Sex. It seems like everyone around you is having it, even if they are not in a relationship. “Hooking up” has become so normalized across college campuses that it can sometimes feel as though you are the outlier if you choose not to partake. Penn State is no exception to this “hookup culture” attitude. It can sometimes feel as though going out and hooking up go together. Are the days of “wining and dining” truly over?
The normalcy of hooking up in today’s culture can most likely be traced back to an increase of exposure in the media. Shows like Netflix’s “Too Hot To Handle” give off the impression that a lot of those in our age range are engaging in this lifestyle. Dating apps, like Tinder, have inadvertently created an outlet to find casual sexual encounters. Popular songs, such as those by artist Jack Harlow, sing songs about sex in a way that do not describe it as a significant experience. This kind of exhibition was not as prominent in previous generations’ lives.
The liberation of sexual expression is not something to be frowned upon. No one should be made to feel guilty for their choices that they make with their own body. However, do some of us feel as though we need to engage in casual sexual relationships only because it’s expected of us? It seems as though it has become increasingly more difficult to establish meaningful, serious relationships in college.
Penn State senior Amanda feels that hookup culture runs rampant.
“I feel like everyone has this like desire to hookup as much as they can,” Amanda said. “I think the boys here are definitely out here to hook up and not really form true connections and relationships.”
Amanda continued to say that she feels that there is a lot of pressure to go along with today’s hookup culture.
“I feel like people are just always hooking up and you’re either going along with it or you can’t keep up with it,” Amanda said. “If you don’t want to do it you’re almost made to feel abnormal.”
Carmen, a 20-year-old Penn State junior, does not feel similarly to her peer.
“If there was social media in the ’80s like there is right now, people would think there was a ‘problem’ back then,” says Carmen, “Just because it’s out there and people talk about it people consider it a problem.”
Whether or not hookup culture is considered an issue, will always be up for debate. If you are comfortable with engaging in it, then it is your own personal choice to make! If you are uncomfortable, then you should not be made to feel as though it is expected or mandatory.
VALLEY wants to hear from you! How do you feel about hookup culture at both Penn State and across the world? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with your thoughts.