Hookup culture harms women


Zulfiqar Ahmed

Hookup culture often enables texting back-and-forth between two people to incite a hookup.

Hookup: Defined as a brief intimate encounter between two uncommitted individuals. 

The idea of a casual, no-strings-attached hookup has an appealing sense to it, and on the surface, it might look harmless. But what you might not be able to see is the damage it is causing women. 

Sex is full of risks outside of the emotional ones, whether it be STIs, unplanned pregnancies, AIDS, the financial cost of contraception, etc. Are you willing to risk it with someone you don’t know too well? Do you know for sure you can trust them? 

No matter how appealing sex with no strings attached appears to be, there are more strings than what appears on the surface. 

Since the invention of cars and movie theaters, casual hookups have been on the rise due to factors such as the rise of feminism and more widely available forms of birth control, according to an article from the American Psychological Association.

It is an idea painted as liberating and empowering, but the feelings of loneliness and lack of fulfillment that follow casual sex are often overlooked. 

We are all aware of the double standard that continues to this day. A guy can sleep with as many girls as he wants, and it would only make him more of a man, something to brag to his friends about. But when a girl does the same, then suddenly she is seen as a lesser quality person.  

1,468 university-aged students described having felt an array of negative emotions linked to a hookup. 20.1% reported having felt embarrassed, 24.7% experienced emotional difficulties, 20.8% felt a loss of self-respect and 10% reported having struggles with a steady partner. It doesn’t matter how you choose to look at it, sleeping with someone is to be vulnerable with them, according to an APA study from February 2013. 

College culture has been known for its party atmosphere. Films and TV shows encourage this idea of a student being able to party as much as they want. While it is a stereotype, it holds some truth. Alcohol plays a large role in hookup culture as well. A typical hookup might occur after two people have consumed a decent amount of alcohol, which doesn’t allow much room for authentic communication. This aligns with the idea that a hookup doesn’t involve much, if any, talking. 

Alcohol consumption has been consistently linked to hooking up such that those who consume alcohol at high levels and use it more often are more likely than those who do not to engage in hookups overall, to hook up more frequently, and to report having a greater number of hookup partners,” according to a study in the Frontiers of Psychology journal. 

Rape is a serious issue that has been receiving more and more awareness with the increase in feminism and the #MeToo movement, but what about when it gets brushed off as miscommunication? If you are engaging in such an encounter, it is your responsibility to ensure your partner not only gives their verbal consent but also is engaged in the interaction. 

Sexual assault fits the pattern linked to violence and alcohol with, “43 percent of sexual assault events involve alcohol use by the victim; 69 percent involve alcohol use by the perpetrator,” as reported by the American Addiction Center. 

As a child, our world was filled with princesses, fairy tales and idealistic romances. But as we get older, we are faced with the fact that it is never that easy, specifically not in a world of media that glorifies “getting laid,” and countless men and women are hurt because of it.