It seems like everywhere you look nowadays there is some reference to your casual sex or what is commonly known as hookup culture. Some people view it as just the latest trend in sex, while others see it as a direct attack on the healthy sexual relations of Americans, especially teenagers and people in their early 20s. But what exactly is hookup culture and how does it affect the average American? These are things that this article plans to explore as it dives into what hookup culture is and what it can lead to.
What Is Hookup Culture?
Hookup culture has been defined as many things in the media, but the commonality is that young Americans are having sex without commitment. Some people think that alcohol needs to be involved to be considered a hookup, where others believe that it needs to be a one-time thing. Regardless of how it is defined, hookup culture can be seen as a drop in the number of people who are only having sex when involved in committed relationships.
How Hookup Culture Came Into the Scene
Despite what many people think, the idea of hooking up is not a thing that just popped up within the last decade. In fact, hookups can be traced all the way back to the early 20th century. It was during the 1920s that Americans first started finding an interest in romantically socializing with members of the opposite gender. While the concept itself was not new, it had never before occurred at this scale.
This spike in young women romantically hanging out with males who were not officially linked to them caused a frenzy in the American media. It was even dubbed “youth culture”. This is really similar to the hookup culture that would rise up almost 100 years later and be the subject of hundreds of different articles, including this one.
The reason why youth culture died out after only a couple of decades was due to the occurrence of World War II. This deadly event caused the loss of millions of lives, with many of them being young males. As an indirect response to this, young women started putting more of an emphasis on being involved in committed relationships. This flew directly in the face of what the teenagers from the 1920s had started establishing and therefore led to the dwindling of youth culture.
However, in the 1980s, this phenomena would once again start to rise up thanks to the popularity of media that put an emphasis on casual sexual relationships, such as the movie Animal House. From there, it remained fairly steady in American culture – that is, until around 2015.
Why Hookup Culture Has Grown
Within the last five years, hookup culture saw a huge spike in popularity. This is mainly due to the creation of mobile apps such as Tinder and Grindr, which make it incredibly easy to find age-appropriate individuals nearby who are also interested in having a sexual encounter. This increased focus on getting involved in hookups has put these young Americans at greater risk of falling victim to numerous sexual consequences.
The Risks of Hookup Culture
One of the biggest risks to the hookup culture is the possibility of unwanted pregnancy. When individuals are choosing to have sex with each other with no form of commitment, they can tend to put less of an importance on using condoms, especially when alcohol or drugs are involved. When these individuals decide to start using condoms less, they put themselves at risk of experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.
This is not a minor consequence. It becomes even more serious when someone considers the fact that hookup culture often leads to individuals not having the contact information of the person that they slept with. So if they do end up getting pregnant, there is a chance that they will have no way of knowing how to contact the father, assuming that they know which of their hookups is the father in the first place.
By having sex with more partners, it means that every time that they have sex, they are not getting the reliability of having a partner who has been tested and proven to be clean. This puts them at a far greater risk of contracting an STI, which is something that no one ever wants to deal with and can have devastating consequences on a person’s life.
Participating in hookup culture does not necessarily have to be bad as long as individuals are being smart about it. Give yourself some peace of mind regarding recent hookups by getting yourself tested today.