NEW BOOK: Masculinized ‘Hookup Culture’ to Blame for Unhappiness on Campus

  1. Home
  2. Culture Wars
By Heat Street Staff | 3:17 pm, December 7, 2016

A new book is being published next month entitled American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus.

Author Lisa Wade, a Sociology professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, is not a fan of hookup culture. She writes in the book, which has been seen by Heat Street: “Students are less happy and healthy than in previous generations, less so than just ten or twenty years ago… the sexual environment is part of why.”

Prof Wade says spent extensive time researching her subject primarily at two establishments, a secular school in the Southwest and a religious college in the South. She also traveled to 24 colleges across America to complete her findings including Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth.

American Hookup claims: “One in three students says that their intimate relationships have been ‘traumatic’ or ‘very difficult to handle and 10% say that they’ve been coerced or assaulted in the past year. In addition, there is a persistent malaise; a deep, indefinable disappointment. Students find that their sexual experiences are distressing or boring.”

But she adds: “There is no epidemic of casual sexual encounters on college campuses. So, hookups can’t be blamed…students are too busy not having sex to be enacting the next revolution. The cause of the students’ unhappiness, then, can’t be the hookup. But it is about hooking up. It’s hookup culture.”

Wade compares hookups to a deep fog: “Hookup culture is an occupying force, coercive and omnipresent. For those who love it, it’s all sunshine, but it isn’t for everyone else. Deep in the fog, students often feel dreary, confused, helpless. Many behave in ways they don’t like, hurt other people unwillingly, and consent to sexual activity they don’t desire.”

She adds: “Many students opt out of hooking up, but they can’t opt out of hookup culture. It’s more than just a behavior; it’s the climate.”

Wade’s conclusions are that men are significantly to blame for heinous hookups: “Hookup culture also carries with it some of the worst things about the last hundred years.

“It is still gripped, for example, by the limiting gender stereotypes that emerged during the Industrial Revolution…when men pursue sex on campus today it is interpreted as a sign of a healthy, red-blooded masculinity, but we still don’t acknowledge a healthy, red-blooded femininity.”

She adds: “A woman’s sexiness is still held up as a measure of her worth, and men continue to be the arbiters of whether women are sufficiently sexy…hookup culture, strongly masculinized, demands carelessness, rewards callousness, and punishes kindness.”

American Hookup concludes: “It should be no surprise that heterosexual men express greater comfort with hooking up than other students…

“If hookups didn’t consistently benefit men, your average female college student might be more interested in pursuing casual sex…while heterosexual men have more orgasms than women, it is at the expense of a full range of sexual expression.

“Alienated from the pleasure that can come with being desired, and told that it’s unmanly and pathetic to seek emotional connection with their sexual partners, men suffer in hookup culture, too.

Wade ends with a call to arms: “We all tend to look to men for approval while valuing women’s opinions too little…if we want to fix up hookup culture, we have to fix American culture.”

Suffice to say, the author is not wild about the President-elect, calling him the ‘ultimate anti-Obama.’

Hookups won’t probably be happening at a launch party for the book at Trump Tower then…

Advertisement