Hookup roulette

12 Nov

“The attitude attached to it very much says, ‘this is just about me, and intertwining myself with other people is a threat to my individuality and my personal trajectory’.” And it’s true that the past century has seen global culture shift towards individualism.With many students saying they prefer casual sex because relationships would be a distraction or even derail their education, perhaps hook-up culture isn’t such a bad thing, but simply a sign of the times, emblematic of a generation that wants to get shit done.And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.” It’s true that the internet – and more specifically, apps – have changed the way we form these relationships.Tinderhas racked up more than 50 million users, who swipe as many as 1.4 billion times a day – it’s an unparalleled force to be reckoned with.The internet has transformed sex beyond recognition, but whether this change is for the better or worse is still open to discussion.We sit down with Lisa Wade, associate professor of sociology and author of that condemned Tinder, hook-up culture, and the ‘dating apocalypse’ that they’ve caused.And with an average user age of 26 – far older than standard university age – this makes sense.Hinge, Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel also have respective average ages of 27, 26 and 30, suggesting that a lot of people who are using these apps aren’t actually students.

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“These portrayals of their sex lives are oversimplified.” Her research involved visiting 24 colleges across 18 states, collecting diaries from 101 students, reading hundreds of first-hand accounts of hook-up culture in college newspapers, and the data from a survey of over 24,000 students.

“The core idea is that students should want to engage in casual sex that has no emotional significance,” explains Wade.

“To participate, students have to perform disinterest in an effort to demonstrate to their sexual partners and the wider community that they aren't emotionally invested.

We sit down with Wade to explore the behaviours attached to hook-up culture. Or is it a natural fit for a generation who are rejecting institutions and are focused on getting ahead? To understand hook-up culture, it’s important to understand what defines a culture.

“It’s a set of ideas,” says Wade, "about what’s right or wrong, good or bad, normal or abnormal; a set of rules for interaction – guidelines for how people would interact together; and an institutional context that facilitates hooking up.” So where does this leave us with hook-up culture?