Sexual Assault on Campus and the Curse of the Hookup Culture

By Zimmerman, Jonathan | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 16, 2014 | Go to article overview

Sexual Assault on Campus and the Curse of the Hookup Culture


Zimmerman, Jonathan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Survey students about the problem. Train victim advocates. Urge bystanders to intervene.

You can find these suggestions - and other equally sound ones - in the report issued this month by a White House task force on sexual assault at U.S. colleges. But here's a recommendation that you won't find in it: Challenge the hookup culture that dominates undergraduate life.

There's still a perception that college is about sex, and that you can't have one without the other.

Although about 40 percent of female college seniors report that they are virgins or have had sex only once, many others are engaging in sexual activity. At colleges nationally, by senior year, 4 in 10 students are either virgins or have had intercourse with only one person, according to the Online College Social Life Survey.

The culture is marked by a lack of commitment and especially of communication between partners, who rarely tell each other what they actually want. So it has also brought with it an appalling amount of unwanted sex.

Consider a study of 2,500 college students published last year by Donna Freitas. She confirms what we already knew: Many students engage in casual sex. More than that, though, the book shows that students feel a great deal of pressure to keep the sex casual; that is, to remove themselves emotionally from it.

"It's just something that I feel like as a college student you're supposed to do," one woman told Ms. Freitas. "It's so ingrained in college life that if you're not doing it, then you're not getting the full college experience."

A double standard still governs here because a woman with too many hookups can be deemed a "slut" or worse. But both sexes are supposed to keep their feelings out of it, as best they can.

"My college friends . are constantly warning me about guys getting too attached, or keeping myself at a distance," another woman told Ms. Freitas. "They advise me to hold my cards close and play them strategically to get what I want."

What most students of both sexes really want - as my own students often tell me - is a long-standing, romantic relationship. But the hookup code works against that, encouraging them to remain isolated and detached.

And a good way to do that is to get drunk. According to a 2007 study, more than half of college sexual encounters with someone who is not a steady partner involve alcohol. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Sexual Assault on Campus and the Curse of the Hookup Culture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.