Hooking Up: What’s Acceptable for Young Women?

By Julie Homerding, Student at the University of Illinois

Let’s face it. Dating sucks. Especially in a world we like to call college life, where hook-ups are notorious and dating someone sometimes never seems to work out.

In the article "College Students Don't Judge Women For Hooking Up," researcher Sinikka Elliott’s main message is that hook-up situations are complicated.

"Hook-ups are a pathway to a lot of college relationships," Elliott said in the LiveScience article.

In a study cited by the article, it was found that students are actually open to a woman taking the lead sexually. However, when it comes to dating, students felt that men are interested in sex and women are not trying to act like sluts.

But if hook-ups are a pathway to relationships, then how can we say that in dating terms, women can’t take the sexual lead?

Amanda Holman, a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told LiveScience the sexual behaviors that may make a girl seem promiscuous are actually becoming acceptable.

“The more that [students] talked to their peers about it, the more likely that they're going to be accepting of the risky behavior," Holman said in the article. "And the more likely that you're going to engage in it."

In the college world, we hear about hooking up more than we would have in high school. It becomes a more common topic the older we get, but an even more complicated situation.

Sure, the more students talk about it, the more hooking up is going to seem acceptable, but when we really think about it, people will still judge.

If girls or even guys are worried about their reputation among friends, roommates or potential lovers, then it’s probably not a good idea to be promiscuous. But at the same time, we think about it like, “everyone does it” because it is such a common topic of conversation on Saturday mornings and we shouldn’t be judged.

Hook-ups are going to happen. These are experiences students will go through until they find the actual relationship that works out successfully.

It is not that we should all be shameless and act in the heat of the moment, but by maintaining class and keeping reputations, relationships and respect in mind, hooking up does not have to define girls as sluts and guys as man-whores.

Love, relationships and hook-ups are never going to be formed from a perfect cookie cutter, and until we find “the one,” we will continue to tread through these messy situations.

Image: vichie81 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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