In this course, we defined hookup culture as “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” I personally struggle to agree with this collective definition due to it containing terms such as intimate and sexual. This two-week period focused on groups which essentially allowed us to understand that there is not a concise definition of hooking up. Individuals view and conceptualize hooking up in different forms which concludes that hooking up is not always an intimate encounter or a sexual act. This is made evident in Bogle’s novel on page 26 when she asks her research subjects to define hooking up. Each subject had a different answer which can be attributed to a group they may identify. Overall, the course’s collective definition struggles to be truly inclusive in regard to respective groups.
The research and discourse behind hookup culture are presented from a limited lens. When you look at the authors and demographics of the research subjects of this topic, it is evident that it lacks diversity. Hookup culture is an extensive topic in which diversity and inclusion is needed to ensure there is a full perspective on the subject matter. The only thing that seem to resonate with me during these past two weeks is that I am only able to relate to this literature simply because I am a college student. If I didn’t attend college, I would lack any representation in this research. Although the focus of research was limited to college campuses in both novels by Bogle & Wade and Wade does mention minorities in her research, it is limited not due to subjects, but the choice to not actively attempt to diversify samples to ensure minority groups were being included. There is a great deal of information missing from this research and having a better sampling would allow me to truly see my experiences encapsulated in this research.
An external source my group was able to encounter that coincides with this two-week period’s topic was Faith with Benefits by Jason King. King discusses hookup culture within catholic college campuses, providing a more in-depth than previous research. The author provides substantial quantitative data by implementing research from 26 different college campuses, surveying over 1,000+ students. Additionally, King includes qualitative data regarding perceptions of hookup culture as well as participation in it. Incorporating protected groups in hookup culture research provides an insight of hookup culture on non-religious affiliated college campuses. Similar to the research by Bogle and Wade, this research lack diversity within the sampling pools in regard to race and class. This discourages data that could be essential to studying hookup culture within a religious demographic. Overall, this source would be beneficial however, a more diverse sampling would be ideal for substantial research. This especially holds truth considering past research that incorporates the ideals of black church and sexual behavior conceptions within the black community.
My personal experiences as a black male engaging in hookup culture have been interesting. Due to stereotypes and perceptions about my identity as a black male, my experiences have been hindered due to being hypersexualized and fetishized in certain contexts. Although hooking up is viewed as something that lacks any instances of emotion, I struggle to know if I’m actually considered attractive by the other person or if I am a fantasy being lived out when engaging in hookup practices. Thus, having qualitative data such as my experiences would benefit the overall research of hookup culture in regards to groups, further understanding how complex hookup culture is.
At the very beginning of the semester, before we really did anything else, our class came up with a fluid definition of what hookup culture is. After much discussion and some disagreement, we ended up saying that hookup culture is a “consensual, intimate interaction between 2 or more people that does not involve commitment.” Since we established that definition, we have been able to dive deeper into hookup culture, who participates in it, what it entails, and a plethora of other details. Over the course of the last two weeks, my team and I have explored and learned more about the groups that make up hookup culture. We have done so by actively participating in group and class discussions, reading our class books by Wade and Bogle, doing some online research, and also by sharing a few of our own personal experiences with each other.
Like I said, we have focused on the category of “groups” for the past few class periods, and it has really helped me reflect on my own experiences with hookup culture. One of our elements under the “group” category is age range, which is a huge aspect of hookup culture, in my opinion. College-aged individuals are definitely more active participants in hookup culture compared to any other age range, at least in my experience, and the readings that I’ve done have also helped confirm that assumption. For example, in high school and in my younger teenage years, I would have never really seen myself having casual sex with people I barely knew, but once I got to college, that type of sexual behavior kind of became the norm and I found myself participating in it.
Another element under the “groups” category is religion/individuals who are religious. I also connect to this element personally because one of my best friends fits under this subcategory. She was raised in a religious home and has always promised herself that she would not have sex until marriage. Although she hasn’t had sex, she has participated in other acts (without any form of commitment) that would still fit under our class definition of what hooking up is. So, although religion can definitely keep people from going “all the way”, it doesn’t always keep people completely detached from hookup culture, especially in a university setting where hooking up is the norm and “everyone does it.”
Going back to what I said about college-aged people participating in hookup culture, this is the group that I focused on the most in my readings and research over the past few weeks. In “Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus” by Kathleen Bogle, university students were interviewed and when asked if people still dated nowadays in college, students laughed and emphasized that hooking up is much more prevalent among their peers (44). Also, in an online article that I read, it revealed that over the past ten years, about 75% of college students have “hooked up” with someone in one way or another (Ludden). However, contrary to my previous beliefs, the article went on to state that the sexual practices of college students today aren’t much different than those of their parents in the 1980s (Ludden). So, although I was wrong in assuming that college kids now are hooking up more than their parents did, a lot of my assumptions about high hook-up rates and low dating rates on campus were at least partially correct.
I have a love-hate relationship with hookup culture. I sometimes enjoy being able to have sexual connections with a person without the expectations of a relationship, but at the same time, the other part of me wishes that college culture wasn’t so saturated with people who just want to have sex and then never speak again unless they’re asking to hook up. However, I am glad that I’ve participated in hookup culture on campus because it has helped me learn more about myself and it’s provided me with some valuable lessons and experiences, believe it or not.
In the hookup culture, Bogle mentioned the people who were most likely to hook up were those people in Greek life or who attended events featuring alcohol (2008). As someone who doesn’t drink, and who isn’t involved in any form of Greek life I once again saw the groups in which I identified with not being mentioned. This week we focused on the group aspect of “hookup culture”. I’m still trying to figure out my sexuality honestly so I’m not a hundred percent sure if I belong in certain groups or not. However one thing I found really interesting was the fact that racial minority groups were on the list. I wasn’t aware that different races hook up differently. Now that we’ve discussed it within our groups I can say they do. Everyone culture has a different view point regarding sex and the cultures in which I belong to view sex as something meant for marriage. I know a lot of people within my culture who hookup and it’s just never discussed. Bogle talks about how our generation has the same amount of sex as our parents and I am not surprised by this. Growing up my parents would give me mixed messages regarding sex on the one hand they would say “wait till marriage” and then on the other hand my father has 15 kids and only 4 of them were birthed by my mother. These facts let me know that my dad definitely didn’t follow the advice he was giving me and he wasn’t faithful in any of his 4 marriages because my sister and I are 2 months apart. And we have different mothers. I feel like my parents’ generation failed us in preparing for sex because a lot of my friends have out-of-wedlock siblings.
My team focused mainly on the LGBTQ+ community for our groups. We felt that they are never fairly talked about and that leads to them less likely to be hooking up because they’re not really clear on what to do. We used articles to try to bring their stories to light. We also focused on other ethnic minority groups and to bring their experiences out, we interviewed a few members from these ethic minority groups. For the social communicative aspect of hookup culture we mainly focused on how social media allows people especially people who are maybe less extroverted to put themselves out there and find partners through safe “walls’ ‘ such as Tinder and Grindr.
My experience with “hookup culture” has been HORRIBLE. I hate it here I can’t wait to be out of college and hopefully out of this toxic culture. I have engaged in this culture two times and each time I’ve been left shattered. I think it’s the specific partners that I’ve unfortunately come across. As someone who is sensitive and who I’ve found can’t have sex without forming an attachment, I find myself getting with partners who can’t be honest about their wants and them being emotionally unavailable along with their intentions regarding me. I always get led on, and left behind. I hate how everyone is so okay with meeting people and getting to know them briefly and then pretending they don’t exist after the “situationship” ends. It’s annoying and weird and I think that’s the part that hurts me the most because I’m not good at it, I care too much. My experience so far has honestly messed with my mental health and I’ve decided to completely close myself off from guys until I graduate college next year.
Over the course of five weeks, my classmates and I have discussed and come up with a definition for hookup culture. The definition we came up with is that hookup culture is a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. Personally, I think this definition does accurately represent my definition of what a hookup is. Where I am from, hooking up did not always involve sex, making out with someone was considered “hooking up”. After coming to college, I realized that some people believed that an encounter could only be considered a hookup if sex had taken place. That is when I discovered that the topic of hook up had a variety of meanings to everyone. Everyone has their own personal experiences and feelings towards hooking up that shapes their definition. I then began to wonder the people who only believe hooking up only meant sex, what they thought any other type of sexual contact meant. I find it in our culture that the disconnect between people that grew up just a few hours away from one another could have such different views on this topic.
When I began to read Bogle and Wade it furthered my feelings of having a disconnect in hookup culture because of the wide variety of definitions given (2008; 2017). I think when I came to college it was an eye opener for me to see how many people hookup with multiple people in any given week. I was even shocked to see how open everyone was about it. Growing up I had a conservative background and in high school it was mentioned but, coming to college has been like entering a new world where hooking up is the norm. Despite some people being open about their experiences, there are still some who are very closed off and judgmental about it. I find everyone’s opinions valid and I believe everyone is entitled to their own, but I do not think people should be judging others for choices they have made. One of the greatest problems facing society today is judgement. If judgment could be removed, I believe we would live in a more peaceful world. Especially when it comes to hookups, it is a very personal preference and choice that everyone has a right to make for themselves.
In my team we decided to research religious groups. We chose this perspective because in both Bogle and Wade’s book there is not much mention about religious groups and how they experience the hookup culture. In fact, the books do not really talk about any minorities in the hookup culture because there simply is not much research and information that has been done on them (2008; 2017). Since I grew up in a religious upbringing, my group and I wanted to find out more about how hookup culture takes place in these groups. Our group also mentioned the stereotypes of ages in hookup culture. We discussed how it is mostly viewed that hooking up happens during the college years, but when we think about the elderly community hooking up there is sort of a stigma behind it. I think it would be interesting to find out why it is seen as normative for one age group but not for another. Including information on this topic could be interesting for our book and help to gain more of an audience for the book.
I personally have not been involved in the college hook up culture. I have been with my boyfriend since my senior year of high school and we decided to not participate in hookups that many of my peers do. However, many of my friends are not in relationships and do participate in hooking up with other people. When I ask them about it they say they take part in hooking up because it is enjoyable for them. Again, it is very personally for each person and I think being able to make the decision on what is right for you is very important.
Our class spent the first two weeks of the course defining “hook up” culture. This process took a long time as the class consists of people from many different backgrounds and whom all have different beliefs. These differences can impact what people consider a “hook up.” For instance, some might consider a “hook up” kissing, while others may think of it is a more intimate moment. The definition our class composed for a “hook up” is, “a consensual, intimate, interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” I would say this definition is similar to my personal definition of “hook up” culture. I believe “hook up” is a loose term, open to interpretation. I think a big part of modern “hook up” culture is the idea of no commitment or emotional intimacy because most people are just looking to have fun or mess around. Through class discussions we generated a list of categories and subcategories we felt related to “hook up” culture. The class definition relates to the focus category of Groups as individuals belong and associate with different groups of people. Based on the groups we came up with, I do not feel I fit or belong in any of the categories. If we were to modify our groups, I think Greek Life would be one to consider since many people participate in these organizations. If this were a group, I would best fit into this group.
I have really enjoyed reading the two books we have chosen for this course. Some items that resonated with me from weeks 4 and 5 were from our team and class discussions of the textbooks, by Lisa Wade and Kathleen A. Bogle. In Wade’s book she states that, “the idea that college students are having a lot of sex is certainly an enthralling myth. Even students believe it…students overestimate how much sex their peers are having, and by quite a lot” (17). This statement stood out to me because I assumed most college students participated in “hook up” culture as it seemed to be a large part of the campus life. Another item that Wade pointed out was that only a handful of students listed religion as the reason they do not partake in “hook up” culture (22). It seems the prevalence of this modern culture has caused people to modify their beliefs and start participating in “hook ups.”
My team has done a lot of research on the “hook up” culture of various groups. One group we enjoyed researching was the religious community as we noticed this group is experiencing the most change. In an article we found written by Amy Burdette, we found that religious aspects related to “hook up” culture are changing as relationships and behaviors on campus’ are also changing. In the past, there were some traditional courtship practices that were performed, but it is now common to see many informal practices. A factor we plan to do more research on is the impact of home life on religious beliefs and practices. It is possible that people who come from families with less strict and looser rules might not follow the traditional rules. In comparison, an individual raised in a household where religion was very important may stick to the traditional ways.
I feel like the age group I am a part of is very involved in “hook up” culture, it seems like everyone is constantly hooking up. I do not find myself participating in the more intimate end of “hook ups” because that does not align with my morals, but I do have a story I will share about one of my “hook ups.” So, one time I meet this guy while I was out with friends and we talked all night. At the end of the evening, we exchanged snapchats and then went our separate ways. Following this night, we snapchatted back and forth a little and this then led to us hanging out. When we hung out it was what you would expect, very causal with a movie. Our “hook up” was just some kissing, but nothing more. After this “hook up,” I still keep in touch with this guy; we are actually friends.
During the first few weeks of the semester, our class set out to create our own definition of “hookup” culture. Since there is a lot of ambiguity in the definition of “hooking up,” this took multiple class periods of people debating what “hooking up” really entails. Ultimately, our class defined “hookup” culture as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between two or more people without commitment. While some people consider “hooking up” to be anything from kissing to sex, I have never really thought of kissing alone as “hooking up,” although I believe that it often leads to a “hookup.” I believe that one really important concept in “hookup” culture is no commitment. I think that the commitment part of the definition is what sets “hooking up” apart from more serious sexual relationships. As we began to discuss the idea of groups within the “hookup” culture, I realized that our definition is really inclusive towards different groups, such as gender, age, religion, sexuality, class, and race. After listening to different classmates share their opinions on what “hooking up” means to them, I realized that this means something different to everyone.
In the books Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus by Kathleen Bogle and American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus by Lisa Wade, I am seeing a strong pattern in the difference between the gender groups of men and women (2008; 2017). Both books have focused on the sexual double standard between men and women, and how (at least for college-aged students who live on campus) men are praised for hooking up with a lot of women, but if you’re a girl and you hook up with a lot of people, it is looked down upon (Bogle 103). Although I am not sure why this double standard exists, as a college student who lives on the campus of a large university, I can say that this does seem to be the way that most people think.
As my team conducted research for the Groups category of “hookup” culture, we came across two scholarly articles that focus on different religious groups, and on the LGTBQ community. As I was reading through the books by Bogle and Wade, I noticed that religion and the LGBTQ community were rarely mentioned, if at all. Also, I think that even in class, we haven’t focused on these groups as much as we have looked at gender differences and age groups. The scholarly article relating to religion is called “Hooking Up” at College: Does Religion Make a Difference? and was written by Amy M. Burdette, Terrence D. Hill, Christopher G. Ellison, and Norval D. Glenn (2009). This research was conducted on a national sample of 1,000 college women. The results show that Catholic college women are more likely to have “hooked up” while at school than college women with no religious affiliation. Also, conservative Protestant college women are less likely to have “hooked up” while at school than college women with no religious affiliation. This could have to do with church attendance, which is against “hookup” culture. The last big trend is that women who attend colleges and universities with a Catholic affiliation are more likely to have hooked up while at school than women who attend academic institutions with no religious affiliation (Burdette et al.). All of these trends surprised me, and I would expect them to be the other way around. I have a friend who went to a Catholic high school, and she is against having sex before marriage. Even when submerged in the strong “hookup culture” here at MSU, she has stuck with her religious beliefs, and has not participated in “hookup culture.” To me, it seems that most people act the way their parents have raised them, and if they went to a religious school growing up, they are less likely to participate in “hookup” culture.
The second article that we found focuses on the LGBTQ community and is called Navigating Campus Hookup Culture: LGBTQ Students and College Hookups by Ellen Lamont, Teresa Roach, and Sope Kahn (2018). This article points out that most research on college “hookup” culture specifically focuses on gender and being heteronormative. There is very little research done on how people in the LGBTQ community navigate “hooking up” on college campuses. This research was based on interviews with 24 LGBTQ college students at a regional university in the southeastern United States. Many of these students are critical of the dominant “hookup” culture on college campuses and claim that heterosexual “hookups” are overly scripted, especially along gender lines. More importantly, these LGBTQ students admit to feelings of alienation and exclusion from the dominant “hookup” scene on college campuses. They claim to either experience isolation or they seek out more “queer-friendly” spaces off campus. Although I identify as a straight female, I believe that people should be able to “hook up” with anyone they want and shouldn’t be judged or feel alienated on a college campus. I wish that “hookup culture” in the LGBTQ community was discussed more and incorporated more into “hookup” culture literatures, and I believe that our class has the power to conduct research and incorporate these minority groups into our “hookup” culture book.
Personally, I don’t participate in “hookup” culture, although I am submerged in it as I have lived in the dorms all four years of my undergrad. I don’t have anything against “hooking” up, I just have a boyfriend, and I know that if I did participate in “hooking up,” I would be very bad at step 5 of Wade’s steps to a proper hookup, which is to establish meaninglessness (41). I know myself, and I would “catch feelings” and would want the hookup to lead to something more serious. I have many friends who do participate in the “hookup” culture, and they enjoy it! Everyone is different, and I would encourage anyone to do what makes them happy.
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 first step we took to define “hookup” culture our class split into groups and discussed what we thought about it. My group came up with multiple definitions and when we were done there was a class discussion. Our class shared a lot of their thoughts and decided to combine all of the main parts to make one long definition. Some controversial parts of our definition are the consensual and sexual. I have been reading books about “hookup” culture and some people don’t think it has to be consensual. I believe that it has to be consensual because if it’s not its rape and rape is different than “hookup” culture. The other controversial thing is the sexual definition. I believe that kissing is sexual and foreplay is but I know people that don’t agree with me. This all just adds onto why we have the quotations because everyone has different backgrounds and don’t think the same.
From the time I’ve started this class to now I have read many articles, books and other resources on “hookup” culture. I have learned that “hookup” culture has changed throughout the years; it used to be more reserved and not as open as it is now. It used to have subtler and now people are more forward about wanting to “hookup”. The music videos a couple decades ago you can’t to infer more about the meaning of objects and now it’s almost naked women dancing. Also dancing and clothes connected to “hookup” culture has changed. It used to be more tight leather clothes and not gridding on each other, but now it’s minimal clothes and twerking. I like how the “hookup” culture is a more open accepting topic to talk about. I know it used to be a subject you don’t bring up but now it’s something you can discuss and ask for advice.
There are many parts to the “hookup” culture. My group gathered many resources to help us explain each part. For social commutative we got a scholarly article explaining were most people meet when finding a partner or partners for “hookup”. Also we are going to interview a roommate of one of my teammates and we will ask him where he finds his partners and how. Other part to “hookup” is group. To help show how group plays a role we found a scholarly article on how race/ethnicity play a factor in “hookups”. It explains how some groups have different experiences than others. For the part music, television and film my group found a couple music videos. These songs are part of the “hookup” culture because some people listen to music while they “hookup.” Lastly the part of psychological my group will have a survey and it will help us get some information on how and why they participate in the “hookup” culture.
I participate in “hookup” culture. I started participating in the “hookup” culture when I was 18. The place where I find people to “hookup” with is at parties. I have never used social media to find a partner but my friends do and they are successful with it. I like to meet a people in person so I can talk to them and know who they are. I never go out to a party thinking that I am going to “hookup” I just wait until the right time and the right partner.
I would define “hookup” in a similar way that we did so in class. I think that it is correct in saying, consensual and agree that hookups are always intimate no matter what group-religious, spiritual, LGBTQ, race, and age. Intimacy and sexual I think go hand-in-hand, as to be intimate you are being close and personal and in being sexual you are communicating that you want to be intimate with the other. Furthermore, when I think of hooking up with people, it does not pop in my mind that it is between two or more people in the same session of “hookup”, but nonetheless I agree that this can occur or be normal for others, whether they consider themselves a part of a “group” we’ve defined or not. Finally, I think hooking up could involve levels of commitment differently amongst groups. While it may be wrong to assume, I can’t help but lean towards the example of those younger in age typically consider a hookup with “no strings attached”; whereas, it is more common for those older in age to be more conservative with their time leading them to prefer at least some sort of commitment if they “hookup”.
I grew up in a Christian home and I think with that aspect of my life, many people assume that I am opposed to hookup culture, which is not the case. While my definition of hooking up may be different then the next persons, which is a common theme among us all, I have learned what’s “healthy” for me. I am not a person who does well with the “no strings attached”. I do not really desire to hook up with someone I don’t know, because while being intimate with someone is fun… I also enjoy talking and getting to know the person. I think that is just how I am wired. Despite me trying my hardest to “not care”, I have found that all my actions need to be purposeful and have some sort of meaning for me to feel fulfilled. Furthermore, where I am from and despite the different environments I have been in, LGBTQ community is still very new. However, I have enjoyed learning more about it this past week and appreciate how I am becoming more aware of groups I may have not thought of before.
In the past couple weeks discussion of “groups”, my team didn’t really rely on external sources too much throughout our chats. We mostly talked about our own lives and how the categories of religion, minority, and LGBTQ have played a role. While I’m sure external sources would be helpful, at Michigan State we are immersed in people who are different from us and I particularly find it more insightful to use the sources we have sitting right next to us and who can respond to questions. One thing that really resonated with all of us in our small group was the discussion of how our home life has shaped us. We related this topic back to religion and how it is normal for some, or the relationship of our parents and how that has affected us. We talked about how this could be related to our psychological-learned behaviors and inclinations towards how we participate in hookup culture.
Looking back, I find it very interesting how I have had to constantly redefine “hookup” for my parents and grandparents over the years because it truly does seem to be ever-changing. I have felt surrounded by hookup culture since I was in high school and while it has taken different shapes, forms, and meanings, it is still a part of my everyday environment. Having said this, I don’t really think of it as something that affects me too much. Perhaps this is because it has become so normal, or that it’s always a topic among my friends. However, after this week I have noticed how those that I immediately surround myself with share similar views and beliefs with me so I think that it has been hard to get a different perspective on hookup culture and how it may differ among groups up until now.
Hookup culture can be defined in many ways, the definition is different for everyone. In class we defined “hookup” culture as, “as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment”. The definition created in class are very similar to how I would define hookup culture. The only thing I would change would be the part where it says it is a brief interaction, because technically the interaction can be more than just brief. You can be hooking up with someone but also get to know them after and spend more time with them. My parents have always made sure we have an open communication about sex, hookups, and dating. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do through what they told me. They taught me to not give it up easy and make sure you know your worth.
As explained by Leah Fessler in the article “A lot of women don’t enjoy hookup culture-so why do we force ourselves to participate?”, girls don’t like hookup culture because it heightens sexual insecurities and the chances of having an orgasm is highly unlikely due to the hookups being with a guy who doesn’t really know you or care to know you. The sex is better when there is an emotional connection and the two people know each other well. Fessler also describes that a growing hookup culture makes it very hard to believe that real relationships are possible. The more you hookup and don’t form emotional connections, the harder it is to get into a committed relationship.
My team and I focused on the topic of groups that aren’t represented in the hookup culture phenomenon. There are many groups that are not talked about when people think of hookup culture. What first comes to mind when thinking about hooking up is a girl and a guy that are in their teenager or early adult years, many people don’t think of the gay community or people that are older when looking and talking about this. Our group found sources that talk about how these stereotypes about hooking up sometimes aren’t true and not looked at fully. A lot of articles only focus on a certain group and hooking up. They look at teenagers and young adults mostly. Obviously, other people in the world are hooking up and should be involved in those statistics and talks.
My personal experience with hookup culture has been both good and bad, as I feel like it is for everyone. There have been some really good hookups where we still talk and remained friends, where there have been others that I have blocked them right after or never talked to them again. The person you hookup with and their personality determines how the experience will go and how the future will be between you guys. It is easy to make the hookup purely physical if you do not strive or have a personal connection with the person, once feelings are involved it starts to become more confusing for everyone. The best sex I have had is with guys that I have a personal connection with and got to know really well before I had sex with them. The more someone gets to know you, the better they can sexually please you and the time you spend together becomes more special. At some point everyone wants to find someone they genuinely like. Overall, hookup culture needs to exist for people to figure out what they like and what they don’t like in a partner.
The first few weeks of class we spent time creating our own definition of “hookup.” After many changes we decided on: a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. I would say this definition is close enough to what I personally consider a “hookup” to be, I’m not sure I’d use the word intimate because I don’t always find hookups to be intimate from what I have heard. But then again, everyone has their own experiences. For me, when I hear people “hooked up” I usually think it’s more than just kissing and it’s actually having sex, usually meaningless sex. In class, we broke down our definition into categories and then into subcategories that we are referring to as elements. The last two weeks, we have focused on the category of groups. Within this category, the element I believe I connect most with would be religious. I do not consider myself to be religious, but the way I was raised and the way my parents went about everything was from a religious point of view. My family is Catholic, and the idea of premarital sex is a big no-no. I did not exactly follow through with that idea my parents have put in my head, but I also don’t participate in the hookup culture. Just because I’m not a virgin, doesn’t mean I just am okay with sleeping with anyone and everyone. My morals just don’t coincide with that. I have been on and off with my boyfriend for quite some time so I don’t really have a reason to sleep with a random. I also know I would be the one to catch feelings from a hookup, so I just stray away from that.
Discussing Bogle and Wade’s books in class after reading really made me realize how different some people’s opinions and thoughts are on hooking up and the culture that surrounds it (2008; 2017). Some of the students Bogle interviews consider hooking up to be anything from kissing to sex. I don’t find kissing to be part of a hookup, it can most definitely lead to people hooking up but I don’t consider that action alone to be a hookup. I know hooking up is extremely common in our age group, it’s a big part of college. I think about it as the experimenting stage cause this is when everyone figures out what they like and where they stand sexually. I definitely think the hookup culture from campus to campus differs. A religious school will definitely have students hooking up but it will be more discrete and low-key compared to a big public university like the one we attend. This culture is all around us. Looking at our school, I would say most people are engaged in this culture, but Wade states that we overestimate how many of our peers are actually hooking up (2017). Interesting to think about considering I would think more than half of our university’s students participate in hookup culture one way or another.
While working on our annotated bibliography, my team researched all of the categories we have created to make up our definition. An article we looked at, relating to groups under the religious element. Burdette, acknowledged that hookup culture can depend on one’s commitment to their religious traditions. Like I said earlier, I personally am not very religious but my parents are. A lot of things I choose not to do reflect my morals that come from the ways my parents raised me. Someone can be forced to go to a religious school or they may go just to please their parents, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are religious. Another external source we looked at was an article that related to the groups category but this time under the element LGBTQ. This article emphasized how LGBTQ individuals are excluded from the hookup culture. I would agree with this, but I also think it’s because these ideas have just recently been accepted in the world so it’s still new for a lot of people.
Again, I don’t engage in hookup culture. I prefer to stick to what I know and am comfortable with. I do see the culture everywhere though, no matter what group people belong to, someone is always hooking up. Living in the dorms my freshman year, I got to really see hookup culture on our campus. Both Bogle and Wade at one point state that most freshman like to experiment and see what’s out there, they aren’t interested in an exclusive relationship (2008; 2017). I lived on a coed floor, so I witnessed a lot of the students sleeping with each other or just “messing around” meaning everything but sex. This ruined a lot of friendships, and a lot of times things got awkward. My roommate at the time, would always go across the hall to one of our friends’ dorm. They did everything but have sex and it was clear to both of them that that’s all it was- messing around. Still, my roommate was upset and cried when she saw him with another girl. Witnessing this pushed me further away from this culture because I did not want to put myself through that. I don’t feel disconnected from any part of this class even though I don’t personally participate in the hookup culture, I am still a part of it.
Our class defined hookup culture as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between two or more people without commitment. I would say this definition resonates to my personal definition for the most part, but I do disagree in a few ways. Firstly, I feel that a hookup does not need to be sexual. The way I view it, hookup is a very vague word to describe this interaction between two or more people, and the people experiencing the hookup would be able to talk more about their own specific hookup. To me, a hookup can range anywhere from kissing all the way to a sexual interaction. I don’t think saying you hooked up with someone automatically entails that the interaction was sexual, and that is up to the people involved to specify. Secondly, I think the definition of hookup culture would mean something different to different groups of people. One group of people may view hooking up differently from another group. For example, if you asked a group of frat boys or sorority girls what they think hooking up means or entails, it is likely they would say only sex because that is what many of them participate in and view it as. However, a college student that is not in one of these groups may see hooking up from a different light, and have their own experiences and ways of viewing the definition that does not involve sex.
In class we did a lot of talking about the history of hookup culture and how it has changed over time. We looked at pictures and listened to music about hookup culture in the past, and compared how it was viewed back then to now. I would say one big difference that stood out to me was the change in how we view LGBTQ people hooking up back then to today. Even not too long ago, society was not as open or accepting of the emergence of LGBTQ people in society, let alone these people hooking up. These people were on the margins, and looked down upon for who they were and their decisions were not a positive part of society in many people’s eyes. Today, this group of people is generally more accepted in our society today than history (although we still have a long way to go), and I think that is a huge difference in this group. This resonated with me because it shows me how fast society’s ideals and opinions can change if people are all fighting for a common good. One similarity I see between hooking up in history and today is the amount of people hooking up. Studies show that people hooked up back then just as much as people do now, which is an alarming statistic. The way society views hooking up today, you would think more people hook up now. This just shows the effect that social media can have on people’s perceptions of the culture.
For the category of groups, our team used a video called “Should You Have Sex Before Marriage? Can They Agree?” This YouTube video brings together people who are advocates of sex before marriage and people who are advocates of abstinence, and sits them down to discuss their viewpoints on the topic and what they believe, to see if they can find a middle ground. It shows the opinions of two different groups and goes into depths of what they specifically believe. Some good things about this video we found were that both sides are presented very clearly in the video, and many different kinds of people were presented as well. The ability that this video has to show people of different backgrounds and ethnicities shows the diversity of opinions and makes the video more well-rounded. This trait represents different people’s upbringings. From the video, we also found some not so good things. This includes that the ages of the people in the video are not very diverse, and many of the people talking and sharing their opinions are in their 20’s and 30’s. This could be biased because it excludes the younger generation and the older generation, and their mindsets on how it was when they/are being raised. It also brushes over the fact that having many ages could show similarities and differences on how the topic is viewed from different generations. We also found the video used a small group of people in general, where using more people could just simply add more opinions and contribute to more diversity in answers.
I have participated in hookup culture before but honestly have not much recently. I did a fair amount in the beginning of my freshman year, when I was meeting many new people, including many new boys. As I have grown up, I have realized that it has taken a toll on how I feel emotionally towards people. I would feel something more towards someone I hooked up with, when they would not, or even vice versa. This would lead to feelings being distorted and would lead me to be pretty lost and confused. I didn’t like it. Within the category of groups, as I have gone through college, my religion has played a role on how I view hooking up. I go to a local church, and a lot of my friends go to this church as well. They do not participate nor approve in hookup culture, and I think a lot of their opinions and viewpoints shape my thinking. It is not that I do not participate at all anymore because of them, but I would feel judged if I mentioned what I participate in to them. I think the type of people you hang out with influences your thinking to a great extent, and the group of religious friends I hang out with for sure I have seen impact my thinking.
During the span of these five short weeks of class, we have made a large amount of progress in tackling and understanding the monster that is “hook-up” culture. We have woven our way through many categories and aspects of this culture, yet the category for this week, groups, is probably the biggest one in terms of differentiating different hook-ups. The category of groups is a blanket term, covering a wide variety of different groups, whether those groups be religion-based, sexuality-based, race-based, or any others. Studying these groups and how hook-up culture functions inside each of them is a great way to understand the culture as a whole.
In the first week of class, we defined a hook-up to be, “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. In studying groups for the past two weeks, I think this definition has only strengthened, because it is applicable for any group we could be referencing. We succeed at using inclusive language in our definition, so that every group is included. For example, the use of language such as “intimate interaction that is sexual” is careful to include a group such as Christianity that may practice celibacy, but still consider themselves active members of hook-up culture.
One of the things that resonated with me in talking about groups in relation to hook-up culture was Professor Acevedo’s personal stories in relation to the topic. Specifically, her encounter with the types of ways in which groups can class and not be inclusive in regards to hook-up culture, like when the boy she dated many years ago was adamant about her not having been with any black men prior to him.
I believe that the key point that was most relevant to our group was the process described from the readings. My group consists of a culmination of different groups that all consider themselves a part of the hook-up culture, so it was interesting to have discussion about how different that culture is for us. I feel like this particular point was also emphasized as a class whole, with people sharing their experience outside of the hook-up culture (in long distance relationships) as well as their big turn-offs in regards to the process of the hook-up culture (grinding at parties).
I believe that Dr. Acevedo’s stories resonated with me because I see glimpses of the way in which hook-up culture between races still clashes today. For example, within the black community, there is a negative stigma around a black man dating a white woman. It is not as prominent as it once was, but there is still much debate and discourse over interracial couples, and it is something that is experienced on a daily basis. It is something I have seen first-hand: friends of mine who are in relationships with white women and are chastised for it.
Whenever I talk to my friends about how their weekends went, or if they have anything exciting to report, the topic of two people hooking up typically comes into play. The term “hooking up” can be ambiguous because I feel like the definition differs on a person to person basis. For one individual, hooking up could mean just making out at the back of a party, while another person might not define that as a hookup because in their mind, sex has to occur for the interaction to be considered an authentic “hookup”. In our class, we have defined the definition of a hookup to be, “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2 or more people without commitment”. In general, I do agree with this definition of a hookup, especially the part that emphasizes the “no commitment” aspect of it. In my opinion, making out, sex, or mutual masturbation could all be involved in a hookup; it doesn’t always have to be strictly sex. My take on the definition seems to be common too because when my friends do share details from their hookups, most of the time sex isn’t involved, and they usually just talk about how they made out with someone at a party while still defining that as a hookup. If the other individual is comfortable enough, I believe it’s important to clarify what they mean when they refer to a “hookup” so confusion can be avoided.
When looking at this week’s category of “groups” in reference to hookup culture, we analyzed various marginalized groups that do not get proper representation in today’s society, let alone in hookup culture. Groups such as the LGBTQ+, African Americans, Latinx, Asians, and a multitude of others often are left out of the hookup script. While I do not belong to any of the listed groups, I do believe that they should be included in not only hookup culture, but every other aspect of life as well. When we do not represent minority groups, we are doing a disservice to the future of mankind. All people should be included and represented, because that provides a sense of comfort, acceptance, and belonging, which is a vital part of development, and even included in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (McLeod 2018). When referring to religious group beliefs, I am able to identify with the teachings of Christianity, and how that contradicts the hookup culture. Growing up, I was always told how important it was to wait to partake in sex until you’re married. Since that idea has always been a part of my life, I do struggle with guilt sometimes after being part of the hookup culture, because I feel like I have done something wrong. To this day, I am still figuring out my feelings about hookup culture, and how it related to the roots of my religious upbringing.
While paging through the annotated bibliography that my group completed, there were not any sources that highlighted the marginalized groups’ references in my previous paragraph. I don’t think this was intentional, but rather it was a matter of not finding sources that included any of those groups, because most research is done by heterosexual white males and females, and they report on their similar groups. This goes to show that more research is needed that includes these marginalized groups as a way of making them feel belonged, appreciated, and understood. Our source for the “religious/spiritual” aspect of the bibliography looked at the different rates on participation of hookup culture on Catholic universities vs. Protestant universities, both of which fall under the Christian faith. The research concluded that more hookups occurred on Catholic universities rather than Protestant universities (Burdette 2009). While it is worthwhile to have information on the differences of hookup cultures across Catholic and Protestant universities, other faiths that do not belong to Christianity, such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism (to name a few), were not included in the research or any other sources in the annotated bibliography.
To be completely honest, I’ve only ever had 1 real hookup experience that wasn’t a proper date, or that didn’t end in a committed monogamous relationship. That experience included myself and a guy at a friend’s party making out in the bathroom, and that’s really all that happened. We exchanged numbers, but we do not text, and whenever we do see each other in person, we keep it super casual and the extent of our conversations are just exchanging formalities. This follows what Lisa Wade writes in chapter 1 of her book, “American Hookup”. Chapter 1 is called “Hooking Up, a How-To”, and list various steps on how to have a clean hookup, and one of the steps gives information on how to distance yourself from that person, which says that if you were, “…acquaintances, they should act like strangers” (Wade 2017), and that’s exactly what myself and this guy do. Because I do not belong to any of the marginalized groups listed, I do not have experience in any hookups that involve those groups, let alone any experience at all since I’ve only ever participated in 1 hookup.
Over the past five weeks our class has focused on “hookup” culture and the definition of it. Along with the definition, we also came up with categories of what makes up hookup culture and for the 4th to 5th week we focused on “groups”. Our group focused primarily on the age range of hookup culture. Hookup culture technically has no age bounds, but in our opinion, the age range should be focused on college students because we are currently in that age range. The books by Bogle and Wade also both focus on college students which give us great sources to use for researching the topic of hookup culture.
One of our past homework assignments instructed us to watch either Friends with Benefits or No Strings Attached. In both of those movies, the ages of the characters are mid to later twenties. Either way, this is a new perspective to hookup culture for us because it is not college students in these stories. In the end of each story, the couples end up being more than just a “hookup” but that may be just because it is a story that needed endings like that and may not be what really happens.
For me, my college experience has shown that hookup culture is very much alive on campus. I have friends that actively participate in it. I think with our generation, people are definitely more open about the idea of hooking up, and with other guys, they are open about who they are hooking up with. This has been the case even since high school, but it gets more prominent in college because kids are finally living on their own. I know people that actively search to hookup after every night of going out, but I also have friends that have zero interest in it. It’s an odd thing with college students because it seems more of a type of game. Plenty of people that come here expect totally that they’re going to be hooking up all the time because they’re finally free, but it is totally opposite.
During the first couple in this course our class decided that “hookup” was defined as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. This is my personal definition of hookup as well. In the current hookup culture there is a big difference between a hookup and being intimate with someone that you are dating. You can say you hooked up with some buy from the bar, but you cannot say you hooked up with your boyfriend. I think this stems from the “no commitment” part of our definition, even though both experiences will be intimate and sexual, it doesn’t describe the act with a significant other because in that instance there is a commitment. It may also stem from our age group. As college students we have a very different vocabulary and world view than older generations. Our definition of a hookup may be warped from our experiences and our way of life. I feel like today it is much more common to just “casually” be in a relationship with someone and reap all of the sexual benefits as compared to our parents’ generation. I am 21 years old, single, and very much a part of the “hookup culture,” but at 22 my parents were married and pregnant with me.
I think the most interesting thing we have talked about while talking about groups is grinding. Most people in our class agreed that grinding is gross, it is a gross public display of affection. However, most of those who said that were white students who all go to Michigan State. One girl brought up that when she goes to a “white” party her and her friends find it odd that nobody is grinding; and another girl brought up that when she goes to a party with friends at the University of Michigan, all the Michigan students grind as well. So the lack of grinding could be seen as a racial or campus culture divide. It just goes to show that there are so many groups to take into consideration when talking about hookup culture. Each age group, race, geographic area, sexual orientation, gender, etc. all view certain things are norms and others as fringe behavior.
There is no “normal” way it just depends what groups you fall into. This topic is so interesting because I never considered that different groups hookup differently. I was so closed minded in the sense that I never considered that what me and my friends consider normal dating behavior may seem foreign to other groups of people. This unit on groups has really made me realize how important it is to talk the things that normally wouldn’t be talked about in “polite society.” I believe there would be less judgement and shame if everyone was able to talk about hooking up as openly as we do in this class instead of treating it as a taboo subject.
Personally, when I hear one of my friends say that they “hooked up” with someone, my mind automatically goes to “oh they had sex”. However, once I ask for more detail, I realize that that is not always the case. I have realized that the majority of the people that I have talked to, including some of my closest friends, do not imply sex when they talk about “hooking up”. When my friends talk about their “hookup” experiences they almost always mean making out or fooling around with someone, not necessarily having sex with someone. If they did, in fact, have sex, they would make sure to point that out. I do not think that the class definition or my personal definition of “hookup” culture specifically relates to the category of Groups. Groups does not specifically relate to the definitions of “hookup” culture because the definitions are not excluding any group. Different groups will have different values and different perspectives. This will cause different groups to have their own definitions specific to their own values.
In class these past two weeks we have talked a lot about how there are a lot more groups now than there were in the past. For example, we looked at pictures of “hookup” culture or parties from each decade since the 1960s in class. We found that in the earlier decades, “hookup” culture mainly consisted of one particular group. All the pictures from the earlier decades only included white men and women. There was hardly a picture of a different race or ethnicity. As we started progressing through the decades, “hookup” culture and parties became much more diverse. Also, the decade and generation that we were all raised in, makes it very common to have a lot of diversity, including race, ethnicity, and gender. As a generation, we are much more open to diversity and differences among our peers. For example, we are very open to the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Where past generations were not open to diversity hardly at all.
One member of my group found an article that relates to the religious group. The article is titled “’Hooking up’ at College: Does Religion Make a Difference?” From my personal experience I have realized that religion is not talked about much anymore, especially on college campuses. Most of my friends grew up with a somewhat religious background, as did I. But as we got older and moved to MSUs campus, we are not as religious as we were when we were younger and lived with our parents. Being at college for almost two years, I have no met someone who is heavily invested in their religion and refuses to have pre-marital sex.
I do not have a lot personal experience being involved in “hookup” culture. I have noticed through my friend’s experiences that everyone person that they “hookup” with or have “hooked up” with is also in college and is around the same age that we are. I have noticed through experience being at college parties and the bars that everyone participating in “hookup” culture is in the same age range of around 18-22 years old. Also, everyone or almost everyone is in college, whether it is at MSU or another university.
The American “hookup” scene has been a changing movement for quite some time. When I saw the option to take this class – it was a no brainer. The term “hookup” has changed for me in during all of my different chapters in life. During the first week of class, we defined “hookup”. The only part of this definition I do not agree with is that the interaction is with 2+ people. I do not think a sexual interaction can be intimate with 2+ people. This class makes me think and reflect on my social life. For example, last weekend I saw the same guy pull the same moves on four different girls. I know the last girl he talked to, and they ended up hooking up. After picking her up in the morning, I asked her if she’d see him again and she said, “Ehh, probably not.” This is a perfect example on how the college hookup scene can be stereotyped as casual.
My team is currently conducting a survey on age and the college hookup scene. We’re interested to see the correlation between age and casual hookups. Wade makes strong remarks on men “playing the field” much longer than women. Women seek out relationships, whereas men aren’t going to go out of their way to find the “right girl”. We plan on surveying all different ages and genders at all different universities.
College has absolutely boosted my experience on hookup culture. My perspective has changed from an underclassman to an upperclassman. I’ve steered away from multiple hookups to only hooking up with the same person. Not only has it boosted my experience but has changed my personal definition. In high school, a hookup was intended as making out, whereas in college it refers to sex. I’m intrigued and excited to keep learning about the college hookup scene!
In the first couple of classes, it was interesting hearing what other classmates had in mind when they hear the wood ‘hookup’. For me, this word means having sex with someone and occurs only between two people. During my high school years, I remember one of my friends saying that she hooked up with this guy, but in reality, they had only kissed. To me, I would just say that I had made out with someone. I also want to discuss the word ‘intimate’ that we have in our definition. If I were to hook up with a guy, I wouldn’t use the word intimate. I would only use this word if I had feelings for someone or if I were in a relationship. ‘Intimate’ is a very romantic word in my opinion. It’s also interesting to note, relating to the group chapter that we have been discussing, that the majority of our class is white. So, does this factor have an influence on how we define “hookup” culture? Personally, I think it does. In Bogle’s book, she states, “nearly all of the people I interviewed were white (95 percent)… There is also a lack of diversity in terms of sexual preference” (Intro 6). So, most of her research is based on heterosexual white people. With how diverse the United States is today, it would be interesting to look into how different cultures view hookup culture, especially those underrepresented in the LGBTQ+ community. For me, someone who is uneducated under the LGBTQ+ community, I would like to learn about what hookup culture is like in their experiences, especially since it’s become widely accepted in the past couple of years.
When our class had a discussion about what hookup culture looked like in the past, I noticed a lot of images had a lack of diversity and representation of the LGBTQ+ spectrum. My grandmother, who is turning 90 soon, is still stuck in that era of not accepting interracial couples. Pictures from my high school prom weren’t sent to her based on the reason for me having a boyfriend that was African American. Since coming to college, I’ve never felt judged for hooking up with someone of a different race, but back then it was a huge deal. Sex is something that I feel has become more normalized to discuss with others. And when I mean others, I mean people my own age. I know our parents tell us to be safe and to keep us in the loop of our experiences, (maybe this is just my mom), but I have not once talked about my sex life to my mom. I’m not exactly sure how hookup culture has evolved, but I don’t think the older generations understand how apps are incorporated into today’s hookup culture. I’m not sure how others in the class feel about talking to others about their hookup, because everyone’s different and some people just aren’t comfortable talking about it. I definitely won’t be saying anything about my personal life to the class because even though Dr. Acevedo said that class is a no-judgment zone, I believe there’s going to be judgments in every situation. Everyone has their own specific beliefs and opinions, so it’s impossible for some people to respect others, which I completely understand.
My groupmates and I hadn’t discussed the group category besides what we eventually discussed in the next week in class. Instead of looking into LGBTQ+, (which we did in our first assignment) we discussed age and religion. One of my groupmates brought up the point of how Catholic schools around her went crazy for hookups. Since they are finally away from their parents, they tend to do things they weren’t able to before. It’d be interesting to see if we could interview different religions and see if this is a trend that a lot of college students follow. Another point that we want to look into is the age idea of hookup culture. Since we are young college students, most of the focus is on people aged 18-24, which is similar to what both Wade and Bogle discuss. What we don’t realize is that a lot of older couples, especially our grandparents’ age, are still hooking up. Since we are considered “experts” on this topic, it might be easier to delve into our ages, but it’s still important to include the fact that it’s not just our generation participating in this culture.
I’m not too comfortable going into detail about hookup culture in my life specifically, but I can talk about why some students my age participate in it. Personally, after going through a hard breakup, I decided to be the one in control of my emotions and make sure that I wasn’t the one getting attached. I told the guys that I was hooking up with that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and usually ignored them after I did. I felt like my last boyfriend had broken up with me because it had gotten to be too routine and boring, which is why I felt excitement meeting new people each time. I got to be the most interesting part of myself and be confident for the night and then never see them again. It’s almost like I changed myself because it felt good to cover up how I really was actually feeling. I never had the chance to grieve the end of my relationship. I just went straight into hookups. For a while, it worked, but eventually, my feelings caught up with me. Now, I’ve learned from this and want to better myself. I’m not sure if other students can relate to why they participate in hookup culture, but my idea of why is because sometimes they are hurting from a past relationship and just want to feel in control of their emotions.
To me, I feel this is the best way to describe hook up in a way that includes the majority of people’s views. However, I personally don’t love that we chose to use intimate. I don’t know if I feel that every hookup is intimate. In my definition hooking up does mean more than kissing. However, I think that this is something that, for me and my friends, has to do with age and experience. When I was in high school hooking up meant kissing and if things had gone past that most people would say so. As we got older and participated more in hookup culture kissing became less of an ‘intimate’ thing and therefore hooking up rose to a different level.
The thing that was most interesting to me was the idea of how men and women view hooking up as displayed in Bogle’s text Hooking Up. Bogle talks about how women want relationships whereas men want something more casual. While I think this can be true sometimes, I think the text is a bit outdated. I think that as our society has changed women have started to become more confident in allowing themselves to enjoy the things they want. For many women, I think that means causal sex. I also think that hooking up has become more normalized and while women, in my opinion, are more shamed for it than men there is overall less stigma around the act.
The main group my team talked about during this chapter focus was religion. Our group has people who are very religious and people who aren’t religious at all, so we were able to discuss or differences which I found quite interesting. One thing that I found interesting was the way that my public school vs a religious school taught sex ed. Might be very positively framed just giving us facts that can help us protect ourselves vs the religious school had little to none and when sex was talked about it was shamed.
As I mentioned earlier, hook up culture has changed for me as I’ve gotten older. It started as simply making out and progressed to more for me personally. I do think that being a part of both groups in and out of the Greek community have formed my view on hook up culture. I think campus does support the continuation of hook up culture, but I don’t personally think of that as a bad thing. I think it’s amazing that more people are sexually confident in our generation and don’t feel shame about it. I think different generations will always have different views but, in my experiences, I feel that I view hook up culture very similarly to my classmates.
Throughout the past few weeks we have developed and discussed 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, but 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 the reading in Wade’s book because it gave an example of a script for hookup culture. This shows that while yes there is a way to do it but people don’t learn this right away. Trial and error leads to people developing their hookup script and getting involved with the culture. Without these past experiences some people may never get involved within the scene. I can relate to this because I had to work and develop my script throughout my experiences. While I can relate to the script, I thought that the idea of grinding being gross was interesting. One thing that I thought was a normal occurrence in the culture was actually a controversy and made me think where I stand in the culture. While I’m still not set with this idea, I want to continue to think about this and learn other differences with people in the culture.
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. What made me notice this is when Owen from Wade’s novel complains about being used. This has never been a concern of mine throughout my experiences and I feel this is because I understand what a hook up is. This is why I feel hookups become complicated because not everyone is on the same page.
For the first two weeks of class, our class as a whole (along with Dr. Acevedo) created a definition of “hookup” that we believed to best fit how we describe or define it today. The definition that we came up with was “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” In the past two weeks, we looked at a specific category and this biweekly category was “Groups.” Some of the subcategories we came up with as a class were religious, spiritual, LGBTQ, minorities, global view and age range. One of the things our team was focused on was that of age range. Personally, it seems like age that most people have been hooking up has been consistent over the past 50-70 years. Although the definition of “hooking up” may have changed, I believe that the age has remained quite consistent. Something I think that may be disconnected from my personal view of “hooking up” would be the part about commitment. I feel as though when we are younger (high school age or lower), hooking up with someone generally comes with commitment. Although when we enter university, I believe that hooking up can come without commitment, but as for the younger people hooking up, I think there is generally some sort of commitment. For me, I do agree with the definition that our class constructed and usually do not feel commitment when “hooking up” with someone.
Something that really resonated with me from this week’s discussions/readings is something from the reading in Bogle’s book (2008). Bogle goes into discussing how fraternity membership and sporting team affiliation is especially valued for men in college. One of the interviewees said that “fraternity men have more opportunities for sexual encounters with women.” (Bogle, 2008.) This especially stood out to me because I myself have been in a fraternity for all four years I have been at Michigan State. Although it seems very “classic” that fraternity guys seem to be the ones hooking up the most with women in college, I see it to be true. The key word I think is “opportunities”. When you are in a fraternity, you usually go to the frat parties (at the house) when you are an underclassman (freshman and sophomores). In that time, you are usually meeting girls your age and becoming friends/creating groups of friends. A lot of the time, you are usually having one night stands with the people you meet. Once of age and all of your friends are going to the bars, you already have a large group of people, specifically women, that you know at the bar and you don’t have to reach out to meet new people. Having this large group of peers that you are already familiar with gives you much more of an opportunity to “hookup” with someone that you already know. I would say this group/membership is one that resonates with me the most because I am part of this group. As for the other subcategories we came up with for groups, it’s hard for me to understand “hooking up” in them. I believe it’s hard because I don’t really fit into any of those groups being a heterosexual white man. Although I am very understanding of the people and views in these groups, it’s hard for me to see the personal side of them.
One of the key points that we looked at as a team was the music side of “hookup” culture. I believe that music plays an extremely important role in “hookup” culture. The way that music has evolved and become so sexual has definitely influenced the view of “hooking up” in today’s culture. One of the things that comes into mind is looking at music from past generations like we did in class on Thursday. When you google “1960’s hookup music” it’s hard to even find a song about people hooking up or having sex. What most search results yield are songs about love and loving or missing someone. If you look up “2010 hookup/sex playlist” the results are endless. There are THOUSANDS of playlists between Spotify, YouTube and apple music that have something to do with hooking up or sex in the title of the playlist. This isn’t because we are hooking up more often now, but because music has changed so much that almost every other song talks about having sex with someone or a one-night stand (okay that was a little bit exaggerated but still). For example, here is a playlist on YouTube titled “Best Baby Making Songs Everrr!!” that has over 150 songs from the 2000’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gzSITRewmw&list=PLbEsyI-DzbixUUWRktefnKxOXE-YleIIh . If you take a listen, it is so obvious how music has changed and how that changed has definitely influenced “hookup” culture today.
As for personal experiences in “hooking up”, I have had my fair share of one-night stands and “hookups” in college thus far. In fact, at one point I was considered a “man whore” by my male friends, but that was cool with them. To the female crowd, being a man whore isn’t the best reputation to have. Don’t get me wrong, “hooking up” with different people almost every weekend was fun, but after a few years it gets real old. At some point in time, I don’t care who you are, you want to seek something real and genuine.
Our class definition of “hookup” culture is that “hookup” culture is a consensual, intimate, interaction that is sexual between two or more people without commitment. Although this 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 kind between people who are not together. I do not partake in “hook up” culture anymore but the experience is not always intimate or intimate at all, but everyone’s situation is different. For example, someone who is old school may think “hooking up” could be anything from making out to sexual activities, while most people in my generation define “hooking up” as having sex with no commitment just like in our class definition.
Something that resonated with me is that in our day and age “hookup” culture is so normalized in our society especially in young teens and college students. In a book written by Donna Freitas, she surveyed a large sample size of college students from secular, religious, and private colleges. Here conclusions showed that students hooking up resulted from boredom, loneliness, and isolation (Freitas 2013). Students began to accept that’s how college is and stopped seeking real long-term relationships with one another. This being the reality of college relationships is sad to me because this behavior is not ok to me. It gets people’s feelings hurt and I believe this causes people to not have successful long-term relationships and marriages in the future.
Some key points in one of my group’s external source was that LGBTQ have a hard time navigate “hookup” culture that is majority heteronormative. Navigating Campus Hookup Culture: LGBTQ Students and College Hookups by Ellen Lamont researches how members of the LGBTQ community partake in a culture that they are the minority in. Within them being the minority racial minorities are not represented in her research which does not give fair or accurate data or all cases.
My personal past experiences with hookup culture were not great experiences. Going into them using our class and my own definition I never really looked at them as hookups. I always thought that person and I would be together so I was just a onetime thing or casual sex (except once). I look back often wishing I never let those situations happen and respected myself more and wasn’t so gullible. Although I consented, I regret letting myself get to that level with someone who didn’t deserve it. I don’t like the concept of hookup culture because that’s how feelings get hurt and people have a hard time opening up and trusting.
One of the first tasks we were asked to complete for this class was to come up with solid definition of a ‘hookup’ as it relates to our college lives. This seemed easier than it turned out to be due to the mix of opinions and experiences that every class member had. In the end we did create our own definition that generally encompasses the class’s ideas and experiences. The definition of hookup that we created in class seems a little long winded for me and my personal ideas but I don’t have any major problems with the standing definition as it seems to cover all the bases. The only part that I seem to wonder about is the ‘sexual’ interaction. I feel like sexual can also be a slippery term to use because I don’t think a hookup can only be sex, but again I don’t have a better way to phrase it so this seems as good a definition as any to use going forward.
One big piece of information that I read in Hooking Up by Kathleen Bogle was that this generation has sex about as often as our parent’s generation did, which really changed the way I thought about the culture as a whole. This means that either past generations were purposely downplaying their sexuality or this generation has a habit of over inflating our sexuality, or even both. It’s very interesting to see how these ideas can change even in the scheme of the hookup culture as a whole. Many college students probably wouldn’t guess that their parents hooked up as much as they do now, but that could just be clouded judgment because nobody really wants to think about their parents engaging in the hookup culture of their day. This fact could also have come from a misunderstanding of the definition of hooking up because as we’ve already seen within our class, everyone has a different personal definition of hooking up and it could change entirely through a couple generations.
As a group we were able to find sources for each of the categories that were chosen as topics for the book. For the Social/Communicative section we chose a graph that displays correlations between different substance use and the type of interaction that happened as a result. This graph was created by the Psychology Today website which we see fit for research as a scholarly site. This graph displays a surprising percentage of people who use alcohol on the first encounter with a person usually are doing so as part of a hookup. This data would normally be implied but it is helpful to be able to see the entire scope of how the rest of this culture engages with substances as part of hooking up. We also chose to use the Bogle book to learn and write about the Groups section in our book. We chose this as our source because it seems to cover related topics such as the age range that is engaging in hookup culture, as well as the history of hookup culture in reference to groups.
In terms of my own involvement in hookup culture I would say that I never go out of my way to hookup or push something that may not otherwise happen, but even without that there are still plenty of instances of people being predisposed to hookup culture and assuming that I would want to hookup without knowing the person at all. For me it is almost entirely situational, in other words I would rather get to know someone before taking them home but there have been times where that isn’t necessary for me due to use of substances.
The class definition of “hookup” culture states that ‘“hookup’ culture is a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” From our class discussions and from what we’ve both researched and learned so far in class, I mostly agree with that definition now. However, before this class, I’ve always thought that hooking up was just a wide term for any kind of sexual act with another person, whether you’re in a committed relationship or not. One of the groups. I’m associated with is religion. I grew up Roman Catholic and went to Catholic school up until I was 10 and then I did Sunday school until I was in 8th grade. The religion was pushed on me for a long time and heavily influenced parts of adolescence, including my experience with sex. I didn’t learn what sex was until long after most other people my age due to the lack of sex education and the taboo of it within that culture. I think this led to my belief that hooking up was a general term of sex or anything sexual or intimate. It received such a negative connotation within the church that I believed that anyone who did anything remotely close to what could be called hooking up before being married committed a deadly sin that there was no coming back from. Since my young days in the Catholic Church, I have evolved into someone who now knows this isn’t true and can more closely align myself with the class definition of hookup culture.
Through Bogle’s and Wade’s texts, I was able to better understand other’s perspectives on hookup culture, especially compared to my own. It especially opened my eyes to the difference between men and women’s experience within “hookup” culture and how religious undertones are present without those taking part in the culture even realizing. This is especially evident in Bogle’s text. In chapter 6 of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, Bogle collects multiple interviews from men and women discussing how they feel about relationships and hooking up (2008). Many of the women feel like they need that commitment between the two and struggle to get it. Men, however, feel as though they don’t want a relationship and just want carefree encounters. Commitment within sexual relationships is pushed on women in our society, especially within religious societies. It’s heavily stressed within the Catholic Church that women shall remain pure and should not fall into lust, especially with someone they are not married to. While this is an old idea, it still plays a part in our society, which I believe is part of the reason why women feel pressured to turn hookups into relationships.
My group has two different sources that relate to the group category. Our first one is a research article on religion. Within this article, Burdette states that women who are Catholic are more likely to have hooked up while in school, whereas women who are Protestant were actually less likely than an average nonreligious person to hook up while at school (2009). Women who attend schools with a Catholic Church affiliation were also more likely to hook up compared to women who attend schools with no affiliation. The other source our group came up with is an infographic showing different sexual orientation/gender identity groups and how they make up and are involved in the “lesbian” hookup culture community (Riese 2018). A heavy majority are cisgender women, but there are some transgender women, non-binary/genderqueer women, and non-binary/genderqueer people. Most people involved identify as lesbian, but there are those who identify as queer, bi, pansexual, and gay as well.
One of my standout experiences within hookup culture and the religious group I fall into was when I lost my virginity. I did it at 14 with an older boy who clearly looking back at it, was using me for sex. I didn’t realize at the time because I fell into that fantasy of believing I would marry the boy I lost my virginity to because that’s what the Catholic church made it seem like it would be. Up until that point, I really didn’t know what sex was or what exactly happened because of the lack of sex education. When my dad found out months later, he told me how disappointed he was and how he wouldn’t have married my mom if he knew she slept with someone before him because it was ungodly. He didn’t talk to me for two months after this. This conversation and the Catholic religion have put a sense of guilt in me now anytime I hookup with someone or even have sex with someone that I’m in a committed relationship with. It has also made me make riskier decisions with sex in college because I’m no longer around my parents or that strict Catholic environment. Being away from it all and in college has allowed me to expand both my definition of “hookup” culture and overall knowledge about sex, while also allowing me to feel more comfortable talking about it.
From weeks 4 to 5 of the course we discussed hookup culture in relation to groups. As a class we identified category elements such as religious, spiritual, LGBTQ+, minorities, and age range. Overall, I think the definition of “hookup” culture is consistent throughout each group. Of course everyone has their own personal definition of hookup culture as seen through the lengthy discussion we had as a class to attempt to define it. Our class decided to define “hookup” culture as a consensual intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. I like how the term sexual could include anything from kissing to sex. It’s great for people of different ages who some view hooking up as sex and some view as just kissing. I also think the definition is great in not specifying male/female to include the LGBTQ+ community.
The class discussion of grinding perhaps being related to African American culture really resonated with me. As a white female I have experienced black males wanting to grind. Of course white males as well but particularly I have seen it more prevalent in the black community. I am a part of Greek life and agreed on the points other Greek life students brought up that grinding can be seen as “gross” or “creepy” and not something to do at a social. For those of you who don’t know, a social is when a frat invites another sorority over to a party so the people at that party are exclusively from the same frat and same sorority (sometimes with the exception of friends). I honestly think Greek Life could be a category of its own as there are so many rules and norms around it…maybe part of the social/communicative group. Anyways, I would never grind at a social and would judge my friends if they did although for example at Lou Has I wouldn’t even think twice about it. I never thought of it in a cultural way before but perhaps that is why it is less “acceptable” in one scenario compared to the other. Grinding could be a gateway to hooking up although I do not believe everyone who grinds hooks up.
Our team’s external sources include two printed books surrounding the category of groups. One talked about hookup culture on catholic campuses. I found it interesting because I grew up in a very catholic family. Whenever I am home, I go to mass every Sunday with my family. Although, my catholic upbringing does not influence my perspective or participation in hookup culture. I have actively participated in hookup culture since I was like 16. The only influence religion has had on me is the lack of communication about sex with my mom and her view against birth control. The text researched 26 different college campuses and surveyed over 1,000 students and revealed their perceptions of hookup culture as well as their participation. It was interesting to see that I was able to relate with some of their thoughts. The next source analyzed hookup culture of LGBTQ+ college students with data from 24 personal interviews. It is not a surprise research of the college hookup culture is heavily centered around heterosexual relationships so the source aimed to provide data how LGBTQ+ students navigate hookups on college campuses. This was interesting to me since I have limited previous knowledge due to the group I personally identify with.
In class we discussed how the thought of marriage is not really on anyone’s mind in college, and especially not for guys. I know military couples get judged all the time, because I used to be the girl looking at them and judging and now, I happen to be in one. My boyfriend signed a contract with the army for eight years, meaning long distance for a very long time. We’ve talked about marriage and that we would have to be dating for a much longer time and it would have to be much later in our lives when we are financially independent and settled in our careers. So here is a college guy thinking about marriage probably more than I think about it. Anyways, he leaves at the end of May so I have to evaluate if my relationship is worth putting myself through long distance for that long. I think my situation puts me in a different mindset when it comes to hookup culture. As a freshman and really up until I started dating my current boyfriend last semester, I had lots of fun participating in the hookup culture and did not want any commitments. I literally told my boyfriend when we started talking “yeah I’m not looking for anything serious” and look at me now lol. Something literally so insane relating to age range; last year I met a mutual friend at Harpers. We ended up going home together and hooked up for a few months after that. I was 19 at the time and he told me he was 23. Later he mentioned he played football at Albion so naturally I looked it up online and there was an article with his birth date. He was actually 28. Personally, I feel like that age range would be over the college hookup scene but I guess not.
As someone who doesn’t often participate in a college’s “hookup culture,” I believe our definition really grasps what a hookup is. The act of the hookup to me is sort of like a healthy (or unhealthy at times) act/exchange that benefits both parties, which our definition basically encapsulates. I like how our final definition adds the “without commitment” bit because hookup culture has definitely changed generationally, and there are more people who have intercourse before marriage. Now that we’ve gone more in depth with the groups, specifically religion, I’ve noticed that I have personally drifted away from religion as times go on. There are both bad and good things about this because I guess the drift from religion allows me to learn more about myself and my likings without the constant shame that would often come with religion. I still have my morals and I can distinguish between what’s right and wrong from my base of religion when I was younger, but I’ve sort of grown out of it. I also feel like the LGBTQ+ community isn’t really talked about but I think that’s just because that has been accepted so recently, so I’m excited to see where this community goes as time goes on.
I liked how we recently brought up our upbringings/families because that does play a huge role in how we act and that goes for everyone. That really resonated with me because I wasn’t really religious but neither are my parents. My parents were sort of the first exposure I had to love and they showed me a partnership with their marriage so they were good role models, but they did get a divorce and personally that affected me a lot and it sort of changed my whole viewpoint on marriage; their actions are sort of like “red flags” for me today and they tell me that commitment is a really serious step and that I shouldn’t have to rush in it. I love my parents and they are my biggest supporters because I can talk to them about anything. Their advice and recommendations really are to prevent history from repeating itself.
Our team hasn’t really used external resources besides the novels that we’ve read in class other than our outside resource for our survey/interview. From the novels that we have read, Bogle’s hookup novel and Wade’s American Hookup discuss religion a bit, but more so the “steps” that one can take if they’re trying to do the dirty (2017). I guess the novels that we’ve read in class don’t really cover all subcategories of groups, such as sex globally, LGBTQ community, and some different cultures, but I believe it’s just hard to get accurate data from these subcategories just cause some people aren’t willing to talk about it or there just aren’t people conducting the right surveys/asking the right questions.
My personal experiences with the “hookup culture” definitely developed while in college because of the new environment, the new sense of dependency that I didn’t have in high school, and my friends were participating in it so I was basically like “why not?” There was no pressure or me to have sex, but I just kept it in the back of my mind because it was ok to have sex if I wanted to. Religion doesn’t play an important part as it used to, but that’s just me personally because I never really truly believed it because it seemed really constricting.
With this week’s focus being on “Groups,” our class defined hookup culture as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2 or more people without commitment. I feel as though this is a quite fair description of the general feeling of my generation’s definition for hookup culture. However, my own personal definition is much simpler: acting on consensual “skinful” lust. There is a huge difference in my eyes between hooking-up and having sex. When a couple, or more, has sex, there are a variety of intense and intimate feelings that are involved. However, when people are hooking-up it does not have much feeling behind it. It is merely a physical action that brings physical pleasure to all involved. So, in my opinion, this is how my definition of hook-up culture differs from how the class defines it.
The history of groups in hook-up culture that stuck out to me made me really think of the discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community has faced throughout history. While there has been some progress made in the rights and societal acceptance of this particular group, there is still a lot of room to be made. There is still less than half of the states that provide legal protection to this group, including workplace discrimination, eviction rules and refusal of services (“All we want is Equality,” 2018). This is so morally wrong and unacceptable; we as people have no right to tell other human beings who they can have and show feelings for. I just cannot understand the mindset behind telling someone that who they love is not acceptable or at some points-in-time even illegal. Just allow people to live their lives without having to dictate every decision that they make. Another group that sprung to mind in regard to the hookup culture is the LGBTQ+ minority population. I feel like this is a group that is not talked about or represented in any of the readings we have covered.
The main key points that my group has gathered in relation to groups have come from the books that we have been reading, along with the book “Youth Sexualities” written by Susan Talburt and Janice Irvine. In “Youth Sexualities” there is a large emphasis placed on how the group of women experiences a disproportionate amount of shame (Talburt 2018). It goes on to discuss how they are shamed by friends for sleeping with a number of people, when guys are praised for being a “player” and how they are perceived as more cool then guys that do not sleep with a number of people. Another text that my group is utilizing for research that has given us an insight to groups is “The End of Sex” written by Donna Freitas. The main group that it has been discussing is young people that are exploring the hookup culture. So far, the findings are outlining the psychological impact on this group, and how they find hooking-up with people to not be pleasing or fulfilling emotionally (Freitas 2013). While it may work for some people, it clearly is not working for a lot of other people. Yet, this s the general mindset people my age has about hooking up, that it is not something serious or meaningful. Therefore, those that are looking for commitment are the group that is suffering. They are looking for more than people my age are willing to give. Ultimately, there more research that needs to be completed but these texts have been very enlightening and informational so far.
My own personal experiences within the hookup culture, specifically within the group perspective, were quite surprising to me. Originally, I did not think that I belonged to many groups at all, I am a straight white male so what groups would I be a part of? However, through taking this class I have been reflecting on some other aspects of my own personal experiences that involve me in groups. I have been completely sober for a year-and-a-half now, so I can no longer relate to the class discussion regarding using substances for hookups. I started exploring the hookup culture at the age of sixteen, and until I was about twenty, alcohol and other substances did indeed play a large role in the hookup circles I was a part of. However, I am still active in the hookup culture now without substances and the lesson I have taken from that is how just random hookups can feel more intimate without the crutch of alcohol and other substances. So, I am a part of a sober group within the hookup culture community, along with being a part of the straight community. Another group that is not discussed too much in class that I am a part of would be “fetish” group. Exploring personal kinks is not something that I find taboo, whether it is wax-play, role-play, or other more “out there” kinks. However, people do not talk about this much at all, and I do not understand why. I wonder if societal shame plays a part, or if people are simply embarrassed about it. These are my own personal experiences with groups within the hookup culture, and I am sure that more will come to light throughout taking this class.
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.
The steps were one thing that resonated with me when we spoke about them last week. One thing that I’ve had previous experience with is watching people grind and the consequences to that. Mostly in the Greek community if a guy and girl are grinding on each other they are sent to standards which is the “party police” and then they will be given a punishment such as a fine or social probation for a couple of socials. The next day after all that is ironed out the people who carried out the act normally regret the decision mainly because they are sober, but also because it isn’t worth it to grind for a $50 fine when they could have gone somewhere else and handled their business not in the sight of everyone at the party resulting in everyone around them feeling uncomfortable. Another previous experience is the fact that many times a “pregame” with the person you end up hooking up with does not happen. Although there is always a pregame, that’s just not where you and the other person interact and lead into the hookup from. Many times you will hit them with a text message or post on your story the location of what bar you will be at that night. Then hoping they will respond to either a text or a public story on snapchat you then hope it will lead to something else. I find that is the best scenario due to both of them being able to act like they weren’t planning on hooking up rather that it just happened. The other steps we discussed weren’t too bad, but I felt the biggest flaws were the grinding and the pregame.
Many of the personal experiences that have been discussed during the class in regards to hookup culture are pretty spot on. The music one of my classmates played is very spot on to the reality of actual hook up culture. While many people in relationships may not play music, but during a hook up to take out any awkwardness that type of music is played. Another factor that is not taken into account is the type of bar you go to for the night really determines if you will be hooking up and what type of hook up you are looking for. Some people in the Greek community prefer not to go to “harpers” due to the number of ties they have there and that the hookup may not be able to happen due to the previous history with the guys/girls there. Some may go to other bars due to the crowd being considered “older” and that crowd will be more mature and a little less likely to hook up. So I feel that factor is extremely important and often overlooked from my experience.
For the past two weeks, my IAH 231B class and I have been researching and talking about how the group category is involved in the topic of “hookup” culture. Because we all decided that groups play a pretty big role in “hooking up” we decided to make that a chapter of our book that will be completed at the end of the semester. Before we talked about our categories or chapters in our book, my peers and I we challenged with a question: What is your definition of a “hookup”? This question seems like a pretty straightforward question and it seems like my generation could answer this fairly easily. But, after thinking of answers that could possibly satisfy my classroom of 53 people it seemed difficult to come to a solid answer that everyone was okay with. After a long discussion, we finally came up with an answer that involved everyone’s input on what the “hookup” culture really is. “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. In other words, it is a casual interaction between people in a sexual manner. To me, this definition completely matches my personal definition to “hooking up” and I think it really relates to our topic from the past two weeks which is the group category.
My group and I really talked about how the different gender groups are affected by the “hookup” culture. In Kathleen Bogles text, Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, she talks about how females are negatively affected by participating in the “hookup” culture as opposed to how men are not affected in the same way. Sadly, I agree with how she wrote about the genders. Females are affected and treated differently in our world especially when it comes to exploring our sexuality. We are constantly shamed and looked down upon because of what we decide to do with our bodies. This topic really resonated with me because I see shaming of women based off of “hooking up” often. Whether it involves name calling or even just talking about someone in a negative way, it happens quite a lot.
In my group for assignment #1 we used a video source and an article for social/ communitive and groups. I really liked the article we used for social/ communitive because it talked about the social scene such as different parties and bar settings as a part of Greek life social events. Because Greek life is a fairly big thing on college campuses, I think it is important to consider them as a group. In Greek life, “hooking up” seems to be something that is very relevant in the social scene. These two topics intersect in a way that is pretty interesting. It is common to associate drinking and partying but what about the social groups that participate in both? It seems to open a conversation about how different groups interact with their sexual preference at social settings.
My personal experiences of “hooking up” with others goes back to my freshman year of college. I obviously came in as a new student and wanted to make a few friends. Because of this, I joined Greek life and really focused on making new friends. Because I met many new people, including some guys, I ended up “hooking up” with a few people. I personally think that this is more than okay to do and is pretty common in the college life. Now, since I have made connections from the past few years, I have a boyfriend and I don’t consider us “hooking up” mostly because I have been with him for a while and the definitions does not match what I do with my boyfriend.
For this first reflective narrative I want to examine the class’ definition of “hookup” and how it differs from or is similar to my own. I’m going to break the definition down into its parts, describing what I think is meant by each part, stating whether said ‘parts’ are also in my definition of “hookup,” and finally coming to some conclusion about the similarity or difference between the two definitions and discussing implications.
The class’ definition reads, “‘hookup’ culture is a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” The first descriptor used in the definition is “consensual.” By consensual, I think the class means that both parties involved in the hookup, whether that be a man and a woman, two women, two men, or maybe even three or more people, engage in the hookup willingly. I believe “consensual” means that no kind of coercion is involved, and that either person involved in the hookup wants to participate. I think the reasons for participation can vary quite a bit, and that some may participate not because of genuine interest in hooking up, but because of social pressure and belief that “this is what college students do.” However, the reason a person participates in the hookup, unless for fear of retaliation by the other person, has no bearing on whether the hookup is consensual. This part of the class’ definition certainly aligns with my own. I believe the moment one of the parties in the hookup indicates that they do not want to continue, and the other party does not comply, the hookup becomes nonconsensual. I’ve “hooked up” before, and somewhere between the start and end of the hookup have decided I wasn’t that into it, however; I still consider these instances consensual because I did not voice my disinterest, nor did I make any attempts to stop the hookup from continuing. Although it’s rather taboo to think of consent as nuanced, situations like the one I described above (I think) show that things are not always so black and white when it comes to consent. I think some would categorize the situation I described as nonconsensual. Again, the moment one of the parties in the hookup indicates that they do not want to continue, and the other party does not comply, the hookup becomes nonconsensual. But sometimes this indication isn’t made, and other times, perhaps, it isn’t made clear enough. Admittedly, though, it’s hard to think of things one could say or do to signal a desire to stop the hookup that would not be perceived or understood by the partner, especially given the intimate nature of “hooking up.” All in all, I agree that a “hookup” is consensual.
The next two descriptors that are used in the class’ definition are “intimate” and “sexual.” I find it interesting that the class uses the two terms separately. To me, something that is sexual is already intimate, and so I would describe it as just “sexual.” I think of intimacy as close involvement between two people. Not all things that are intimate are sexual, such as cuddling or even dinner at a nice restaurant, but all things that are sexual are intimate. So, I’m left wondering what is meant by “intimate” in the class definition. Maybe it’s just redundant and no one really noticed, but its presence there makes me believe it was intended to add something to the definition. Maybe it’s getting less at literal, physical intimacy, and more at romance, the kind of psychological connection. That is interesting to me, because I would not say that I’ve had this kind of experience with any of the people I’ve hooked up with. All of the people I’ve hooked up with I’ve met on dating apps, so that could play a role. Maybe the rise of hooking up through social media has led to fewer sexual encounters based on psychological intimacy? That would make sense- it’s much more difficult to gage whether you “click” with someone through a screen. Yes, you can converse with a potential “hookup” through apps like tinder, but for the most part you’re making a physical judgment. This is why, for me, hookups only really include the physical intimacy, and not so much the psychological.
The last part of the class’ definition states that a hookup involves two or more people and that it is without commitment. I grouped these two parts of the definition together, because I didn’t feel both warranted their own sections of this narrative. In terms of the number of people involved in the hookup, I’ve never been a part of one that included more than two people (including myself), but I know that these kinds of hookups do happen. Therefore, this part of the definition, while not necessarily applying to my sex life, is consistent with what I think “hookup” can mean. The last part of the class’ definition states that a hookup is without commitment. “Without commitment,” to me, means that after the hookup has taken place, both parties have no obligation to communicate with or associate with the other. I think another important aspect of this part of the definition is the idea of nonexclusively. This could even be the most distinct part of the hookup definition as it is what distinguishes a “hookup” from a committed relationship. I think this part of the definition is also the most commonly agreed upon. Although some hookups may vary in terms of the aspects of the definition discussed in the preceding paragraphs, I believe few people would describe a relationship built around “hooking up” (assuming the classes definition) as exclusive. I would say this is true of my definition of “hooking up” as well.
Now that I’ve parsed out the class’ definition of “hookup” and enumerated similarities and differences between it and my own definition, I want to discuss how this relates to the categories “social/communicative” and “groups.” Something I touched on earlier is the influence that hooking up through social media has had on the “hookup” and my personal experience of it. I think I’ve felt this influence particularly strongly, because I am a gay male. For straight people, social opportunities, which become hookup opportunities, aren’t hard to find. There are many bars in East Lansing, not to mention frat and house parties that are heterosexual-dominated. This isn’t surprising as a much greater percentage of the general population identifies as heterosexual, compared to those who identify as homosexual, bisexual, or other sexual orientations. Of course, there may be students in the LGBTQ+ community who host parties, the attendees of which are mainly other students in the LGBTQ+ community, but these opportunities are difficult to find if, like me, you’re a gay person with mainly straight friends. Comfortability with one’s sexuality, both for oneself and for the community at large, are also barriers to these kinds of opportunities. That is why, at least for me, any kind of hookup is arranged through the use of dating apps. That is also why, in my experiences, the hookup does not usually involve that intangible, human connection that was included in the class’ definition. If you’re a frat brother, at a frat party, at which females largely outnumber males, there are 1) many opportunities to find that kind of psychological intimacy and 2) quick and easy ways to determine if that intimacy is present with any one female- body language, eye contact, verbal cues, etc. Of course, many straight people still use dating apps, but party scenes enable one to take the hookup from purely physical to mental, at least more so than the chat feature of a dating app does. Yes, one can arrange to meet with someone through a dating app and then attain the psychological intimacy upon meeting in-person, but I believe it is less organic in this scenario because it is assumed ahead of time that sex is going to happen. I think, for straight people, dating apps supplement the party scene in terms of hooking up, but for those identifying with other sexual orientations, dating apps comprise the majority of hookup opportunities.
To summarize, my definition is almost the exact same as the class’ definition, but certain aspects differ, namely, the inclusion of non-physical intimacy. I believe this difference stems from my sexual orientation which has affected the social vehicle through which I participate in hookup culture. Investigation into whether this is common across all members of the LGBTQ+ community could provide a clearer of true population differences, with respect to hookup culture.
When I was searching for an upper level IAH to take and finish as a university requirement, I was interested in the definition of this class. I had heard of the word “hookup” before however was not really sure what “hookup culture” meant. For that reason, I enrolled in the class and was eager to learn on a new and relevant subject. During the first few weeks of class we came up with a definition for hookup culture. The definition we chose as a class was, “Hookup” culture is a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. After speaking more on the topic and coming up with different categories as well as beginning to read from our assigned books I can relate to our class definition. I connect with our definition because I believe hooking up with someone needs to be consensual. I also agree that a hookup is sexual and intimate. The only part of the definition that is questionable to me is the commitment part. I feel like friends with benefits or a “hookup” with someone more than a few times requires a pact and some type of commitment.
What resonated with me the most over this week’s lectures and discussions was how every person has their own definition for hooking up. This was seen throughout class discussions as well as through the Bogle and Wade readings. I thought it was interesting how in one of the books I can’t remember which, the author talked about how this “hookup” culture came to be and how it changed over time at universities.
My team conducted research in the categories consensual, shame, religious/spiritual, social/communicative, group, social media, music, psychological and feminism team plans on conducting interviews in the future to gather more information. The research that I focused on was the music category. I choose this category because I think it is an important part of hooking up. For me music sets the mood and helps each person relax.
Personally, I can relate to “Hookup” culture since starting college. Being a junior now I can consider myself as more experienced. I have also become more confident in myself since coming to MSU. My perspective has changed a bit from freshmen year to now. Freshmen year I had a girlfriend for a bit but realized that the commitment wasn’t there. Now instead I prefer participating in “hookup culture”. I believe that by participating in “hookup” culture I have learned more about myself in the process as well.
Our definition of hookup culture is a definition I do not necessarily agree with. On the basis of groups, we learned about religious groups, minorities, LGBTQ, among other groups of people. In my group, we discussed the different groups we identified with. We had many discussions about what made us similar and what made us different and we experienced different groups through our conversations. Our definition of hookup culture made sense with the groups we learned about because our definition was very inclusive. We did not define hookups as between a man and a woman or people of the same race. It was a very inclusive definition that allows for interpretation. I believe groups are the easiest way to relate to our definition based on what we came up with. I do not necessarily agree with our definition exactly based on my experiences though. Personally, I do not identify with most of the groups we learned about. I am religious, but not in a way that prevents me from participating in hookup culture. I am not in any group enough to be a representative of that group so I do not really relate to any of the groups listed that we learned about.
During class, a person in my group explained a story about home life. I never really thought about that in the context of groups, but it is something worth mentioning. Everybody lives a different life and is raised in a different way. I think it pertains to groups because people can be raised differently based on their religion or their race or their sexual identity. There are so many different possibilities of people and the way they are raised. None of the groups resonated with me as mentioned before, so I had a hard time relating my history and experiences with the groups we learned about. I felt like I did not relate at all to these groups, but I still learned a lot about each one. Our history is how we were raised and how we think about certain things. Thankfully, I grew up in a very liberal and open-minded home where I was taught to accept people from a young age. So even if I did not personally relate to the groups, I accepted and honored each group through conversations.
My group used a plethora of online sources as well as books. We found some really good YouTube videos and also found tons of visual aids that simplified the topic in a way that allowed further understanding of the discussion topics. The books we used included biographies and first-hand accounts of people in situations relating to the group they identified with. As for intersectionality, all groups are connected in some way. There are always going to be people that identify with more than one group and can be used to connect people to others they may not feel they identify with. I am going to work towards trying to find my connection to one of these groups so that I can learn more about each group.
My thoughts on hookup culture seem to vary a lot from everyone in our classroom. I personally do not engage in hookup culture out of fear. I have no judgments against people that engage in it nor do I look at anyone in a different way if they do choose to hookup. I am actually working towards being able to have casual hookups, but at this moment in my life, I am unable to experience these things out of anxiety so I will continue to watch from the outside. This class is almost helping me feel more comfortable working towards it, but I also feel a little bit isolated because I have no experience relating to the topic.
For the fourth to fifth week of material we began covering the category of groups 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. That definition was, “hookup” culture is a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between two or more people without commitment. I think this fit into the category of groups because this universal definition can be applied to anyone that is participating within the hookup culture. Personally I do not believe that the category of groups applied to me because I don’t feel as if I fit into a specific group like we had outlined such as religious groups, minorities, or LGBTQ. My personal definition of hookup culture wouldn’t include a specific category of groups or any of the subgroups associated with it.
History I think plays an important part especially in this category because history has taught us that certain groups are not acceptable to be a part of or engage with. Especially with new emerging groups within LGBTQ that are becoming more known and accepted I feel as if hookup culture within those groups is judged differently than within what is considered to be normal hookup culture. There are however similarities that I have experienced. People still approach the hookup culture the same way no matter what group you are a part of. There are still all sorts of different types of relationships that are present across all groups in hookup cultures. Looking at the images of what were considered parties across decades was something that I found interesting. When looking at those images we were able to see the change over decades of who and what was present. You started to see a lot of more mixed raced parties heading towards the 90s and 2000s. I think this was something that was important for us to look at because it shows not only the development of hookup culture, but also the development of what was turning into being considered acceptable.
My teams’ external source for this category was a YouTube video that had people from different religious background discussing their viewpoints on sex before marriage. The key points I took from this video was that people’s religions change throughout life and that that is okay and acceptable. Also that people that have different views on sex before marriage can have a conversation about it and why they feel that way without it becoming a hostile environment. I also think this video was important because it might open up someone’s eyes that are not able to have those conversations, or those that judge others for their actions might become more accepting.
Personal preferences apply a lot into this category for me because I have a diverse friend group that doesn’t necessarily have the same views as I do. There are varying degrees of religiosity within my friend group and that effects the way certain friends perceive my actions. I feel judged by certain friends because they are more religious than I am and see what I am doing as wrong. This is hard for me because I feel like I can’t share with them what is going on in my romantic life because I know I will be judged. I also get judged by friends for liking other races over my own. It is just a preference of mine and I sometimes feel as if I wouldn’t be able to interact with someone of another race without one of my friends saying something to be about what I am doing. There is a clear line between being judgmental because you think you are right and having your own personal preferences. I think that having groups like religion and different races creates this opportunity for people to think what they do is correct and what others do should be judged.
Over the past two weeks, we have been looking at the groups that experience “hookup” culture. The class definition, actually coincides with what I believe “hookup” means. However, I do believe “hookup” is an umbrella term and can mean a lot of different things depending on the population. I think the definition we decided upon covers a lot of gaps, which I agree with. It opens the term “hookup” to meaning a lot of different things- from just kissing to having sex. Personally, I am not the type to “hookup” with random people or even some of my friends/acquaintances. So, having the definition be so fluid it is easier to say I have “hooked up”. I kind of feel that by saying a simple kiss was a “hook up” it can take away from the definition a little bit. Meaning, if someone said they “hooked up” you would just have to assume whatever you thought it meant.
After looking over lots of different information regarding to groups, I found looking at the time periods to be most interesting. It seems easiest to see this through music videos. Prior to this course I never even thought about the “hookup” culture, let alone music being related. Music shows us a lot about what has gone in the past. Also, more closely the impact women have on “hookup” culture. My group found a video about how women over time have shaped the culture. Bustle goes into detail about all of the different aspects. The most interesting thing to me is that the amount of guys a woman has had sex with has decreased from 10 for the Baby Boomers to 8 for the Gen X (Bustle). The video also goes into detail about how women have the capability to control more aspects to “hooking up”, for instance birth control. This really resonates with me because oftentimes people may assume now that women have a bigger role in society they might be willing to “hookup” more. I think it is so important to understand and look at the entire topic as a whole.
The sources my Team found that relate to groups are: an interview with a college age individual from a different country, a YouTube video describing how women shape the hookup culture, and the book by Bogle. We thought by interviewing an individual from another country it would allow us to find more information regarding “hookup”. This type of information will also make the book more credible, for the fact it isn’t just secluded to MSU’s majority on campus. Within Bogle’s book she has a chapter that emphasizes on men and women and the double standard relating to “hookup”. I think the resources we chose will add a lot to the class book. We are sure to include many aspects of group- from age, to race.
I guess the only “hook up” experiences I have had are with a few guys in high school, and the furthest that went was kissing. Throughout my time at college, I have not had many experiences with “hookup” due to the fact I have had a boyfriend the entire time. My boyfriend and I have been together since our senior year of high school. I enjoy the situation I am currently in, as it is hard for me to see myself “hooking up” with people that I am not in a relationship with. My friends who are single oftentimes talk with me about “hooking up” and I always support them. I have always had the mindset of not judging and letting people do whatever makes them happy, obviously as long as it’s legal. Relating to groups, I am actually a Native American. I fit into the age group of college students, but add a completely different aspect. I have found that a lot of my Native American relatives that are currently in college or of college age have very similar “hookup” experiences as my other non-minority friends.
Over the last two weeks, classmates and I have researched and discussed in out teams and as a class the groups that we believe make up ‘hookup’ culture. Our class definition of ‘hookup’ culture is “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” We identified the categories we felt made the most sense. One of the categories we established was Groups. Some of the groups we discussed include African American men/women, LGBTQ+, Religious, Spiritual, and age range. I don’t find myself labeled in any of these groups but it has been very interesting learning how the culture is different in each group. I’ve realized that most people have different views on what a ‘hookup’ is. I agree with our definition of ‘hookup’ culture as it should always be consensual when hooking up. When I refer to ‘I hooked up with a guy last night’ I am referring that we had sex. Some of my roommates don’t participate in ‘hookup’ culture so sometimes when I bring guys home from the bar or go home with a guy I feel like they are judging me. They always say comments like ‘I just couldn’t hookup with a stranger’ or that I am always bringing guys home. It’s something that bothers me because I feel that they don’t fully understand what ‘hookup’ culture is.
Bogle and Wade in out weeks 4 & 5 readings as well as in-class discussions really impacted my perspective on ‘hookup’ culture. As a female, I consider myself to be fairly active in ‘hookup’ culture, although I have never been considered a ‘slut’ or felt like one. I believe that the way you present yourself in person and on social media is where females involved in ‘hookup’ culture will get those reputations. Bogle discussed in chapter 6 that women receive more negative labels in ‘hookup’ culture. It is also discussed that women are ‘shamed’ for ‘hooking up’ whereas men are ‘praised’. I agree with this to an extent. I am comfortable talking about my past/current ‘hookups’ but I am watchful of my own reputation and what other people will think of me. I feel that I have to be careful what I say and who I am talking to about my ‘hookup’ experiences otherwise I will be shamed for it. On the other hand, guys are praised or cool for sharing a funny ‘hookup’ story. For example, I noticed in class that when guys speak up about the topic in class, the class usually responds to them positively or even laughs.
Another topic that was discussed in class regarding the readings was Wade’s ‘hookup script’. Wade labeled what steps need to be completed to lead to a ‘hookup’. Although no one really wanted to admit it, everyone that is involved in ‘hookup’ culture has a ‘script’ they just don’t realize it. Wade mentioned that grinding with a potential hookup was viewed as initiating a ‘hookup’ and letting them know you are interested. We learned in class that views on grinding are different in each Group. In the white ‘hookup’ culture grinding is really done and looks sloppy. In the African American ‘hookup’ culture grinding is the norm and fun to do. A couple of my classmates expressed that all of their friends enjoy grinding and all of their friends do to. I am interested in researching more on this topic and discussing it more within my group.
I personally think that hooking up is fun. I’ve been single for some time and definitely am not looking to start a relationship with anyone anytime soon. Before going to MSU, I broke up with my high school boyfriend because I didn’t want to be committed to anyone and to just enjoy my time and be independent. I feel that my time in college is to focus on myself and my future rather than a guy. Most of the guys I have hooked up with are mutual friends where I had an intimate connection with but were not compatible in anything else. I’m still friends with most of the guys I’ve hooked up with, it’s very casual.
Personally I would say that the class definition of hooking up is pretty spot on. Saying that it is a “sexual interaction” is very broad and includes all people and all groups I would say. We left the definition very broad and all-encompassing and I believe that is very good because no two + people are the same so definitely all hookups are never going to be the same.
I thought that it was very interesting to look into and study hookup culture across the decades. It was kind of funny because it seems as though hookup culture has really just began to take root and flourish, but the partying scene seems to have always been around. For example we looked at the 1960’s and compared it to nowadays and the people really seemed to have been more discreet about hooking up with what they wore and such, it makes me wonder if people hooked up less because they had less resources to communicate with each other and also wore more clothing. A common theme from all of the pictures that my group saw was that the people in them consisted of mainly middle-class white colored, which was kind of odd. Also, it was very hard to tell whether or not there were LGBTQ people hooking up from the pictures, although I’m sure it was happening very discreetly. One thing that stuck out to me was how Wade says that hooking up involves using your mouth and kissing and such so, wouldn’t a decade such as the 1950’s be involved in hookup culture then as well? Contradictory to this thought most see the 1950’s as a time when couples would prance around and date and be “cutesy”. A new thought that I have towards this class would be “is hooking up just a lack of time together and dating each other?” Also, since it basically is “what is the driving force?”
The main sources that my group pulled together for this assignment would include the category of religion and also Greek life and social media. What we found from reading “Sex and The Soul” was that there are many religions and they all are still apart of hookup culture on college campus’ whether or not the religious students are hooking up a lot or not. This book pointed to the aspects of shame that are interwoven between the fabrics of hooking up and staying true to their religion and how this tends to activate stress in the extremely spiritual students. As far as the greek life source goes we read “Taking Parties Seriously” and learned that pretty much every college student goes into a party with the mindset of hooking up. This then leads to our social media source “Exploring the Hook-Up App” and how sexuality is very much promoted. Various apps such as Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble are helping people find someone to “connect” with or hookup with these days, and we are seeing that people are trying much harder at putting themselves out there compared to before and this is mainly promoted through the use of social media and hookup apps.
Personally I would say that I can speak for some of those students that fall into the “religious/conservative” group. I used to participate in hookup culture but this was without knowing and once I found out I almost felt like a board piece that was used in a game, the game of hookup culture. Honestly the use of a “substance” was involved and things probably wouldn’t have escalated to this point if it weren’t for the little “boost” from said substance. This leads me to question if most people view hooking up as morally wrong if under the situation where the person is sober-minded? I honestly have no idea because as mentioned previously, every person is different and so naturally every hookup as well…
Our class defined “hookup” culture as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. While we all agreed to make this our permanent definition, I think the definition of a hookup still varies from person to person. Kathleen Bogle expands on this idea in her book Hooking Up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus (2008). Lisa Wade also explores hookup culture on college campuses in her book American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus (2017). Both authors gather data from real college campuses and talk to students about what it means to hookup, what a hookup is and everything in between. We found in the book that everyone defines hooking up differently. It can mean just kissing or it can mean meaningless sex. I personally believe that hookup culture can be defined as anything sexual that is not romantic between two people. I especially think the definition of hookup culture varies within different groups, whether it be gender, sexuality, race, age, class or religion, I think sometimes circumstances can define what a hookup is. So I think sometimes it can be hard to put one solid definition on “hookup” culture, because it means something different to everyone.
Something I found very disappointing is the lack of diversity in both of these books research. Bogle addresses her lack of diversity and explains it was largely in part due to the lack of diversity on the campuses overall that she studied. Nonetheless, 95% of students she surveyed were white, most from middle to upper class, and most being heterosexual. Bogle states that racial minorities are one of the groups that are least likely to hookup, but does not provide any further research on this topic. I also think it’s interesting because students surveyed were either from a large state university or a Roman Catholic university. Throughout the book, all students have similar answers to the questions and there was really no differentiation between the state school and the religious school. But Bogle also points out that students with strong religious affiliation were a group that was least likely to involve themselves in hookup culture (2008). Wade shows more diversity in her book, but doesn’t necessarily go into depth about the differences between groups (at least not in the sections we’ve read so far) (2017). It all gets kind of clumped together and, I think, erases the importance of hookup culture within different groups. Both authors recognized the age that “hookup” culture is at its height in one’s life. The reason hooking up is seen as a ‘culture’ on college campuses is because during college is the time that people have the freedom and opportunity, possibly for the first time, to explore with sexual intimacy. It’s pointed out in Wade’s book, the topic of ‘moving on’ from hookup culture once college ends and in Bogle’s book, she includes a chapter titled ‘Life after College: A Return to Dating’ (2008; 2017). I am interested to see what “hookup” culture is like after college.
The main external source my group found for groups was “Hooking Up’ at College: Does Religion Make a Difference?” by Amy M. Burdette, Terrence D. Hill, Christopher G. Ellison, and Norval D. Glenn. This article focused on college women with religious affiliation and their involvement in “hooking” up. I was shocked at the results. It was found that Catholic women were more likely to hookup than women with no religious affiliation and Protestant women were less likely to hookup. It also showed that church attendance influences that chances of hooking up or not. I really liked this article because it was able to shed light on something that was neglected in past research done about “hooking up” and it distinguished different religions.
I do not participate in hooking up. I have been with my boyfriend since high school. As weird as it sounds, I think I still “hookup” with my boyfriend, even though our definition defines “hookup” culture as having no commitment. Even if I was single, I don’t think I would be super involved in “hookup” culture on campus. Most of my friends are single and love to go out and party and the majority of them have yet to “hookup” with anyone. I think I would probably follow suit. I think “hookup” culture is totally normal, and I have no problem with it, I just don’t think it’s for me.
The definition of hookup culture, as we discussed in class, is quite fluid and is different for many different people. I agree with the definition we discussed in class as it relates to the groups category, which was “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment”. However, there are many different groups of people that view the “culture” differently. As we discussed in class, some groups are more, or less likely to engage in hooking up. Those who had families who came here from a different country are certainly less likely, as they were raised in a completely different mindset. Those in the LGBT community might be less comfortable being a part of the culture due to potential insecurities as well as fewer options. One’s age also plays a big part in how involved people are in the culture. Those younger are certainly more likely to be involved as they still feel they can have fun and not take relationships too seriously, while those older are more likely to desire long term, stable relationships.
The group category is a unique one, in that most individuals do not fall under the LGBT category, or the immigrant category, or the minority category. As a result, it is difficult for many people to be able to understand the unique perspectives each of these groups have on hookup culture. The readings from Bogle and Wade lent a more academic viewpoint on the idea of hookup culture as a whole, and in a way serve to shed light on what the hookup culture is about. In a way, it is sort of a 101. The most shocking fact that I have learned so far was how relatively not often people hook up. This of course depends on the definition people have, but the average was around 3 people or so I believe. That, over a 4 or 5 year span, is not that many people, in my opinion. The idea however, that people feel the need to compete in terms of numbers is quite ridiculous. High numbers, and low numbers, really don’t mean that much. As long as one is happy with who or what they’re doing, nothing else matters. What does matter, however, is when people feel pressured or forced to participate, and rack up high body counts out of insecurity or peer pressure. That is when it becomes unhealthy and can lead to serious mental issues in the future. I have never felt pressured to participate in the culture due to not being a part of Greek life, where there is a consistent pressure to hookup at various functions. That does not mean I do not participate, but it means I do so without any pressure or due to insecurity
Our group is focusing on how the social media aspect ties into groups and peer pressure. The various “dating” apps that exist, such as tinder and bumble, only reinforce the hookup culture. On one hand, they are beneficial as they show you the number of fish in the sea, and not to stress too much over one person. On the other, it is harder to take anything too seriously, for that same exact reason. The major selling point of the apps is how easy it is to express interest in someone without any commitments and without needing to talk to them in person. Our group discussed this in class in preparation for the script assignment, and we will certainly be analyzing this further as we all believe it is incredibly important to take the impact of dating apps into account. I myself have taken advantage of the apps to hook up with people, but I do not do it often and I often like to at least know a little about the person to develop a comfort level, as opposed to jumping right into something.
Since the start of the semester, my classmates and I have focused on defining hookup culture and the related categories which attribute to the topic. After much deliberation, we chose to define hookup culture as “A consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” In a general sense, my personal definition of hookup culture strongly connects to our class definition. I agree with the way several parts of hookup culture are touched upon in our definition so that it acts as a comprehensive identification of values within the culture. Such as the way we included that it is consensual, intimate, sexual, and without commitment. In addition to our definition, we also identified hookup culture to contain five categories that are essential to understanding and learning about the processes of hookup culture. These five categories include Music/Television & Film, Gender Roles, Groups, Social/Communicative, and Psychological. During this first two-week period of the course, we have focused our discussions and research on the category of groups that contains the elements of individuals belonging to groups of religion, spirituality, LGBTQ, minorities, global perspectives and age ranges. Personally, I feel that our class definition of hookup culture, as well as our textbooks and the resources we have discussed throughout the past two weeks all, lack sufficient context about the group category. This is because the way in which groups contribute to different trends in hookup culture which our definition fails to touch upon.
Based on my personality and personal experiences I resonate most with the group of people who chose to not participate in hookup culture. I feel that this element of groups, as well as others, are not a focused-on topic of hookup culture. In today’s day of age people just assume that everyone participates in hookup culture, but that isn’t always the case. I have also experienced this on a smaller level within this class. For example, I have been asked, “Why you are taking this class when you don’t participate in hookup culture and it’s not something that you’re interested in learning about?” Another example of this feeling is that way that in the very beginning of the semester I had thought to myself that Dr. Acevedo also assumed that everyone in the class was enrolled and interested in studying this topic because it is a part of all of our lives as college students. Based on these experiences I feel that there is a disconnect between the sub-element of people who don’t participate in hookups and those who do, which represents hookup culture as a whole.
I have also sensed a divide between hookup culture and the sub-elements of groups based on the resources that we have used, such as our textbooks and image research. Something important to keep in mind when focusing on this divide is that we are currently living in a time that is inclusive and contains the context for all groups of people. As well as the fact that the hookup culture is still in a state of development. Because of this, I consider the resources we have been using to be outdated since thus far they have lacked context about individuals who belong to our sub-elements of groups, such as individuals who belong to the LGBTQ community. I say this because of the way that hookup culture, in a general sense, resonates around the interactions between a man and a woman. This has been the case in the literature, images, and music that we have researched.
While working on our annotated bibliography my group used a YouTube video for our external resource that applies to the category of groups. The video was published by Jubilee and was titled, “Should You Have Sex Before Marriage? Can they Agree?” The video acted as an open conversation between two sub-elements of our group category being those who participate in hookup culture and those who don’t. In particular, it was a discussion between individuals who practice abstinence, and those who had participated in premarital sex and how their opinions differed when asked about topics of sex and hook up culture. Some of the main points of the conversation were the way that a majority of the group agreed that sex can be purely a physical interaction between people and that there does not need to have any type of deeper connection. As well as the idea that at times one person in the situation can sometimes catch feelings and that they hope that the physical interactions can turn into a relationship. This is very similar to the discussion we had in class about the quite often girls in situations where girls are hooking up with the same person more than once they can develop feelings for that person and start the “What are we?” conversation. And while discussing topics relating to abstinence the individuals stated that waiting to have sex strengthens a relationship and peoples’ connection to each other. But whether people engaged in having sex or not almost all of them had experienced being shamed for their views and actions regarding intimacy and hooking up.
I personally fit into the group which does not participate in hookup culture. My reason for this is because I am in a committed relationship and have been for several years. Contrary to popular belief I see this as a good thing. People always tend to think that I am missing out on a big part of the “college experience” because I don’t hookup with anyone at parties or have the same lifestyle as my friends. But in reality, my college experience is even better. For one I don’t have to go to a party or use an app to “find someone” to be with when I am in the mood. Secondly, because my boyfriend and I are in love and have a deep emotional connection it is actually a meaningful experience when we are intimate with one another. So, if you ask me, I believe that being in a relationship is better than participating in hookup culture even though it makes me the odd man out because of it. There were two occurrences within the past two-week period that made me feel that way. The first was when we were going through the music of the decades and Dr. Acevedo pulled up the playlist of current “love songs” and each song that was on that list was on my personal playlist that my boyfriend and I listen and sing along to in the car, but the class as a whole was very displeased with the list. The second time was when we were researching poems and the one, I resonated the most with said: “In an age of hookups romance makes you a rebel” (Devoue). So, by being part of the group who doesn’t participate in hookup culture I know that it’s no longer the typical relationship stance, however in no way does that change my opinion that being in a relationship and being happily committed to someone is better than having meaningless sexual relations with several people and not committing to each other.
In terms of a group that I am a part of, I think that my religious beliefs have a big impact on my view of hookup culture. For me personally, I don’t judge others who participate in hookup culture; however, I greatly scrutinize myself for even thinking about having a sexual encounter with a man. I plan on waiting to have any form of sex until marriage mainly because of my promise to God. While I am glad with my decision, I feel like I miss out on a lot of things that make up “the college experience.” I personally have never had a boyfriend, never kissed anyone, never experienced anything sexual or intimate; however, I feel like I still have a good grasp as to what hookup culture is. I’ll admit, I have been tempted to stray from my vow for the sole purpose of making my dating life “easier.” By this, I’m referring to the fact (based on my personal experiences) that most college guys are only looking to have sex. As Tink once said, “He just wanted one thing, and I just wanted something,” meaning that (most) guys just want sex. While this is not true for all college men, this is what I’ve seen from almost all of the guys I have encountered while on this college campus.
It’s honestly so hard to try to find a real, meaningful relationship with someone, when so many college students are solely looking for a “hookup.” I just think that the norm of today’s society is to sleep with someone first and get to know them later (if even that), making it difficult for people like me who don’t actively participate in hookup culture. Guys basically laugh at me when I tell them that I’m waiting until marriage to have sex. They then say I’m a tease because I met them at a party and danced with them. Wade’s steps to a hookup are true for the most part, but I feel that it shouldn’t be considered the case for every situation. Just because I dance with a guy, doesn’t mean he should automatically assume that I want to have sex with him. On multiple occasions, I have gone to a guy’s place to “study,” and what he actually wanted to do was make out or have sex. Maybe it’s me being naive for actually thinking we were going to study, but I think that too many presumptions are made that everyone is trying to just hook up. Is it really that hard to believe that some people actually want to get to know someone else and to start a relationship before sleeping with them?
Some questions I still want to find answers to involve topics we’ve discussed in class. My biggest one has to do with the well-known dance known as grinding. People in the class had the general consensus that grinding was “gross, creepy, slimy, and inappropriate;” however, I disagree with that to an extent. I feel like if two consensual adults are choosing to interact on the dance floor in a sensual way with THEIR OWN BODIES, they have every right to do so. Some people compared grinding to making out, but, again, I disagree with this. Grinding is literally two people (maybe more) moving their bodies against each other. Yes, there are sexual undertones, but it’s not like they’re swapping bodily fluids (like seen in kissing and sex). The only time I see grinding as a problem is if one party of the “grinding session” is intoxicated to the point of not being able to make decisions for themself. I have seen this before and have gone up to them to make sure they’re okay, but I never felt any sort of judgement towards them. Quite honestly, I cheer on girls who have the ability to twerk and dance like there’s no tomorrow. Grinding, in a way, is a form of female empowerment; women are able to show that they own their bodies and can do what they want with them.
I think that the topic of grinding also connects to the idea of hookup culture variance between different groups, specifically racial groups. I myself identify as white, but I attend parties of many different cultures, mainly the ones labelled as “white parties” and “black parties.” In class, someone mentioned how there is a difference between these two types of parties, in that the ones labelled “black parties” involve a lot of dancing (such as grinding), while the “white parties” have very little grinding and twerking. I honestly can’t tell you why that is, but I have definitely seen this to be true. I’ve gone to “white parties” and been looked at funny for dancing with a guy, while I’ve been to “black parties” and have actually been looked at funny if I wasn’t doing that. I guess my beliefs on grinding stem from the fact that a majority of the people I surround myself with are not white, and they encourage me to dance like no one’s watching (whether that involves twerking, grinding, you name it). I feel like some cultures are just more open with their sexuality and are more comfortable with their bodies. Maybe some people just don’t know how to dance, so they choose to judge those who do. There’s no real answer to the “why” of this.
Overall, I guess if I had to give some advice, I would say don’t let peer pressure impact your decisions in life. Even though I have definitely experienced this first hand, I’ve learned that what I do with my body is my business and no one else’s. If I want to remain celibate until marriage, I’ll do that. If I wanted to have sex with someone new every weekend, I honestly could do that too. Even if I wanted to grind on a guy at every party I go to, I could do that too because you know why, I don’t care what people think and neither should you. Obviously, don’t take this as an excuse to make reckless decisions that put your life or others’ lives in danger, but rather as something to encourage you to take control of your life. We’re only here for a limited time, so we should make the most of it. Also, I think that I have some advice to people who like to judge others for their participation (or lack thereof) in hookup culture. While it’s normal to feel some sort of way about the actions of others (especially if it differs from your own), I think it’s important to understand that maybe what they do is a part of their culture or upbringing. Maybe what they do is considered “normal” to them, something that they don’t see as “wrong.” Just as long as everyone is being safe and not doing anything that could jeopardize their future, feel free to keep doing what you feel comfortable with and leave the judgement at the door.
The class defines hookup culture as intimate relationships between 2 or more people. I think that this part of our definition connects well with the idea of groups because we talked about having multiple people involved. Regardless of personal belief, I believe that it was important to include all people. I think for most people polyamorous relationships fall into the LGBTQ+ spectrum, so that is where I find it easiest to connect it to the topic of groups.
I found that in Bogle chapter 4 they briefly discuss homosexual relationships. They talk about how gay college students “were more or less on their own quest to find potential partners” (68). Those whose hook-up norms differ from the traditional, heterosexual and monogamous will likely struggle to find people on campus. With the definition including potential polyamorous relationships, we have to think about the effects that has on their college hookup experiences. These people could potentially face greater risks as they have to look off campus for their hookups.
Our group discussed the idea of groups like religion. We discussed how this could potentially persuade (or not persuade) a person to participate in college hookup culture. This is important to discuss because many traditional Catholics try to stay abstinent whereas, from personal experience, those who are not religious do not care as much. We also discussed family groups. Those who have divorced parents seem more likely to be promiscuous, because there is inconsistency in parenting. We didn’t use any outside sources for this but are discussing using this for our script.
I personally have found the LGBTQ+ community to be a much harder place to find people to hookup. I am bisexual and I can only find people on campus who are looking for heterosexual relationships and hookups. While obviously that’s fine, it is extremely hard to find someone of the opposite sex to be with. Often when I do, they are not attractive to me or don’t want the same things I do. Like previously stated, I often have to look off campus for anything beyond a heterosexual hookup.
For the first two to three weeks of the semester, our class as a collective gave the word ‘hookup’ a definition that we would use as a reference point for the entirety of our semester. Together, we agreed upon hooking up being a ‘consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.’ Based on my own personal experience and opinions, this definition embodies everything that I think about with hookups: consensual, sexual, and without commitment. However, being of Caucasian ethnicity and being a female, I feel like this definition easily fits into my ideals of the hookup culture as I am a majorly represented demographic. When I think about this definition as being applicable to other individuals, as in the groups we have been discussing in weeks 4 and 5 of the semester, I don’t think I could say with certainty that this definition reflects their ideals of hooking up as well. Some examples of the groups I am referring could include different ethnic groups, different religious or spiritual groups, or different sexual identities, such as members of the LGBTQ+ community. As I don’t identify with any of these groups except being a spiritual woman, it is hard for me to provide insight as far as their hookup experiences. Other individuals within those groups may agree with our definition, but they could also disagree based on mitigating factors such as different cultural upbringings and ideologies. With that being said, for us as a class to write a book, we really need to enrichen our minds with knowledge of what hooking up means for people different to ourselves. This could be through interviews, surveys, or by whatever means necessary but it’s a critical element that we make this book inclusive and relatable for more members of our society involved in hookup culture.
In both books, Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus by Kathleen Bogle and American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus by Lisa Wade, there seemed to be a major difference between two gendered groups: men and women. Both authors focus on and go in depth about the aspects of either being a male in the hookup culture or being a female. Although we have gender listed under a different category than groups, personally I believe that men and women could be in their own individual ‘groups.’ Wade and Bogle seem to have a consensual agreement upon the fact that women are highly likely to develop emotions of liking and caring for an individual that they’re hooking up with, and that men are highly unlikely to commit to anyone they’re hooking up with. I personally don’t agree with that, as many of my friends and I hook up freely without dating or having feelings ever crossing our minds. There is also a double standard on gendered groups when it comes to hooking up: men are given praise and women are ‘slut shamed.’ A woman is looked down upon by men if they have too many sexual partners, however men have as many partners as they please. I don’t agree with a lot of the assumptions and double standards in place for hooking up, however I do understand where they come from. A lot of it, even mentioned by Bogle, could be due to psychological reasons – women are born as nurturers and men are born as providers. Men can biologically have many babies and women can only have 1 in 9 months. Personally, I think that could explain a lot of the inferences about the correct way to hookup, even if they only have a minute, subconscious effect on individual’s perceptions.
During this time of reflection and research of what hooking up means to different groups, my team spent a lot of time discussing LGBTQ+ hookup culture. One thing that caught our attention was the fact that there is so little representation of this group – it’s so hard to find articles, music, movies, or even poems about how this group of individuals chooses to participate in hookup culture. While the acceptance and acknowledgement of this group being pretty recent (within the last 10-15 years), it seems that exposure has been fairly slow. Members of different sexual identities obviously partake in different measures of hooking up compared to heterosexual individuals. In a poem, My Lover is a Woman by Pat Parker, the author is a young, African American lesbian woman (3 marginalized groups in one individual: African American, woman, LGBTQ+ member) who talks about the hardships she faces when partaking in hooking up with her partner. She talks about how happy and secure she is when she touches her partner, however then she starts to remember that she can never tell her family without being shunned for being a lesbian, and she remembers what the African American community went through and continues to go through as far as oppression, even in the sense of hooking up. I think it brought in perspective that I take so many things for granted, even something as simple (or complex, depending on how you look at it) hooking up.
In my early college years, I experimented with my sexuality by hooking up with a woman. While I thoroughly enjoyed it and would do it again, I can’t see myself ever pursuing a relationship with a female. So, I guess you could say I identify as Bisexual in terms of hookup culture, but as heterosexual when I want to actively pursue more with someone. I don’t really bother putting myself into a box or a label because realistically, I don’t care and if you’re not having sex with me, you shouldn’t care either. However, my interests in other women helps make connects for me to the LGBTQ+ community. I have told my friends but, like many members of that community, I would never tell my family out of fear of being judged. On the other side of my personal experiences, I actually did find my boyfriend through hooking up. I know I said earlier that I don’t agree with the stereotype about women seeking relationships and being unable to stick to the lack of commitment of hooking up, which I still stand by. I’ve had many experiences that were brief, consensual sexual interactions that were just that – hookups. However, with my boyfriend, it did end up developing. We started out as the most platonic friends then eventually, we started as kind of ‘friends with benefits.’ We just ended up kissing at a party one day. Kissing led to other stuff. Then, after a lot of the ‘other stuff’ happening multiple times, he said he had feelings for me. That’s when I internally put away my ‘no-commitment’ cap, and started having feelings for him too. Now, almost 2 years later, here we are. We are monogamous so we don’t hookup with others, but we definitely partake in intimate, sexual encounters, we just have commitment and love.
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. As for how the definition relates to groups, I don’t think that I know enough about different group’s experiences hooking up to determine whether it is connected or similar to our class definition. Although I am a woman, I am not part of any other minorities. The only knowledge I might have is with hearing a lot of hooking up experiences from my friends of other races or friends who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. My best friend, who is of another race, has told me many times, when we ‘compare’ our hookup stories, that in her experience, African Americans are maybe a bit more forward and ‘confident’ when it comes to hook up cultures at parties. However, this is only a generalization from one person’s perspective. Although we are of different races, we have very similar definitions of hooking up and what hook up culture is, which is similar to our class definition.
I think the topic of groups was hard for me to reflect on my own experiences simply because I don’t have that much experience in the hookup culture across different groups. However a topic we talked about was age range and our perception of hookup culture. As a group we discussed that hookup culture usually occurs in the college age range, however when in class the mention of elders in homes hooking up, everyone was in shock at the fact that that is more common than we think. This brought me to wonder why and if there is such a stigma about elders hooking up and what would have to change to change that stigma that hookup culture is primarily with college aged adults.
For our external sources, our team felt it was really important to get information that was current and representative of our culture today. Something that our group struggled a lot with Bogle and Wade’s books is the lack of representation of groups. We felt that although there is plenty of data and information, some personal, and some statistical, the variety was very limited. I do not enjoy reading Bogle’s book just because of how she explains her findings. I think to a certain extent it is important to show her own experiences, and that is necessary. However, I think she does that too much throughout the chapters and trying to relate this to groups and the LGBTQ+ community is near to impossible, since there is barely any representation of that community or any community other than white, straight women and males. Since in the book there was a lack of representation of those communities, we decided to take another route and use an article that talks about religion. I think it is important for religion to be talked about because although the books are lacking in all those communities, it is also lacking in the hookup culture within religion. This article essentially talks about how different religions see hooking up and the hookup culture we are in. It is a fairly recent article with explanations and data varied throughout most minorities and sexes, through the lens of religion, which is a super interesting perspective.
I do not have much personal experience in the hook up culture in the sense of groups because although I participate in hookup culture, I am not part of the LGBTQ+ community and I am white. So my only personal experience would be stories from my friends who are part of those communities. From my friends, I think that hookup culture is a ‘sensitive’ topic, from my experience I do think that frat parties and with the help or either alcohol or dating apps, hooking up has becomes easier than ever and that is why, I believe, that hookup culture is often associated with college aged adults. It is because of how easy it is to hook up with others our age.
During the first week of class, our class collectively decided that the definition of “hookup” culture is, “a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment.” Since our definition does not specify what types of people take part in “hookup” culture, I think it connects with the category “groups,” since this category encompasses all age ranges, ethnicities, races, religious affiliations, spiritualties, and sexual orientations that all individuals can identify with. As for myself, I am a white, cis gender, heterosexual, 20-year-old female who was raised Christian. Therefore, as for race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation, I am a part of the majority. As a female, I am a part of a marginalized group, but I am not a minority. This is why I struggled relating to any of the “groups” subcategories during the past two weeks. Since I was raised Christian, specifically Catholic, I grew up being told that I had to “save sex for marriage.” Therefore, my relatives look down upon the “hookup” culture and those who take part in it. I disagree with this perspective and no longer associate with Catholicism, but these were the values that I was raised upon. I believe they have influenced the way I am today because I do not have sexual encounters with men who I do not have a strong emotional connection with. Although I do not take part in “hookup” culture, I believe everyone has the right to do what they want with their body, and do not judge others for doing so. I do question though, for those who identify with religions which shame those who participate in “hookup” culture, how their mental health is impacted by hooking up. I would like to learn more through the readings about how religious values and norms impact those who participate in “hookup” culture during the present day.
Both of the readings from Bogle and Wade during Week 4 and 5 exposed aspects of “hookup” culture related to different groups on college campuses (2008; 2017). Some of these facts surprised me, and others resonated and strongly aligned with my personal experiences. Bogle states that students who are racial minorities are least likely to “hookup”, along with those who are very religious, and in committed relationships (25). I was surprised that racial minorities “hookup” significantly less than white people. I would like to learn more about how race plays a role in the “hookup” lifestyle. On the other hand, I understand why those who are very religious or are in committed relationships “hookup” less. A few of my friends are very religious and some are in committed relationships and some are single. Whether they are single or not, they have expressed that they will only kiss the other person and will not participate in any other sexual activities. Additionally, as for those who are in committed relationships, it makes sense that they are less likely to “hookup” because according to our class definition of “hookup” culture, one requirement for an interaction to be considered a “hookup” is that there is no form of commitment between the 2+ people involved. While Bogle discussed race and religiosity, Wade focused on the differences between age groups related to “hookup” culture (2008; 2017). Wade explained that current college students are significantly more depressed, overwhelmed and anxious than they have been in the past 10-20 years, and this is partially due to the sexual environment on campus (7). This information resonated with me because many of my female friends are negatively emotionally impacted but the “hookup” culture on campus. Most of them become emotionally distraught after they “hookup” with someone and are “ghosted” by the individual afterwards. I question what the “hookup” culture was like 10-20 years ago and why it did not take the same emotional toll on people as it does in the present day.
My team, the Freaky Five, found two scholarly articles while conducting our research for the category “Groups” for our annotated bibliography. Religion is one of our subcategories and one of the articles we analyzed is called “Hooking Up’ at College: Does Religion Make a Difference?” by Amy M. Burdette, Terrence D. Hill, Christopher G. Ellison, and Norval D. Glenn (2009). This study was conducted at 11 college and university campuses during 2000 and 2001, with a 919-person sample-size (Burdette et al.). Each individual was asked if they had “hooked up” while attending school, how often they attend religious services, how religious they thought they were, and if they attend a religious educational institution or not. The results show that higher religious service attendance is correlated with lower rates of “hookups.” On the other hand, attending a religiously affiliated college or university, especially Catholic-affiliated, was correlated with higher rates of “hookups” (Burdette et al.). This information was shocking to me because I was raised Catholic and was taught that sex was only meant for two married people to participate in. I thought the findings of this study would have been opposite of what the research shows. LGBTQ+ communities are also one of our subcategories and the other article we analyzed is called, “Navigating Campus Hookup Culture: LGBTQ Students and College Hookups” by Ellen Lamont, Teresa Roach, and Sope Kahn (2018). This article explained how “hookup” culture on college campuses is typically heteronormative and therefore, those a part of the LGBTQ+ community are excluded from this scene. They express how their perspective on “hookup” culture focuses on respect between the individuals “hooking up,” and pleasure for all individuals involved as well (Lamont et al.). They also explain how the current, dominant “hookup” culture is predominantly influenced by heterosexual cis gender men and is the root cause of the toxicity of the “hookup” culture (Lamont et al.). After reading this article, I wish that LGBTQ+ individuals were given a larger platform to speak about their “healthier” “hookup” culture practices, in order to have a greater influence upon the dominant “hookup” culture on college campuses today.
The only times I have “hooked up” with men are when I had a deeper emotional connection with them and thought that our friendship had the potential to become a committed relationship. I believe that the reason for my choice in only “hooking up” with those who I am interested in forming an exclusive relationship with may stem from my religious upbringing and values that my parents held. Additionally, I fear becoming emotionally attached to the person and then them leaving, because “hookups” do not require commitment. This is another of the many reasons why I do not typically take part in the “hookup” culture. Although those “hookups” never turned into committed relationships, the individuals I chose to “hookup” with, held the same perspective regarding “hooking up” as myself. They did not “hook up” with individuals who they did not have a strong emotional connection with either. One of the men identified as a Christian and the other identified as Jewish, so I am not sure whether they held these perspectives due to their religious upbringing, or due to other factors in their life and personality.
During the first two weeks of class, we created our definition of “hookup” culture. Our definition was: a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. When it comes to this week’s category, Groups, the definition is a hit or miss. When considering the LGBTQ community, I think this definition applies to majority of the community aside from people who identify as asexual. Ethnic minorities would be included in this definition as well. Religious groups would probably not fit this as their definition as it is heavily against most religious morals. They would consider hooking up to the extent of kissing or only with the same person and feelings attached. I think that I agree with this statement because I do not consider myself religious and I am a part of the LGBTQ and ethnic minority communities. Personally, I do not engage in hookup culture. This is because I am in a long term relationship which is closed and intimate. I believe that hookups must be where both/all participants are consenting to everything occurring from start to finish. The noncommittal circumstance makes hookups infamous. Personally, I do not agree with that lifestyle for myself. I feel as though I only feel comfortable with one partner with the communication that all feelings would be equal and intimate.
Like most in the LGBTQ+ community, I feel suffocated in the hetero normativity. As a bisexual in a heterosexual relationship, I used to find myself encouraged by society to only be with the opposite gender to myself. Because of this, I was never able to fully pursue someone of the same gender as me. Seeing how other people went through a lot to come out as bisexual, gay, trans, and lesbian, I knew that coming out as a high school sophomore in 2016 was not an issue. I was able to date someone of the same gender publicly. However, when people saw my new relationship with someone of the opposite gender, they thought I “turned straight”. This is true for many others. I know this because an article by Slate says, “84 percent of self-identified bisexuals in committed relationships have a partner of the opposite sex, while only 9 percent are in same-sex relationships” (Marusic 2016). I never felt like hookup culture was an option to me when I was dating someone of the same gender. Because I am of an ethnic minority, my parents were very careful with the idea of boys. It was not normal for them to see college students date and engage in hookup culture. Luckily, my mom was able to see that dating is still a form of commitment, and was able to support me and my relationship. I think a big reason for why I don’t choose hookup culture is because of my parent’s morals set onto me. Even though I don’t fully follow them, I stay close enough to be confident in what I am doing and making the proud of me in the end.
My team’s external sources for the Category ‘Groups’ are consisted of an interview and a book. The interview will be held with multiple people of different minority groups. We are interviewing a few African American college students to get the view of a minority race. This is the perfect minority race to choose as interracial relationships within Americans and African Americans was heavily oppressed in the past. We will also be interviewing members of the LGBTQ+ society to see how hookup culture differs to them. I think a lot of people lack the knowledge of how loving away from the norm has its downs. This interview will shed light on the LGBTQ+ minority. The book we have in mind is called College Sex: A Philosophy for Everyone. It discusses how each type of college kid is involved in sexual activity on campus. However, this book doesn’t address much of the LGBTQ+ minority. As far as the class books, I don’t think Bogle was able to give much information on the groups that I represent in her book Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus (2008). This is because the book was written around a time when the LGBTQ+ community wasn’t accepted or talked about as often as it is now. Even though Wade published her book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex On Campus, in 2017, it still lacked the knowledge I wish I would’ve known when I was introduced to hookup culture. Both books lack the information of the ethnic minority perspective as well.
I have been thinking really long and hard about what group I “belong” in. I don’t actively participate in hooking up but I am not opposed to it. I am not really comfortable with using tinder to hook up. Like the whole fact that you match with someone on tinder and just go over some random guys house to have sex with, does not appeal to me at all. Some of my friends have horror stories involving tinder hookups and I think I am extremely scared to participate in hookup culture that way. I would want to meet someone like at a bar or party, and go from there. I feel like it is also hard for me to join hookup culture since the only sex I have ever had was with my ex-boyfriend. I don’t really know how to pursue hooking up with someone or even how to meet someone (that’s not on tinder). My roommates are also the type to judge me if I brought someone home from the bar. I wish this wasn’t another reason why I am not actively participating, but it is. So I guess I am in the group called “I would want to hookup but I do not know how to pursue it and tinder really makes me nervous.”
I am really glad that we chose to read Bogle because it really showed me how close minded people can be. One thing that really pissed me off about the book written by Bogle was how she thinks about girls and hookup culture. Her views are mostly “girls are sluts if they participate in hookup culture, but boys can have sex with whoever they want”. It is quite annoying. Also, I consider myself as a person who likes to party. Does that mean I bang every guy I meet? No. I can drink and have a good time without being associated with being easy. Even if I want to have sex, who cares!! I feel like her whole book is more on judgement than actual facts about hookup culture. That is why I am so excited that we are going to be able write a book that actually is correct about hookup culture and that has no judgement or shame connected to it.
Another thing discussed from the books was that there are steps of hooking up. There really are not steps. Everyone does their own thing. It’s very generalized in the book. Not everyone uses the “base system”, like 1st base, 2nd base, etc. I feel like the book is really just puts everyone in the same group and does not talk about all the variety that comes with hookup culture. Some people may consider kissing a lead way to hooking up while some can consider kissing just a fun thing to do that.
My group really talked about the LGBTQ community and how it is rarely talked about. With my experience, people are more willing to come out in college. But once they are out, they do not know where to go from there. My high school sex education class did not even talk about the LGBTQ community. STDs could be more common if people do not get the proper education on how they can prevent them. Gay and lesbian sex was never brought up in sex education and ways to prevent STDs. This is not fair to the LGBTQ community that they are overlooked with sex education which could harm their health. Even in media especially music, LGBTQ sex is never really talked about. Why is that? Heterosexual sex is talked about all the time but not LGBTQ sex. If more songs were created that brings in all different type of sex then it could be more educational and talked about more often.