as women normally are. Even when women try not to get their emotions involved, it happens. And I think it happens more often in women than men. Something we talked about when in smaller groups was how some people struggle to know whether they’re actually considered attractive to others. I feel like that’s how I am. Yeah, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I will still always have those “am I good enough” thoughts.
The only external source my group is planning on using for the category of psychological is a survey of people apart of Greek life. We have not yet formally conducted the survey but we have brought up this topic of psychology in hookup culture to our friends to see what they have to say about it. This kind of helps us to form questions for our upcoming survey. Most of our questions will focus on the elements of pressure, body image, appearance, weight, and feelings and how they play a role in whether or not a person decides to hook up with another person. Because we’re surveying our peers, we’re hoping to get real and honest responses. I personally would be uncomfortable answering these questions for an older person but would probably answer as honestly as possible if it was for a peer because they have a better understanding of college life in 2020 compared to someone in college in the 90’s.
I feel like anyone involved in hookup culture can relate to this category, whether on a college campus or not. When going out, the first thing I worry about is what I am going to wear and how I look. Even if I have no plans of wanting to go home with anyone, I want to feel good about my appearance. I feel like guys don’t have to try that hard with their appearance. They can throw on some jeans and a button up, or any shirt really, and be considered attractive. Their confidence is enough for them to look attractive. And when you go out, that is visible. You see girls dressed up in an outfit, normally a crop top with any bottoms, a skirt, jeans, leggings, hair and makeup done and then you see guys in just whatever. This shows the gender difference – women are held to higher standards and are expected to dress and look a certain way. And again, Even if I don’t want to engage in that hookup culture I dress this way to fit in. Personally, I don’t like to get myself involved in anything like a hookup because I wouldn’t want to get emotionally attached to someone who wants nothing more than a physical relationship.
As we discussed the topic of “psychological” throughout these weeks, where the number one connection with our definition is that it is a “brief intimate encounter.” We discussed how this specific aspect can help shape the psychological aspects associated with hooking- up. Being intimate with someone for a brief period of time has been shared to be especially hard for women, as they biologically experience more hormones associated with “love” and emotionally find it easy to become “attached.” I wouldn’t have included anything further in my personal definition of “hookup” as I think psychological aspects of the culture can be very subjective and not necessarily purely gender oriented either.
Due to the circumstances and not having much class time to discuss the psychological effects hookup culture has had on others, or what has provoked their mentality today, I can only speak on speculation and my personal history. I believe that the way you were brought up and your past with hookup culture helps shape your psychology of this manner. One thing that particularly resonated with me throughout this week’s discussion is that some people struggle with being intimate for a brief period of time. Growing up, I have always been around those who take giving your time and self to someone seriously. I definitely think that this has shaped how I view hooking up and find it hard for me not to genuinely care for those I get to know.
The last class time, we had a great discussion about how emotions are looked at as an “on-off” switch when it comes to hooking up. We talked about how we have witnessed those around us almost have to give themselves a “pep-talk” to get in the right frame of mind so that they do not get attached. In addition, we talked about how a person’s looks make it easier or harder to get attached. For example, one girl in my group talked about a guy in a fraternity she used to get with from time to time. This guy was in a “top-tier” frat and was considered very attractive by many girls. It was also very obvious that he was hooking up with other people and didn’t see what they had as serious. While she knew what they had was casual, the girl got attached quickly and let the guy’s actions affect her.
Personally, I have found it very difficult to not get attached when being intimate with another. To me it is a very special aspect of a relationship, and I am someone who cannot, not genuinely care for another. While this is a blessing, I do sometimes consider it a curse because there are times I wish I could detach myself from an individual or the interaction. Earlier, I mentioned that I think the psychological aspect of hookup culture is very subjective and I truly stand by this as I have seen those of opposite gender experience similar feelings. My guy friend from high school struggled when his girlfriend of a few months broke up with him because she was his first intimate relation.
During the first week of the semester, our class collectively decided on a definition for the term “hookup culture.” Our definition is, “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” This definition does not address the psychological contributions or aspects of “hookup culture,” and ‘Psychological’ is one of the categories we have established to focus on in our book. I personally do not know how we could incorporate the psychological aspect of “hookup” culture into our broad definition since everyone’s experiences are so different, but I would like to note how important the psychological aspect of this culture is. Our definition does not address how this culture can pressure people to feel the need to engage in “hookups,” the psychological impacts an individual may experience post-rape, the trauma that “hookups” can cause, how people are able to separate themselves from forming an emotional connection with their “hookup” partner, or how body image, weight, or choice of clothing may influence the amount of “hookups” someone engages in or has the option to engage in. As an individual who is interested in psychology, I tend to resort to thinking about how behaviors/experiences, thoughts, and feelings interact with each other and affect a person’s well-being. Traumatic experiences within the “hookup culture” can cause extensive emotional distress for an individual, and I feel like this is not talked about enough. Peers engaging in “hookup” culture may influence one to take part in it as well in order to gain a sense of belonging. I think more research needs to be focused on how this culture is both positively and negatively affecting members of our society in order to make it healthier for those involved.
Both of the Bogle and Wade readings explain psychological components of “hookup culture” (2008; 2017). As for gender differences, Bogle explains that men believe women are either looking for something more than a “hookup,” a committed relationship, or to find a person they could see themselves marrying. Women believe that men could “hookup” with any woman and be able to separate the sexual encounter from emotional feelings for the individual and could have sex with someone without having any emotional connection with the other person (2008). As for pressure, Bogle also explains that men and women may feel more pressured to engage in “hookup culture” because there is a common misperception that being a virgin is not common on a college campus, that most people are hooking up, and that they are hooking up with many people (2008). Since people do not want to feel like the “odd one out,” this may influence people to “hookup” in order to fit in. Wade associates “hookup culture” with “rape culture” (2017). Although we have established in our definition that “hooking up” is consensual, it is always good to acknowledge other opinions, and a subcategory within our ‘Psychological’ category is ‘post-rape.’ Wade states that about one in five women, and one in sixteen men in college are sexually assaulted, and “hookup culture” is a core part of campus culture and is therefore, associated with the occurrences of sexual assault (2017). It is also noted that most occur at or after a party, which is the prime locations for “hookups” to take place (2017). Post-rape, individuals can experience great psychological disturbances. To prevent these situations from occurring, bystanders need to begin intervening more often. College students need to be educated on when and how to intervene in these interactions in order to reduce the harassment, and psychological distress experienced by their peers (2017).
Our team’s external source from our annotated bibliography for the ‘Psychological’ category is a survey we are planning on conducting. We are planning on sending out an online survey to a fraternity and sorority at Michigan State University in order to learn more about the psychological implications and impacts of “hookup” culture, and how “hookup” culture is influenced by ‘Greek Life.’ We intend to focus the questions on how appearance, weight, body image, pressure, gender differences and feelings influence what guides people to “hookup” with another person. We are concerned that our participants may not answer our survey questions with complete honesty because discussing “hooking up” in uncomfortable for some people. I am very interested to implement and discover the results of our survey, but since we have not conducted it yet, there is not much more I can explain about this matter.
When walking into a party, the first thing you notice about the people in the room are the clothes that they are wearing. Attire allows people to stand out and fit in at the same time. I find that women typically wear crop tops and leggings, jeans, shorts, or skirts, and men wear whatever they want. This goes to show the gender difference in terms of attire: women are expected to wear certain clothes and appear a certain way, and men are not. Although I am not looking to “hookup” with anyone when I attend parties, I still feel the need to dress in a similar manner to the rest of the women who attend the party. Even though I am not looking to “hookup” with anyone, while in that atmosphere, I tend to feel like I should want to engage in a “hookup” because I sense that everyone in my surroundings seems to want to. I am more interested in forming emotional connections with my partner, so I choose to not engage in “hookups” because they do not fulfill my needs. I also think it would be difficult for me to suppress my feelings for someone I was intimate with and therefore, choose not to engage in “hookup” culture so that I can avoid becoming emotionally attached to a person who does not want anything more than a “hookup.”
For our category titled “Psychological, I learned a lot of information about the social implications behind the actions and behaviors of hooking up, and the effects it can have on individuals. Our class definition doesn’t have much of an explicit stance on the psychology behind hooking up but I think the fact that we acknowledge it as an intimate and non-committed interaction between two people reveals a mental dimension that naturally arises. The core of the psychological implications is the attitudes of how one view themselves or others after a hookup and from my own experience I think this is what creates such a taboo behind the culture even though many people partake in it.
The Castleman article proved this point when revealing how the current generation partakes in hook-up culture at the same rate past generations have, despite mainstream myths that our generation is hyper sexual. I appreciated how the article involved quantitative data to prove the similarities of sexual activity generations and because it is able to reveal how such practices have always been done, and what actually has shifted is the public’s awareness of such topics. Castleman’s article relates a lot to our social/communicative category as well as I do agree that modern dating apps such as Tinder have enabled people to have more access to hooking-up, but the narrative that its oversexualizing individuals aren’t necessarily true. Because narratives like this persist, I think a lot of shame develops within people because they define themselves based on public opinion. I personally can relate to this because before I began casually dating, I refused to use dating apps because I was nervous that peers would see my profile, especially while living on campus. I had never had sexual intercourse at the time and was terrified of hooking-up, but even the thought of downloading an app and potentially being called out made me internalize that seeking meaningless hook-ups wasn’t a good use of my time. I also think due to gendered norms of men having to be the ones who seek sexual gratification while women can only lust after affected my conception of who can and cannot seek hook-ups.
The Brody article also brought up relevant information in regard to the psychology behind social interaction in general as it can bring a lot of benefits to people if they are surrounded by the right people. With hook-up culture, there’s always this sort of game one has to play with others whether through the fake profiles they have to navigate on apps, or even the humbling ghosting period after hooking up, and that’s why I believe one has to be fully aware of what they involve themselves in so they can protect their peace. I rarely invest in individuals I hook up with because unless communicated, I know that neither of us holds emotional obligations towards one another beyond what our (mostly sexual) interactions involve. I’ve had many friends get their feelings hurt over hook-ups because they don’t fully accept this concept, and instead are too vulnerable around people who don’t deserve that side of them. As Brody highlights, it is extremely important that people have healthy and sustained social relationships with others, and I think this is even more important in hook-up culture because there isn’t a linear correlation between physical intimacy and mental intimacy. More conversations behind the psychological aspects of hooking up are necessary as its existence evolves in our society.