Clover's Campus Trends survey claims to reveal which American universities are best for getting lucky, being kinky—and even finding love. And thanks to the new Campus Trends study from dating app Clover, the shallow dudes among us can toss those copies of the Princeton Review.
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- Study provides new insights on why college students engage in hookups
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- Study provides new insights on why college students engage in hookups
And then the third thing they have to do to try to establish this meaninglessness is to sort of give that person a demotion in their lives afterward. The idea that it's meaningless means that we're also not supposed to care about that person at all and in any way. You talk in the book about how even though, you know, talk about hookups is ubiquitous on college campuses, that doesn't necessarily reflect how much of it is actually going on. So there's a lot of consternation about the students' sexual activity. But it turns out that they are no more sexually active by most measures than their parents were at their age.
The average graduating senior has hooked up eight times in four years. So that's once a semester. And half of those hookups are with someone they've hooked up with before. And in fact, about a third of students won't hook up even a single time their entire college career. But that doesn't mean that they're not surrounded by these really powerful ideas about what they should be doing. And it doesn't mean that they can change how their peers interact with them or the way in which higher education works. So even though campus hookup culture might actually be something that is endorsed by a relatively small number of people who are enthusiasts, one of the points you make is that these are people who often come from groups who have traditionally had a lot of power and privilege in society.
About 15 percent of students really, really, truly enjoy hookup culture. It gives them exactly what they want out of college. And studies show that if you ask those students - and they're the students that are hooking up the most - if you ask them if they're having a good time, they say, yes. And I believe them. About a third of students are completely opted out. The rest of the students are somewhere in the middle, and they're ambivalent about the idea of casual sex.
But if you look at the students who enjoy hookup culture the most, those students are disproportionately going to be heterosexual, white, come from an upper middle class or wealthy background. They're going to be male, they're going to be able-bodied, conventionally attractive. Racial minorities face all kinds of complicated problems that white students don't. And it depends a lot kind of on what particular intersection we're looking at. So some racial minorities are embraced by white students more than others.
So African-American men and Asian women are usually considered hot and exotic, whereas Asian men and African-American women are considered less so. So it very much depends kind of on what intersection of race and gender and class, too, that students are sitting in. But overall, we see lower rates of hooking up among racial minorities for both push and pull reasons.
So part of it is they're pushed out because of racism and an erotic hierarchy that privileges whiteness. But they also tend to get pulled out because racial minorities are more likely to be religious. They drink less alcohol. They maybe had to be more squeaky clean to get into college to begin with. So racial minorities aren't as welcome in hookup culture. And they also don't find it as attractive. For students who don't identify as heterosexual, and we actually still need to do more research on this, but what it seems to - what seems to be happening is that on small campuses or campuses where people aren't very out, there's not an alternative hookup scene for students who don't identify as heterosexual or bisexual.
And the hookup scene that does exist is hyper-heterosexualized. And in those cases, students participate at their own risk, risking homophobia in either behavior or attitude, or they go off campus. And that is why Grindr hit college campuses way earlier than Tinder did because a lot of students who identified as non-heterosexual were using it to find hookups off campus. When we come back, I'm going to ask Lisa about the effects of hookup culture on the emotional lives of young people. This is Hidden Brain.
One argument that some make, and this includes feminists on the left and libertarians on the right, is that hookups can be liberating. People have a chance to experiment, try new things. They're empowered to discover their preferences.
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But one of the students we spoke with, Lisa, said that what sometimes starts out sounding like empowerment often becomes something else. I did have experiences where the expectations once the hookup had already started would start to come out, and they wouldn't come out kindly. You know, it's not a - it wasn't a conversation of, hey, are you willing to try this? Or, hey, you know, I really like it when my partner does this to me. It would be a little bit more of you're going to do this now.
So, Lisa, does hookup culture have anything to do with what some people would call rape culture? Yes, I would argue that hookup culture is a rape culture in that it facilitates and excuses behaviors that translate into sexual assault. Can you expand on that? I mean, there are enthusiasts who would basically say, you know, we're just exercising, you know, our free choice, we're not constrained by the norms that might have hindered a prior generation. What's wrong with people experimenting, trying new things, figuring out who they really are?
So part of the reason we see hookup culture on college campuses can be traced back to the sexual revolution and the women's movement.
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And the women's movement wanted two things for women, both sexually and otherwise. They wanted women to have the opportunity to do the things that men do and to embody masculine traits and interests. And they wanted everyone to sit up and notice that the things women had been doing all along and the traits and interests that they were believed to have were also valuable. And we really only got half of that. So the feminists succeeded in convincing America, for the most part, that women should be allowed to do what men do and even have masculine traits.
But we never really got around to valuing the things that we define as feminine. So a young woman who's growing up in America today is going to - she's going to be told by most - not all parents are like this. But most parents are going to encourage their daughters to mix in masculine traits and interests into her personality. And they're even going to encourage her to do so and perhaps reward her more so when she does that than when she incorporates feminine personality traits.
So we're excited when she likes to play with engineering toys when she's a kid. And we're excited when she chooses sports over cheerleading. And we're excited that she decides to major in physics instead of education.
And so women have been getting this message. If they're paying any attention at all it's very clear that, as they say, well-behaved women rarely make history. We reward you, we think it's great when you act like we think a stereotypical man does. So then when they get to campus, that's what they try to do. And it should surprise none of us that many women on campus decide to approach sexuality the same way they've been rewarded for approaching everything else in their lives, with this idea of the thing to do, the way to be liberated is to act in the way I think a stereotypical man might.
Beste goes on to share her own and her students' theological and ethical reflections as they explored the intersection between their social reality, the Christian tradition, and other academic disciplines, and sought to discern more deeply: Through Their Own Eyes: Undergraduate Ethnographies and Analyses of Party Culture 1.
College Students' Observations of Parties and Hookups 2. Power Dynamics at College Parties 4. Johann Metz's Jesus as Fully Human: Embracing Poverty of Spirit 5. Embracing Our Interdependence on God and Others 6. A Call to Action 8. The Community's Role in Traumatization She is the author of God and the Victim: Her research interests include trauma theory and Christian theology; ethnography and Christian ethics; sexual ethics; feminist ethics; and children, justice, and Catholicism. For anyone interested in learning more about student experiences and working toward creating more just and supportive environments for college students, College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics is an engaging and worthwhile read.
Without being 'moralistic,' Jennifer Beste intriguingly combines student empirical research with both secular and Christian anthropological, theological, and ethical proposals. In its fullness, this is a book that brilliantly probes both pain and pleasure, love and happiness, justice and care, hope and community-illuminated within the complex sphere of human sexuality.
Professor Beste's study does just that. Freitas has opined that a "hookup is a sexual act that thwarts meaning, purpose, and relationship. More than half of college relationships begin with a hookup, Bogle's research has found. Oftentimes, men and women seem to not be on the "same page. For instance, when a male student was asked if he felt that women looked for different components in a hookup; his response was that most females generally did not lean towards a "one and done" thing. Sociologist Wade  discusses several scholars who disagree that contemporary college students desire long-term monogamous relationships.
She cites Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton,  Hanna Rosin,  and Kate Taylor  who posit that hookup culture is good for women as it frees them to focus on their studies and on their professional develop for careers instead of seeking a long term partner or marriage.
Study provides new insights on why college students engage in hookups
Freitas believes the lessons imparted by hookup culture have "set back" students who often have little experience dating, and few skills in asking a romantic partner out as a result. Some studies have found that students, both men and women, overwhelmingly regret their hookups. Other studies found that many college students do not regret their hookup experiences.
Wade  interviewed many women and men who were enthusiastic about their hookup experiences. Vrangalova and Ong's study documented that students who had a stable personality orientation towards casual sex reported a heightened sense of well being after experiencing casual sex. Some research shows that hook up regret is gendered, with women tending to regret hooking up much more than men do. Regret from hooking up may be linked to negative emotional outcomes, especially in women. According to an article by Steven E. Rhoads, Laura Webber, et al.
The American Psychological Association also says that hookups can result in guilt and negative feelings. Students who reported to Freitas that they were profoundly upset about hooking up say the encounters made them feel, among other things, used, miserable, disgusted, and duped. College students base their sexual ideas and sexual actions within a peer culture. This is where students who are peers are comparing and differing sexual situations in one's own life amongst each other to create a foundation for the current hookup culture. Bogle describes the peer culture at universities as the "sexual arena.
This peer culture is not only amongst college students, but it may start to develop around the time puberty starts in middle school for both genders around the age of eleven to fourteen years old. In general, puberty is a time when sexuality and body awareness becomes a main focus for individuals to formulate this aspect of their identity.
Once in college, for most students, the parental aspect is diminished leaving a student feeling a high degree of freedom to truly explore and expand their whole personal identity, strongly including sexual identity in this "sexual arena. According to Bogle, the campuses her studies were done at had a common trend of college students being strongly interested in every other student's private life. The viewers of this activity process, interpret, and form assumptions about what was observed.
These types of sexual activity or public displays of affection could be as meaningless as two individuals romantically speaking to each other in a high capacity location on campus or could be as extreme as two individuals walking into a bedroom together at a party. This peer culture has evolved and escalated with access to rapid communication such as texting on cell phones and multiple social media applications.
Most these social media applications are identity profiles, public thought disposals, and virtual photo albums of oneself, where other's are just a click away from cyber analysis of how that individual displays themselves physically, sexually, psychologically, emotionally, and mentally on the internet. Bogle states that the knowing of other's personal lives isn't just a purpose to gossip, but a way to observe, analyze, and be impacted by other's sexual actions, solely for the purpose of their own actions.
Some studies have made a connection between hookup culture and substance use. About a third of the students who reported engaging in vaginal, anal, or oral sex during a hookup reported being very intoxicated and another third reported being mildly intoxicated. Studies suggest that the degree of alcoholic intoxication directly correlates with the level of risky behavior.
Study provides new insights on why college students engage in hookups
Studies have generally shown that greater alcohol use is associated with more sexual activity in the course of a hookup. At the other end of the spectrum, the greatest alcohol consumption was associated with penetrative sex, and less alcohol consumption with non-penatrative hookups. Hookup culture on college campuses is intertwined with a broader society. On the other hand, some sociologists have argued that hookup culture is a characteristic of the American college environment and does not reflect broader American youth culture, just as many college graduates stop engaging in hookups when they leave college preferring instead dating or other sexual arrangements.
But evidence exists that young women are propelling it too. Hookup culture also exists outside of the college environment. Location-based geosocial networking smartphone applications, a. Life course studies indicate that as people grow older and as they subjectively identify as adult, they are less likely to engage in casual sexual behavior. The American Academy of Pediatrics has argued that media representations of sexuality may influence teen sexual behavior,  and this view is supported by a number of studies. Cable television is filled with reality shows that depict an image of partying and glorified hookups, one of the most well known shows being MTV's Jersey Shore.