Yes, sex is everywhere – in movies, advertising, music. Yes, it’s more talked about than ever before. Yes, it seems the norm amongst young people in both committed and uncommitted relationships. But maybe not everyone’s doing it after all…
I just read an article in Time by an ex-Yale student, Eliana Dockterman, bemoaning the fact that university hook-up culture is over-emphasized in the media and that it’s all just a moral panic (I personally think it should be more of a panic to be honest – as the happy lives of young people are risked with even a little of this kind of behaviour). She does present a few pretty interesting statistics though.
Dockterman quotes research that does a good job of disproving the widely-held belief that college students prefer random hook-ups to meaningful relationships. The findings (that she says are quoted in a recent New York Times article) show that 20% of female and 25% of male students hooked up with 10 or more people over the course of their studies – which comes down to maybe two or three people per year. In other words, they weren’t finding a new person every weekend. As well, only 40% of these hookups involved sex. Plus a “University of Nebraska study found that 90% of college students thought their peers were hooking up two or more times per school year, when in reality only 37% …reported doing so”.
Another misconception that Dockterman raises is the idea that intelligent and driven girls are too busy for relationships. A Yale student mentioned in the article conducted a survey and found that out of over 100 respondents; nearly all were seeking some level of commitment. And in my opinion, this is one of those arguments that barely require statistics. Every human being seeks love and commitment – it is part of our nature. Even the highest level of ambition is not enough to dissuade! If love is involved, most women will find a way. Case closed.
However, while hook-ups may not be as prevalent as we are made to believe, I can’t agree that we should stop stressing about the existence of a hook-up culture. Even if it is the minority, as Dockterman may have shown, the trend has enough sway to make the majority believe that sleeping around is what they should be doing – and that is an issue that definitely needs dealing with.