Is Hook-Up Culture Harmful?

When you think of “college culture,” the thing that students seem to be most excited for is the same thing that tends to worry parents: hook-up culture. If you look around, you can find a multitude of articles written by adults about how our generation has debased the idea of romance and how apps such as Tinder will destroy the very idea of love and family. However, who’s better to talk about this phenomenon than the people actually living it?


The opinions of the Foghorn on this culture are diverse and complex.


In general, most of us do not think that USF’s hook-up culture is much different from the culture at other universities, but those who do see a difference say USF’s is on the tamer side. Hook-up culture goes hand in hand with a partying culture and USF has never been a party school. There aren’t ragers, there aren’t wild throwdowns, there really aren’t many events where a large amount of people have the chance to bounce around enough people to find someone they want to sleep with. This being said, it obviously still happens at places such as house parties, Greek events and even in the dorms.


There are members of the Foghorn who think the premise of “is hook-up culture healthy?” is unfair. Yes, it can be unhealthy, but so can every other form of relationship. There are people in unhealthy committed relationships, but do people say monogamy culture is unhealthy in response? Hook-up culture is only unhealthy when expectations are unclear or when there is a lack of communication between partners. If one party is looking for something more than just a hook-up, or they aren’t transparent about their feelings, then things can get messy. But a lack of communication can hurt any form of relationship. It seems like not everyone is suited for hook-up culture, and it shouldn’t be celebrated as “just a part of the college experience.” However, in the end, the choice is ours. We’re adults and only we have the right to decide what to do with our bodies. We should not shame people for what they do or what they do not do.


However, not everyone on the staff agrees with this point of view. Those who disagreed had an issue with the fundamental detachment that goes hand-in-hand with hook-up culture. Their reason is that hook-up culture rests in being “chill,” which entails not showing too much attachment or feeling. Some of us think this aversion to empathy and showing feelings is less healthy than dating. What makes hook-up culture unhealthy is how it shames people for showing that they care for a person. Empathy has turned into “clinginess.” That is what some of us think is the most damaging aspect of it. It is innately human to want to connect with someone. Hook-up culture rests on distancing yourself from each other. Yes, there are some times when you only want sex, but those who don’t want to be a part of hook-up culture often get unfairly labeled as prudes. Just as we shouldn’t shame people who want to have low-key sex, we shouldn’t shame people who don’t.


The Foghorn has a variety of opinions on this issue. Some us think that talking about hook-up culture is useless, and others think the culture itself is inherently unhealthy. But we all agree on one thing: the choice belongs to you, and you alone.


Featured Photo: Tinder is an integral part of hook-up culture, and people argue that the app cheapens emotional connections. Sarah Hinton / Foghorn


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