Hooking Up in College


In college, it's quite common for people to hook up after just meeting at a party.  It could be considered a part of the culture, just like drinking and smoking.  Since I came to college last year, I rarely hear about anyone having a boyfriend or girlfriend--in fact, I'm quite impressed whenever I see a couple together on campus or at a party.  Hookups weren't as common in high school, but in college they appear to be the norm.

A recent study in New York surveyed nearly 300 college students about hooking up and uncovered the unspoken "rules" of dating at school.  Participants were asked to explain the behavior of the people in the following situation: "a man and a woman meet at a party, and have sex that night.  Later, they go on a date, which ends with just a kiss" (Rettner).  According to the researchers, although the question was open-ended, many students' answers were similar.  They said it was okay or acceptable "to have sex at a party, but not on a first date, even if the couple had previously hooked up and had sex" (Rettner).

About a fifth of students claimed that the setting itself caused the hookup or the date.  "Our findings suggest that different behavior . . . is really based on the situation," researcher Gretchen Webber explained (Rettner). "It really shows the dominance of the setting for directing people's behavior" (Rettner).  Many of the students assumed that the behavior of the people in the given scenario was influenced by drinking.  However, when it came to discussing first dates, "many students mentioned traditional norms" (Rettner).

If you ask me, there's no question that settings and environments (parties, clubs, bars, etc.) have a lot of influence on people's behavior, especially when alcohol is involved.  As long as drinking is popular, hooking up will be too.


I couldn't agree more that, where there is alcohol, there is a higher probability of a hook up occurring. For one of my blog posts, I researched the difference between today's hook up culture, compared with the frequency and nature of our parents' during their generation's college experience. What I found so interesting was that scientists had discovered that our "hook up culture" was no more aggressive or heightened than theirs. This seemed strange to me just because I had associated the 80's with an incredibly cheesy amount of famous romantic comedy films. I also recently found a great article that goes really in-depth in our generation's media obsession and its correlation with how frequent our hook ups are. Heres the link: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/08/13/the_kids_are_all_right.html

I can count on one hand the number of my friends who are actually dating someone in college. Hookups are everything, and alcohol definitely helps that to happen. I found an article on Total Frat Move, granted now the most valid source, that talks about how apparently girls would rather hookup than date someone.


I think it is sad how the rules seemed to have changed for our generation. It seems that actually getting to know someone has gone on the back burner. However, I think these "casual hook-ups" are caused mainly by alcohol consumption, and are not necessarily considered normal or moral from a sober standpoint. But since they are becoming a trend among the young population they are seen as more acceptable. ABC News gives good insight on the concept of "hooking up".

I hate how alcohol has to be linked straight to a hook up. I love to go out and drink and have a good time with my girls, does that necessarily mean I'm trying to hook up with someone? NO. I don't think it really has a lot to do with settings, I think it has a lot to do with the kind of people we're talking about here. I've seen that freshman come to college and they're all about that life and then suddenly you're a senior and you want to settle down. Hooking up could get old but alcohol probably won't. They can't stay related forever.

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