Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hooking up on campus

Atlantic writer Hannah Rosin thinks hookup culture is "... an engine of female progress — one being harnessed and driven by women themselves." Commenter at the Atlantic site: "This isn't feminism - this is just a case of women becoming more like douchebag men. Casual sex is fine, but it's hard to argue that people's increasing detachment from each other is a sign of progress."

Review of Rosin's book, The End of Men.

See also The New Dating Game.
Atlantic Monthly: ... I had gone to visit the [Ivy League] business school because a friend had described the women there as the most sexually aggressive he had ever met. Many of them had been molded on trading floors or in investment banks with male-female ratios as terrifying as 50-to-1, so they had learned to keep pace with the boys. Women told me stories of being hit on at work by “FDBs” (finance douche bags) who hadn’t even bothered to take off their wedding rings, or sitting through Monday-morning meetings that started with stories about who had banged whom (or what) that weekend. In their decade or so of working, they had been routinely hazed by male colleagues showing them ever more baroque porn downloaded on cellphones. Snowblowing was nothing to them.

In fact, I found barely anyone who even noticed the vulgarity anymore, until I came across a new student. She had arrived two weeks earlier, from Argentina. She and I stood by the bar at one point and watched a woman put her hand on a guy’s inner thigh, shortly before they disappeared together. In another corner of the room, a beautiful Asian woman in her second year at school was entertaining the six guys around her with her best imitation of an Asian prostitute—­“Oooo, you so big. Me love you long time”—winning the Tucker Max showdown before any of the guys had even tried to make a move on her. (She eventually chose the shortest guy in the group to go home with, because, she later told me, he seemed like he’d be the best in bed.)

... Single young women in their sexual prime—that is, their 20s and early 30s, the same age as the women at the business-­school party—are for the first time in history more success­ful, on average, than the single young men around them. They are more likely to have a college degree and, in aggregate, they make more money.

... In 2004, Elizabeth Armstrong, then a sociologist at Indiana University, and Laura Hamilton, a young graduate student, set out to do a study on sexual abuse in college students’ relationships. They applied for permission to interview women on a single floor of what was known as a “party dorm” at a state university in the Midwest. ...

Women in the dorm complained to the researchers about the double standard, about being called sluts, about not being treated with respect. But what emerged from four years of research was the sense that hooking up was part of a larger romantic strategy, part of what Armstrong came to think of as a “sexual career.” For an upwardly mobile, ambitious young woman, hookups were a way to dip into relationships without disrupting her self-development or schoolwork. Hookups functioned as a “delay tactic,” Armstrong writes, because the immediate priority, for the privileged women at least, was setting themselves up for a career. “If I want to maintain the lifestyle that I’ve grown up with,” one woman told Armstrong, “I have to work. I just don’t see myself being someone who marries young and lives off of some boy’s money.” Or from another woman: “I want to get secure in a city and in a job … I’m not in any hurry at all. As long as I’m married by 30, I’m good.”

The women still had to deal with the old-fashioned burden of protecting their personal reputations, but in the long view, what they really wanted to protect was their future professional reputations. “Rather than struggling to get into relationships,” Armstrong reported, women “had to work to avoid them.” (One woman lied to an interested guy, portraying herself as “extremely conservative” to avoid dating him.) Many did not want a relationship to steal time away from their friendships or studying.

Armstrong and Hamilton had come looking for sexual victims. Instead, at this university, and even more so at other, more prestigious universities they studied, they found the opposite: women who were managing their romantic lives like savvy headhunters. “The ambitious women calculate that having a relationship would be like a four-credit class, and they don’t always have time for it, so instead they opt for a lighter hookup,” Armstrong told me.

The women described boyfriends as “too greedy” and relation­ships as “too involved.” One woman “with no shortage of admirers” explained, “I know this sounds really pathetic and you probably think I am lying, but there are so many other things going on right now that it’s really not something high up on my list … I know that’s such a lame-ass excuse, but it’s true.” The women wanted to study or hang out with friends or just be “100 percent selfish,” as one said. “I have the rest of my life to devote to a husband or kids or my job.” Some even purposely had what one might think of as fake boyfriends, whom they considered sub–marriage quality, and weren’t genuinely attached to. “He fits my needs now, because I don’t want to get married now,” one said. “I don’t want anyone else to influence what I do after I graduate.” ...


Shawn said...

The median # is still only about 7 and has been there for a long time
The sex-apocolypse is not here.

Jeff said...

These stories are just the twisted-fear mongering among angry feminists who know that men desire chaste women. I cannot remember where I came across the data but it is clear that only a minority of women are sluts or are easy. The highest fraction of college-age women still have only a very small number of sexual partners. People like Rosin are psychologically disturbed and they write their words to create misery among the masses. However, even if I had not read the study which suggested we were far removed from sexual anarchy, I would know that Rosin's article is complete bunk for other reasons. As Agnostic has pointed out, we are in a cocooning phase as a society; this leads to fewer outward and intimate behaviors. We also know that teens are less sexual than 20 years ago. Plus, I was in an MBA program about six years ago at a party school, and I can tell you that very few of the women were sluts, if any. The notion too that the Harvard ladies are sluts is bogus; the Ivies have a huge fraction of virginal undergraduates. So somehow, we are to believe that they go from awkward to bona fide sexual conquistadors? Plausible, but not probable. Also, as with all things minority, it is always easy to lose track of scope. The sluts are interesting because they are outliers, but humans do a poor job of seeing that they are in fact just a minority within the larger whole. It is the same with people on HBD forums and the Jews. So often they blame the Jews for political correctness or mass immigration, because there are so many prominent Jews who are communist PC overlords, but they fail to consider that most Christians are PC too.

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