Frannie Boyle  Image: CNN

CNN has run a story on the movement among college students to shun the hook-up culture prevalent on campuses and encourage dating and abstinence.

Since its inception in 2007, the Love and Fidelity network has gained a presence in at least 20 schools, including Princeton and Harvard.

“A majority of college campuses, when it comes to discussing marriage and sexual relationships, tend to be very one-sided,” said Cassandra Hough, founding director of the Love and Fidelity Network. “We feel that it does add to pressures for young men and women to participate in a certain type of culture.”

CNN features a Vanderbuilt junior, 21-year-old Frannie Boyle, who says she gave up the drink-fuelled routine hooking-up because it left her feeling “empty” and unhappy.

Casual sexual activity carries a physical as well as emotional price tag. A study from the University of Iowa published early this month warned that the growth of concurrent partnerships is speeding up the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. According to a survey of 783 heterosexual adults, one-third of relationships in the Chicago area lack exclusivity.

Being involved with a friend increased the likelihood of non-monogamy by 44 percent for women and 25 percent for men. Involvement with an acquaintance or stranger increased the odds by 30 percent for women and 43 percent for men.

One of their findings was particularly interesting, because it shows the influence of the family:

The study also found that respondents who got along with each other’s parents were less likely to have multiple sex partners. Paik said people are less likely to risk a relationship when they take family stakeholders into consideration.

CNN notes research on the psychological harm of casual sex:

An April 2010 study from James Madison University in Virginia revealed more college women tend to want a relationship out of a hook up compared with men who prefer to stay independent. Other studies have shown the instability from hooking up can cause depression. Repeated rejection and detached relationships can also damage self-esteem.

Meanwhile, there is a growing desire among college students to bring back traditional dating, with several groups on Facebook. We heard from one of them on MercatorNet earlier this year. Let’s hear from more of these young people with character.


Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet