22 Nov Is Hookup Culture A Bad Thing?
We have talked before about the much-maligned hookup culture that we’re all hearing so much about and the reasons behind hookup culture vary depending on who you’re talking to. For some people, it’s the lack of time, while for others it just seems like a natural progression to dating. For some people (generally from older generations), the hookup culture that permeates today’s society is a reflection of how our moral fibre is fraying. If you search “hookup culture”, you’ll see many explanations for why it exists and how, but you’ll also notice that people have already made their decisions about whether it’s good or bad.
According to research from the American Psychological Association found that between 60% and 80% of North American college students had some sort of hook-up experience. It’s no longer an abnormal experience, it’s become a part of the coming of age experience, one of sexual awakening that has actually been around since the 1960’s.
For those who think that hookup culture is a bad thing, they’ll talk about how people feel ashamed, used, or taken advantage of. That’s not necessarily the case. While research by APA unearthed some statistics on regret that claims that 49% of women and 26% of men report a negative reaction after a hookup or one-night-stand, shame is a societal construction that is intended to marginalize the people that are just doing things a little differently.
So what’s the problem with hookup culture then?
Probably the sex part.
We’re taught and told that monogamist relationships are the norm, and that we should only engage in sexual behaviour with someone that we love. These moral pillars that people cling too aren’t surviving as well as they might like in a constantly changing world. Institutions like marriage and monogamy appear to do better when the world is more static. Note that we said “appear” since adultery and non-monogamy is rife throughout all of human history. While monogamy may be right for some, it shouldn’t be inflicted on all.
As to what side of the debate is right when it comes to hookup culture, we’d argue that neither of them are. After all, like many things—adultery, marriage, monogamy, polyamory, casual sex—it’s hard to break down complex adult relationships into simplistic answers. There are people for whom hookup culture is good, but there will always be people for whom hookup culture isn’t. It’s all a matter of perspective and the type of person who you are.
Maybe you’re a shy introvert, and the hookup culture that permeates modern society isn’t working in your favor. It’s okay, you’re not alone. There are plenty of different avenues to connect with others, and the way that people focus in on hookup culture as if that’s the way that an entire generation treats sex is misleading at best.
Is hookup culture wrong then?
Well, like most of the harder questions in life, that’s really up for you to decide for yourself. In all instances be clear in what you’re looking for and make sure that both parties have an understanding of what’s going to happen. Make sure that consent is given and received, and have a clear idea of the course of action after the deed is done. Are you going to continue being friends? Is it a one-night stand? Having these answers upfront can protect yourself from emotional trauma or regret afterwards. As long as you’re safe, consenting adults, then you can get your freak on without shame.
If you think that participating in hookups will make you happy then by all means, go for it. If you think that a hookup lifestyle would make you unhappy, then don’t do it.
It’s as simple as that.