With Valentine’s Day around the corner, people start to think about if they are spending the day single, going on dates with their significant others or hooking up with a friend or a stranger. People sometimes assume most college students choose hookups instead of relationships, but that is not always the case, nor is the hookup culture something students always enjoy.
“Isn’t there more to life than this?” Rev. Richard Malloy, S.J., said when asked about the hookup culture.
He said the current culture leaves students feeling very empty, and students find it unsatisfying because it does not give them what they are looking for.
“We form our habits and our habits form us. Is someone heavily involved going to turn it off when they get married? Dating is so much better than hooking up,” Malloy said.
Students were surveyed about what they thought other students were doing on campus with regard to the hookup culture, and 194 students said they think a lot of students participate in the hookup culture instead of relationships while 140 students thought it was an even mix. However, survey results indicated that while people are hooking up, it is not as many people as participants thought.
Students were asked a series of questions about their current relationship status, their views on the campus dating culture and their past experiences with relationships as well as the hookup culture and online dating applications.
One student reported he or she was married, three students said they were engaged, 168 students said they were dating or in a relationship, 145 students said they were single, and 50 students said they were hooking up. The hookup culture was defined in the survey as “any sexual behavior without commitment and/or labels ranging from kissing to intercourse.”
Approximately 70 percent of students reported that they have never used a dating application or website. Thirty percent of students indicated that they had used one, and Tinder was the most widely used at a margin of 28 percent. The majority of students either thought online dating and dating apps were bad or stated they had no opinion.
“I think they’re funny, especially Tinder, but I wouldn’t use them myself,” sophomore Dillon Vita said.
However, some students did report that they liked dating apps, such as Tinder.
“I like them. It’s easy and there’s no thought process,” junior Brendan Collins said.
Students were asked about their previous experiences since they have been in college; 205 of the surveyed students said they have participated in the hookup culture. Of the 366 students surveyed, 224 have been in a relationship in college, 174 have been on a date and 21 of those have been with someone they have met using an online dating service.
The majority of students believe that relationships in college are a good thing; however, many of these students also believe that while they are good, it depends on factors such as the people involved.
“Relationships are fine in college as long as you’re not codependent. I think you should still be able to experience every aspect of college to the fullest,” junior Megan McCabe said.
With regard to the hookup culture, students had multiple opinions, Fifty-eight students said the hookup culture is good and should be left alone; 117 said it is bad and should be changed, and others were either neutral or believed it depended on the situation.
The American Psychological Association defines hookups as “brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other,” according to an article titled “Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review” in the Review of General Psychology released in 2012.
The hookup culture developed in the 1920s when adults began exploring sexual freedom, according to the article. This exploration continued in the 1960s when sex-integrated parties became increasingly popular. Today, casual sex is considered a norm for some people. The APA also reports that 60 to 80 percent of college students have experienced some degree of the hookup culture, which the campus survey results reflected.
The online survey received responses from 260 female students, 102 male students and four students who chose not to identify their gender. The majority of participants were undergraduates between the ages of 18 and 22.
Feb. 13, 2015