Men aren’t the only ones driving the hookup culture so prevalent across college campuses. More than 60 women, all students at the University of Pennsylvania, granted anonymous interviews to The New York Times, and the resulting Style Section feature explores the sexual mores of some ambitious female students today:
Ask her why she hasn’t had a relationship at Penn, and she won’t complain about the death of courtship or men who won’t commit. Instead, she’ll talk about “cost-benefit” analyses and the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up.“I positioned myself in college in such a way that I can’t have a meaningful romantic relationship, because I’m always busy and the people that I am interested in are always busy, too,” she said.
Young women’s goals for academic and professional success make for a schedule packed with student clubs, internships, and challenging classes. A committed relationship would drain energy and complicate decisions about post-college opportunities. That is partially, the article describes, why some female students choose instead to move from one casual fling to another. Still, hookups are often awkward for them:
Women said universally that hookups could not exist without alcohol, because they were for the most part too uncomfortable to pair off with men they did not know well without being drunk….[One female student recalled having too much to drink at a party], and she remembered telling [a boy from her floor] that she wanted to go home.Instead, she said, he took her to his room and had sex with her while she drifted in and out of consciousness. She woke up with her head spinning. The next day, not sure what to think about what had happened, she described the night to her friends as though it were a funny story: I was so drunk, I fell asleep while I was having sex!
It’s this aspect of the hookup culture that is particularly toxic. As women engage more frequently in casual sex, and as the encounters are fueled by drugs and alcohol, the line between consensual sex and abuse is increasingly blurred. And many universities have now adopted a “preponderance of evidence” standard in sexual assault proceedings, making convictions that much easier. All of these factors create a recipe where both women and men can be victimized.Read the whole thing.