Hookup Culture in College

Hookups are one of the most known things in college, except for parties. There’s alcohol, there’s passionate kisses, and there’s hormones everywhere we look. College life in cities, especially makes things more interesting to hear about.

The “hookup” culture that we have all come to know, and have a love/hate relationship with, has been dominating college campuses with Tinder, Bumble, and many other social media dating apps. According to Psychology Today, surveys over the last decade show that about three-quarters of college students have hooked up. However, on further questioning, they report that only about half of those encounters led to intercourse. From this, we can see that college students are using these apps to meet people to only “hook up” with, rather than see where a relationship can lead. On Tinder and Bumble, with college students now, meeting up with the person that you have been interested in online, may not even end with sex for that night.

When interviewing someone, who wants to remain anonymous, she shared some insightful information about what hookup culture is, especially in a New York City school. During the interview, we covered almost all of the hookup culture that is relevant to college life today. She states that alcohol plays a bigger role in our hookup culture than drugs, especially since college girls and guys get drunk more easily than regular adults; getting drunk makes the hormones elevate, which causes horniness of the teenagers to become stronger than usual, so there are more hookups when people are drunk than high. 

In addition, she states that dating is not taken as seriously in our generation. Hookups are more relevant, easier, and the “normal” in college life. In the 1980s and 1990s, the college kids of the time would meet during class or from parties, while we have apps like Tinder, and Bumble to help us meet people. 

Later in the interview, she explains how the college students of the 1980s and 1990s had more of a natural connection and love, while we just have whoever is accessible and close to our location. But just like the college students then, oral sex is a big deal and the expectations for it are set so high. 

Students have always searched for meaning and purpose through romantic and intimate relationships, especially during college. As the dominant script for sexual activity on most residential campuses in the United States, “hooking up” explicitly separates physical intimacy from interpersonal closeness and mutual commitment.