Laura Sessions Stepp, a well-known journalist at The Washington Post, has a book about the nature of life for women in the hook-up culture, and the book is nothing less than a bold revelation of things you might not want to know. The book is called Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both
The hook-up culture is hardly representative of all college students, but numbers show that there’s more involved in this culture than want to be because of peer pressure. Questions: What changes have you seen in women in the past generation? What do you think of Stepp’s analysis? What do you think is going on in the hook-up culture?
I want to drop in this post today a few lines of hers that describe the big shift that has occurred in the last generation when it come to sexual aggression:
Young women today “want to decide who, when and, above all, what happens between them and their partners, sexually and otherwise” (65).
“The prize from high school on is the feeling of power they get from setting their sights on a boy, seducing him and walking away at will, the better to avoid commitment, distractions and being hurt.”
“This traditionally male social scheme as been reconstructed by girls who took a good look around and decided that it was better to be predator than prey, better do unto others before they do to you” (66).
“The fatal flaw in this scheme is that when girls believe this, they lose their bearings when the tables are turned. Some girls are surprised by the emptiness they feel when there’s literally nobody new left to hook up with. Some are surprised when they discover that, having gotten sex, they want love, and they’re unsure how to find it or, if they find it, how to handle it” (66).
“Hooking up leaves them unable to navigate in a world where their wants aren’t the only consideration. That is, they don’t know how to lose — and they don’t know that even winnings isn’t a one-way street” (66).