Paula England, sociology professor at Northwestern University, reports in the book “You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like A Sociologist” that dating has been replaced by hooking up as the primary method of romance on college campuses. This sort of romance can be defined as engaging in any type of sexual act with another person where there is usually no necessary implication that anybody’s interested in a relationship. These love affairs generally are short-lived and have little emotional attachment. Unlike dating, this method is less demanding and less time consuming. Hooking-up also is not exclusive such as dating, providing teenagers with more flexibility and freedom to who they can “talk” to. These characteristics of hook-ups are plausible explanations as to why it is becoming increasingly popular among college students.
After asking a few of my friends and classmates for their opinions on the case of hooking-up vs. dating, I found that most of them did not favor the latter. When asked why, they responded with comments such as “I don’t have time, money, or effort to maintain a relationship” or “I don’t want to be tied down”.
What I came to understand by interviewing my fellow college peers is that hooking-up is much more convenient than dating. This is because relationships are a lot of work and require couples seeing and spending large amounts of time with each other. College students most who have heavy workloads simply do not have the time or the resources necessary to keep a healthy relationship. Furthermore, I learned that my peers aren’t looking to settle down and get married anytime soon. Instead, they rather keep their love lives light and not too serious so that they can focus on pursuing their education and career. These are some of the main social factors that may be leading to a hook-up culture across college campuses.
Paula England’s conclusions are supported by the information that I found from interviewing my college peers. For example, England asserts that the reason for the prevalence of hook-ups is that students aren’t looking to start families anytime soon. Another of England’s conclusions that my friends’ opinions support is that longer-term relationships are simply more work than most college students are willing to put worth or have time for.
Furthermore, Paula England found that despite the infrequency of dating, many students state that “relationships should be monogamous and marriages should be monogamous and that people eventually want to get to monogamy and a marriage” (Conley, 2013). This finding, in fact, holds true among my peers that were interviewed. In addition, the views of my peers bolster England’s conclusion that dating now has more significance than it once did as a result of its rarity. Moreover, both England’s conclusions and my peers’ opinions indicate that the culture of hooking-up is a culture of the youth and that it ends at the time of relationship and marriage.
Conley, Dalton. You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking like a Sociologist. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. Print.