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Hooking Up

Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus

Kathleen A. Bogle
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 225
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  • Book Info
    Hooking Up
    Book Description:

    It happens every weekend: In a haze of hormones and alcohol, groups of male and female college students meet at a frat party, a bar, or hanging out in a dorm room, and then hook up for an evening of sex first, questions later. As casually as the sexual encounter begins, so it often ends with no strings attached; after all, it was "just a hook up." While a hook up might mean anything from kissing to oral sex to going all the way, the lack of commitment is paramount.Hooking Up is an intimate look at how and why college students get together, what hooking up means to them, and why it has replaced dating on college campuses. In surprisingly frank interviews, students reveal the circumstances that have led to the rise of the booty call and the death of dinner-and-a-movie. Whether it is an expression of postfeminist independence or a form of youthful rebellion, hooking up has become the only game in town on many campuses.In Hooking Up, Kathleen A. Bogle argues that college life itself promotes casual relationships among students on campus. The book sheds light on everything from the differences in what young men and women want from a hook up to why freshmen girls are more likely to hook up than their upper-class sisters and the effects this period has on the sexual and romantic relationships of both men and women after college. Importantly, she shows us that the standards for young men and women are not as different as they used to be, as women talk about "friends with benefits" and "one and done" hook ups.Breaking through many misconceptions about casual sex on college campuses, Hooking Up is the first book to understand the new sexual culture on its own terms, with vivid real-life stories of young men and women as they navigate the newest sexual revolution.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-8991-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The journalist Tom Wolfe, a keen observer of American culture, offered this musing on junior high, high school, and college students:

    Only yesterday boys and girls spoke of embracing and kissing (necking) as getting to first base. Second base was deep kissing, plus groping and fondling this and that. Third base was oral sex. Home plate was going all the way. That was yesterday. Here in the year 2000 we can forget about necking. Today’s boys and girls have never heard of anything that dainty. Today’s first base is deep kissing, now known as tonsil hockey, plus groping and fondling...

  5. 2 From Dating to Hooking Up
    (pp. 11-23)

    The lyrics of this Cole Porter song titled “Anything Goes” are telling. They speak of a lax in society’s propriety and values; the irony is that the song dates back to the 1930s. Messages like this one convey a sentiment that rings true in any time period: change is scary. As society tries to come to terms with the changing mores of today’s youth, there is a tendency to characterize the change as frightening. In one magazine editor’s opinion, adolescent morality may be “tumbling toward Shanghai on a sailor’s holiday.”¹ The implication is that the ways of the past were...

  6. 3 The Hookup
    (pp. 24-49)

    What does it mean to hook up? Consulting a dictionary won’t help, since most dictionaries do not even include an entry on hooking up.¹ Even college students have trouble articulating a definition. My exchange with Tony, a senior at State University, demonstrates the uncertainty.

    KB: Define hooking up.

    Tony: Taking someone home and spending the night with them. I mean intercourse is probably like a big part of it, but I think if you take someone home and hook up, then that’s hooking up.

    KB: So, could hooking up mean just kissing?

    Tony: Yeah.

    KB: What does it usually mean?...

  7. 4 The Hookup Scene
    (pp. 50-71)

    The college campus is not the only place where people hook up, but there is something unique about campus life that makes the hookup culture flourish there.¹ In my conversation with Jen, a junior at State University, she talked about the difference between living at home during summer break and being on campus. She touched on many different aspects of college life that make it more conducive to hooking up than dating.

    KB: So what’s different about home that would make you go out on a date there and not here [at school]?

    Jen: [Guys at home] don’t have this...

  8. 5 The Campus as a Sexual Arena
    (pp. 72-95)

    On the cover ofGlamourmagazine’s February 2006 issue is 21-year-old pop singer/actress and “America’s Next Sweetheart,” Mandy Moore. Among the cover stories in this issue is a feature entitled “Are you normal about sex? Intimate details on whateveryone’sdoing.” Popular-culture sources, like this one, are one of the ways by which young people get information about sex and relationships. Like most men and women, college students want to know what is “normal,” because understanding the norms for their peer group helps them to navigate their own sexual lives.¹ College students’ perceptions of what their peers are doing sexually...

  9. 6 Men, Women, and the Sexual Double Standard
    (pp. 96-127)

    Certain Hollywood actresses of the 1950s and 1960s, such as Sandra Dee and Doris Day, epitomized the proverbial idea of a “good girl.” These women had a squeaky clean, virginlike image that was promulgated both on and off screen. All actresses of this time period did not fit this mold, but there was something about maintaining this image that helped propel these women to stardom. An erotic image, on the other hand, also helped skyrocket the careers of actresses like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Interestingly, both Taylor and Monroe became the infamous “other women” in the marriages of “respectable”...

  10. 7 Life after College: A Return to Dating
    (pp. 128-157)

    MTV’s hit reality series,The Real World,places seven 18–24-year-olds in a house where cameras film everything they do over a four-month period. The men and women who are chosen to be on the show come from various parts of the country and are previously unknown to one another. These strangers are then thrust together, sharing everything from bedrooms to bathrooms. The seasons are fairly predictable with episodes depicting the housemates: getting drunk, developing crushes, making out, arguing, partying, and having sex. This is certainly not the real world, but it does seem a lot like the way many...

  11. 8 Hooking Up and Dating: A Comparison
    (pp. 158-186)

    InThe Way We Never Were:American Families and the Nostalgia Trap,historian Stephanie Coontz challenges those who lament the loss of “traditional family values” by debunking myths about families of the past.¹ Coontz contends that the images of ideal family life that many people conjure up resemble a hodgepodge of old television shows’ depictions of a bygone era (i.e.,The Waltons[1930s],Leave It to Beaver[1950s], etc.), which often misrepresent the realities that families faced during those time periods. Thus, sentimental views of the past are often presented using revisionist history. Likewise, many critics of the hooking-up phenomenon...

  12. Methodological Appendix
    (pp. 187-190)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 191-210)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 211-220)
  15. Index
    (pp. 221-224)
  16. About the Author
    (pp. 225-225)