Book 15 of my 2017 Reading Challenge
read from February 10 - 27
American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus by Lisa Wade
Summary (via Goodreads)
The hookup is now part of college life. Yet the drunken encounter we always hear about tells only a fraction of the story. Rising above misinformation and moralizing, Lisa Wade offers the definitive account of this new sexual culture and demonstrates that the truth is both more heartening and more harrowing than we thought.
Offering invaluable insights for parents, educators, and students, Wade situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. Using new research, she maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that the most privileged students tend to like hookup culture the most, and she considers its effects on racial and sexual minorities, students who "opt out," and those who participate ambivalently.
Accessible and open-minded, compassionate and brutally honest, American Hookup explains where we are and how we got here, asking not "How do we go back?" but "Where do we go from here?"
I didn't learn anything new. Hookups themselves don't bother me but the cavalier attitude about women, or when people feel they have to act drunk to be able to participate, is troubling. I believe the book's research but with everything based on individual accounts and no ideas of changes given (other than the unhelpful "If we want to fix hookup culture, we have to fix American culture" on the last page), I don't see why the book was written.
I understand changing the names but I didn't understand how "other details have been changed and sometimes dramatized." How do you dramatize non-fiction?
Reading about gender roles and "benevolent sexism" (when a positive trait of someone's gender is used against them, such as women being gentler leading to the assumption that they don't want sex without love) was very interesting.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"Hookup culture is an occupying force, coercive and omnipresent."
""Casual sex was happening before in college," says Indiana University psychologist Debby Herbenick, "but there wasn't the sense that it's what you should be doing. It is now." It's the elevation of the hookup over all other ways of engaging sexually that has transformed campuses from places where there is hooking up to places with a hookup culture. Hookup culture is new. Where did it come from? And how did it get here?"
"Hookup culture isn't carefree; it's care-less."