High School and Hookups
The term “hooking up” has been around for generations, but not until recently has it become popularized. Couples in the 20th century were everywhere, showing excessive PDA. Nowadays? Not so much. The question is, why aren’t people conveniently dating anymore? According to raisingteenstoday.com music, tv shows, movies, and social media has glamorized “hook up culture.” Hookup culture is a society that accepts one night stands and casual sexual encounters without having emotional bonding or long-term commitment. Hookups have captivated America’s youth, including students at Terra Linda High School. Five boys and five girls from all different grades were interviewed on their opinions of hookup culture.
“A hookup is two people meeting up, kissing, and doing some oral stuff, but sex is its own thing,” an anonymous Freshman girl said. A Senior who wishes to stay anonymous stated that a hookup is “making out to oral to going all the way.” Everyone has their own definition of a “hookup.” As people get older, the idea of sex becomes less daunting, whereas adolescents still regard sex as a milestone.
“Hooking up” doesn’t mean dating. Most students described a hookup as “no strings attached,” whereas dating is something completely different. One Sophomore boy described the difference between dating and hooking up as “when you’re dating someone, you love them, but when you’re just hooking up, you can kinda be into each other…you’re really just friends.” One Senior who has been in a committed relationship for years explained, “When you’re in a relationship it’s more proper than a hookup because it’s more about love and commitment.”
All ten students interviewed agreed that hookups are more common than dating. Social media has contributed to the popularization of hookups. It’s much easier to go on an app like Snapchat or Instagram and hit someone up rather than eventually hooking up in person. An anonymous Junior boy said, “Hooking-up is more popular than dating because people have a fear of getting cheated on, so if you do no strings attached you won’t get hurt.” That isn’t always the case, however. Anonymous girl said, “A hookup normally results in one person catching feelings, then the other person doesn’t feel the same way…someone always ends up getting hurt.”
This sparks the question, is hookup culture a problem? All ten students interviewed had very mixed feelings about hookup culture being an issue. The students that said it was an issue held that opinion because STIs could be contracted. According to ashasexualhealth.org, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly twenty-million new STIs occur every year in the US, half of those among young people aged fifteen to twenty-four. Another dilemma in hookup culture is pregnancy. CDC.gov reports that in 2015, a total of 229,715 babies were born to women aged fifteen to nineteen years of age even though teen birth rates have dropped by eight percent. Other students, however, said that hookup culture isn’t an issue just as long as people are being safe by communicating intentions and using protection.
Where there is nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality honestly, everyone should have the experience of being in a long term relationship. Communication is important in both a relationship and a hookup. Be clear with you intentions. Have fun. Be safe. Be nice.