In hook-up culture on campus, women are often the predators, not the prey


Given the great conversations that resulted--and are still going on--from my last column, "The Sexual Devolution," about the epidemic of bad sex on college campuses I thought people would be interested in this recent article in the NY Times: "Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game, Too"?


Here's a brief excerpt:

It is by now pretty well understood that traditional dating in college has mostly gone the way of the landline, replaced by “hooking up” — an ambiguous term that can signify anything from making out to oral sex to intercourse — without the emotional entanglement of a relationship.

Until recently, those who studied the rise of hookup culture had generally assumed that it was driven by men, and that women were reluctant participants, more interested in romance than in casual sexual encounters. But there is an increasing realization that young women are propelling it, too.

You can check out more here.

It's an interesting exploration about a topic that I've been hearing about anecdotally from others on campuses, namely that it is women who are often driving the hook up culture on campus.

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Marie Rehbein
4 years 10 months ago
If this culture is so definitive, why is it that the young lady in the article only goes by her middle initial lest there be repercussions? Beyond that, though, it always takes two doesn't it? Hook up culture would be OK, I take it, if women were deceived into it by hopes of finding a relationship? I'm pretty sure that there are still plenty of people looking for soul mates. It also depends on which institutions of higher education you investigate -- check out BYU, for example.
Tim O'Leary
4 years 10 months ago
Marie - you may be right that this NYT article misrepresents the college women. Here is a sort of reply by and Ivy League women Eliana Dockterman in Time magazine. She claims those involved in a casual sex culture are <10% of the college population and it is rare even for college guys.
J Cosgrove
4 years 10 months ago
You are witnessing human nature at its finest. First, women outnumber men in college by a large amount. See In such a competitive scenario what chance does a young women who is so inclined have for a chase relationship or even a chase date? If the concept of dating has any meaning any more. Second, there is no negatives for the prey in this scenario. Men would view this as a early trip to paradise. In the old days when the situation was reversed, women faced serious negative consequences from a hook up. Today all they face is the possibility of STD. Third, there is no moral shame and in fact some are telling them that they will be stilted in life if they don't participate. Most young college students have long abandoned any association of what they do with a moral code. Atheistic ideology rules the day as a large percentage of faculty embrace such an outlook and Catholic universities are no different. Religion is something for the superstitious and the uneducated. Fourth, there is the very reliable ready made solution for negative outcomes. With birth control, PlanB and abortion in your quiver, who cares if something could go wrong. The result of this witches brew is a future many of us dread. For they know not what they do.
Tim O'Leary
4 years 10 months ago
Several quick points on the NYT article linked above. 1. The data was collected non-randomly and so is likely non-representative of Penn and the Ivy League schools. It is closer to gossip dressed up as a new trend. The number of men and women buying into this promiscuity is uncertain, although some definitely do. The authors say the interviewees “were found in a wide variety of ways, from chance encounters in coffee shops to introductions from friends.” 2. There is no mention of religion informing how the women might even think about relationships or physical sex. Also no mention of the STD rate or abortion rate among the women with multiple sex “partners.” Secularization has consequences for the body, the mind and the soul. 3. If one reads the article through to the end, one will find that there is considerable unhappiness among the women in this culture, including stories of forced sex and outright rape. They did not give their real names because they are not proud of what they have done. 4. This culture is aided and abetted by free and easy access to contraceptives. It is almost impossible to conceive of such a story before the legalization of oral contraceptives. This culture will be further aided by the new HHS mandate. Thank you President Obama and Secretary Sebelius! 5. It the early Church’s Didache document, the authors compare Two Ways of life: “one of life and one of death: and the difference between the two ways is great.” Humanae Vitae also proposes a Way of Life and contrasts it with the Way of Death, with the same message of the Didache nearly 2,000 years later. The Way of Death includes lust, sexual immorality, adultery, sexual deviation, abortion, and infanticide. The Catholic Church offers a better way for these young women. Let us never lose the zeal to evangelize, to bring the Good News to all people.


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