The following comes from a May 30 story in the Los Angeles Times by Bob Laird.
It appears that more young people are starting – finally – to question the “hookup” mentality that has become so common on many college campuses.
Harvard sophomore Lisa Mogilanski put it this way: “Hookup culture is an unnavigable mush of vague intentions and desires. … We can try to dress it up as being freeing or equalizing the genders, but I fear it only leaves us equally impoverished.”
Voices like Mogilanski’s are still the exception, however, and even many of those who see hookup culture as a problem stop short of embracing better alternatives.
Casual sex on college campuses today, which often grows out of binge drinking, leads to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and low self-esteem. It removes the romance, love and deep caring from relationships between men and women.
Yet many American colleges and universities seem to be at least tacitly condoning the culture.
While accompanying one of my children on a college tour several years ago, another high schooler asked the student guide about being able to drink and “have fun with my girlfriend” in the dorm rooms. The guide proceeded to tell him not to worry; no one enforced those rules.
Boston University religion professor Donna Freitas, in her new book The End of Sex, suggests that the culture of casual hookups is leading to an unhappy, unfulfilled and confused generation. She cites overwhelming research showing predominantly negative experiences that result from hooking up because, for one thing, “it is purely physical and emotionally vacant.”
But still, she denigrates abstinence education as “extreme to the point that students cannot imagine living it, nor do they wish to.”
Columnist Emma Teitel, writing in Maclean’s, suggests that “if you have empty, meaningless sex throughout college, you’ll become an emotional cripple, contract gonorrhea and, most likely, vomit.” But then she adds: “These are lessons learned through experience, not indoctrination.”
That seems nonsensical. I didn’t have to learn that, say, heroin was bad for me through experience. I didn’t learn it through “indoctrination” either. Young people who are given sound information can make rational decisions without having to engage in risky and detrimental behavior.
In a 2012 report titled “Strategies for Reducing Binge Drinking and a ‘Hook-Up’ Culture on Campus,” Loyola Marymount University professor Christopher Kaczor found that “the ramifications of unhealthy behaviors in both drinking and sex go beyond the physical, psychological and social damage to the individuals partaking in the activities.” This behavior “inhibits ethical development through the focus on private indulgence of using other people for pleasure, rather than on loving, committed relationships.”
To read the entire story, click here.