Understanding Hookup Culture
Tags: children/youth, gender, inequality, sex/sexuality, dating, hook-up, intimacy, intimate relationships, romance, youth culture, 21 to 60 mins
Access: no online access (YouTube preview)
Summary: In this lecture, Dr. Paula England explores the hookup culture in college campuses and describes gendered differences in this "new social form of relationship". As the Media Education Foundation notes, "England mobilizes a wealth of data to begin to chart whether the hookup phenomenon represents some kind of fundamental change, or whether we’re simply seeing age-old gender patterns dressed up in new social forms." Drawing upon qualitative research with heterosexual Stanford undergraduate students and online surveys study with 18 private and public universities, her findings show that hooking up is a new social form where sexual activity precedes – rather than follows – dates or other expressions of relational intent. She also documents gender differences and inequalities in traditional dating and courtship practices. For example, women who initiate and have frequent hook-ups are perceived as "sluts"; pleasure is organized around men in that women are expected to give oral sex to their hookup partners, and report lower levels of orgasm. When used in class, students may be given pre-film questions and after viewing the lecture, use post-viewing questions provided by the study guide from the Media Education Foundation. Viewers may consider whether dating is replaced by hooking-up in contemporary youth culture and if women can be empowered by this new social form of relationship.
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