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Product hookup back to the late 1800s


Partying is "built into the rhythm and architecture of higher education. Arman was 7, miles from his family, one of the roughly million international students who were enrolled in U.

Dropped into the raucous first week of freshman year, he discovered a way of life that seemed intensely foreign, frightening, and enticing. The behavior of some of his fellow students unnerved him.

He watched them drink to excess, tell explicit sexual stories, flirt on the quad and grind on the dance floor.

He received assertive sexual signals from women. He was deeply torn as to whether to participate in this new social scene. Ceding to or resisting that culture becomes part of their everyday lives. One night, he succumbed to temptation. He went to a party, drank, and kissed a girl on the dance floor. When the alcohol wore off, he was appalled at his behavior.

A few months later, he would lose his virginity to a girl he barely knew. His feelings about it were deeply ambivalent.

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For my book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on CampusI followed college students through a semester of their first year.

They submitted weekly journal entries, writing about sex and dating on campus however they wished. In total, the students wrote over 1, single-spaced pages and a million words. I dovetailed their stories with 21 follow-up interviews, quantitative data from the Online College Social Life Survey, academic literature, hundreds of essays written by students for college newspapers, and 24 visits to campuses around the country.

Arman was an outlier. Thirty-six of the students I studied reported being simultaneously attracted to and repelled by hookup culture upon arrival at college, compared to thirty-four who opted out entirely, twenty-three who opted in with enthusiasm, and eight who sustained monogamous relationships. For students like Arman, who are unsure of whether they want to participate, hookup culture has a way of tipping the scales. Its logic makes both abstaining from sex and a preference for sex in committed relationships difficult to justify, and its integration into the workings of higher education makes hooking up hard to avoid.

Hooking up is immanently defensible in hookup culture. All of these ideas are widely circulated on campus—and all make reasonable sense—validating the choice to engage in casual sex while invalidating both monogamous relationships and the choice to have no sex at all. For the students in my study who were enthusiastic about casual sex, this worked out well, but students who found casual sex unappealing often had difficulty explaining why, both Product hookup back to the late 1800s themselves or others.

Many simply concluded that they were overly sensitive or insufficiently brave. Faced with these options, many students who are ambivalent decide to give it a try. In the colonial era, colleges Product hookup back to the late 1800s downright stodgy. Student activities were rigidly controlled, curricula were dry, and harsh punishments were meted out for misbehavior. The fraternity boys of the early s can be credited with introducing the idea that college should be fun. Their lifestyle was then glamorized by the media of the s and democratized by the alcohol industry in the s after Animal House.

Today, the reputation of higher education as a place for an outlandish good time is second only to its reputation as a place of learning. Not just any good time, though. A particular kind of party dominates the social scene: Such parties are built into the rhythm and architecture of higher education. Almost all of the students in American Hookup were living in residence halls. On weekend nights, dorms buzzed with pre-partying, primping, and planning.

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