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Hookup Culture: Why People Assume Guys & Girls Can’t Be Friends

We’ve all heard it since we were in elementary school. Whenever a guy and girl become friends, everyone assumes that they’re “a thing” or it’s because they’re both interested in one another as “more than friends.” 

It was cute when we were all eight years old, but it’s problematic that this thought process has carried over into our college years, specifically through the modern college “hookup culture.” I’ve noticed through my first year of college that, more frequent than not, boys will introduce themselves and it’ll go a little something like this:

Boy I’ve never met before: “Hey nice to meet you, I’m [insert name here].”

His friend: “He has a girlfriend.”

Me: “Oh umm alrighty then, nice to meet you, too, I guess.”

Why is it automatically assumed that everyone is just interested in the opposite sex in a sexual way? This applies for guys, too. While girls are called “sluts” in this context, guys in college are always viewed as “sexual predators” and they’re just horny all the time or something. There’s no winning here when it comes to the hookup culture that has overtaken colleges.


So, why is this such a hard question to answer? Why can’t guys and girls be just friends? Obviously, there are plenty of friendships where guys and girls are friends and there’s nothing that can affect their friendship – because they know that’s all it is. The issue is when those on the outside of the friendship interject with their opinion and make things messy.

The moment someone questions whether two people are friends or are more than friends and asks one of those people about it, the friendship begins to crumble. Those people become so concerned about what others are saying about them, that they’ll ruin a good friendship based off the opinions of others. 

It seems that the real issue is about being judged by those around you. No one wants their motives being questioned, especially when it can get real weird real fast when rumors start flying around. This is especially the case on a small college campus. Those friendships that can withstand petty gossip and that don’t care what people think are those that will last for a long time.

Jordyn Kamis

Muhlenberg '21

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