Hookup Culture: Is It a Dead-End Trap for Women?
Even most men will admit that when it comes to sex, men are hopeless. If it wears a skirt, laughs at his jokes, and doesn't smell too bad, he's up for it. The hook-up culture is perfect for the stereotypical hairy farting male.
But most women are looking for something more, a deeper connection than just skin contact. At least, some form of intimacy that didn't require copious quantities of drugs and alcohol as lubricant.
Hookup culture, pro and con:
In her Atlantic article "Boys on the Side" (September 2012), Hanna Rosin argues that the social progress of women depends on the hook-up culture. Women in their 20s and 30s are, for the first time, more successful than their male peers. These alpha females not only outnumber men on college campuses, they have also overtaken men as the majority of the work force. This would not have been possible without sexual liberation, which has let women delay marriage and child-rearing to pursue their educational and career ambitions without worrying about the emotional burdens of a relationship. Women are better off in part because of the hook-up culture, the argument goes.Is it truly possible that only 2% of women prefer hookups to dating, relationships, and romance? If true, why is hookup culture the norm on today's college campuses?
But are they really?
On most college campuses, the hook-up culture is the norm; there is little to no dating. Various academic studies have found that anywhere between 65 to 75 percent of undergraduates nationwide have participated in the hook-up culture. Part of the reason the culture is so widespread is, as Rosin correctly notes, because women are choosing to have casual sex. But in another respect, they don't have a choice. Women make the hook-up culture possible, but men are the beneficiaries of it.
The feminist sociologist Lisa Wade, based at Occidental College, who did a qualitative study of 44 of her freshman students (33 of them women), found that most of them were "overwhelmingly disappointed with the sex they were having in hook ups. This was true of both men and women, but was felt more intensely by women." College women today, as Wade points out, feel "disempowered instead of empowered by sexual encounters. They didn't feel like equals on the sexual playground, more like jungle gyms." According to a 2010 study by Carolyn Bradshaw of James Madison University, only 2 percent of women strongly prefer the hook-up culture to a dating culture. _Atlantic
Check out thest top 5 sexual fantasies of women, as compiled by a University of Michigan research study:
...what are the top five female sexual fantasies?There may be one side of many women that just wants to be treated like an object. We know that men aren't very nice. It is more than possible that most women also have a naughty side.
1.) Having sex with a stranger.
2.) Being worshipped in bed.
3.) Being ravaged in bed.
4.) Having sex in front of other people who are watching.
5.) Threesomes. _Jezebel
Another way to look at the question of hookups vs. romance, is to ask what happens in a relationship, when men and women who care about each other come together physically? Is it wild drunken sex all the way, just like in the hookups? Not exactly.
A new study from really smart scientists has found that the chances of a cuddle session leading to sex are only one in six.What happens to a society when most of its women of child-bearing age are forced to settle for hookups, either out of time constraints or because not much else is available?
Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at the methods, motivations and eventual outcomes of the average couple's cuddling sessions, and the results show it usually only leads to conversation, not copulation.
Over 500 men and women in relationships were asked about the nature of their cuddling, defined as "intimate, physical and loving contact that does not involve sexual behavior and that involves some degree of whole body touching, not just hand to hand or lips to lips."
The researchers found a number of interesting results: The average time of a cuddle session is 47 minutes and 36 seconds. Most couples like to do it on the couch in front of the tv. Most do it at least 8 times a week, and women like it more than men.
However, cuddling doesn't often lead to sex. The study's participants reported stronger feelings of intimacy and relaxation during and after, which tends to lead to conversation. _Your Tango
What can women do, to stop waking up in a stranger's bed with a splitting hangover and no recollection whatsoever of what she may have done the night before? Consider Lysistrata:
In the heat of the Peloponnesian War, Lysistrata gathered the women of various Greek city-states at a meeting and proposed that they withhold sex from their husbands until these men end the war. The women, though reluctant at first, agree. Throughout the play, though they desire sex just like the men do, they resist the temptation to break their oath with Lysistrata. The Athenian and Spartan men eventually become so desperate for sex that they begin peace talks. The women's strategy works.Is it fair to put the responsibility for the future of the brighter portion of humanity on women? Absolutely not. But then, life has never been fair.
Lysistrata, a tough and independent woman, understood how the sexual marketplace works, and harnessed that knowledge to get what she wanted. Many men want sex with women. As Lysistrata knew, women have the power to say yes—or no (assuming men respect their wishes, of course. _Atlantic
More: Recently published research in the Journal of Adolescent Health makes the claim that the hookup culture is not quite as dominant over college campuses as the author in the Atlantic piece above suggests.
Forty percent reported at least one hookup during the first year of college, though less than 20 percent reported having these casual encounters at a rate of once a month. Meanwhile, 56 percent reported oral and/or vaginal sex with a relationship partner during that first year.I suspect that actual proportion of students who avail themselves of the hookup culture will vary, depending upon the institution. But any "culture" that tries to push human nature too far out of its natural orbits is likely to collapse sooner or later. If for no other reason, because all its members have died out.
"These findings support what we know about the first year of college: That it is a time when we see increases in sexual behavior and substance use, as young people explore who they want to be and how they want to interact with others — especially romantic partners," Fielder explained in a statement. "It's important that we gain a better understanding of students' sexual behavior, since it can potentially affect both their physical and mental health as well as their academic success."
The research was published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Adolescent Health. _LS
Birthrates among educated women in western societies are already near rock-bottom. Other than a 100% effective contraceptive in the water supply, it would be difficult to eradicate some western populations at a higher rate than they are eradicating themselves.
The essential foundation of wise action in any circumstance, is to understand what the flock is going on. The problem is, once you have that figured out, you have to make a decision. And decisions can be hard.
More: A woman's perspective on the Atlantic article excerpted above