Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Loose Women on Campus?

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"Hooking up" means having some form of sex, ranging from petting to intercourse, with someone who may or may not know well, usually without much thought. The point may be pleasure, because hookups take less time than dating, or to get social status, or even stress. The sex may be consensual, or if the young woman has been drinking, she may not even remember it. The sex may also be protected, but given the sexually transmitted infection rates on college campuses, it is probably not. In theory, the cultural support of hooking up seems to give women the same freedom that men have always enjoyed - sex without emotional ties. Unfortunately, women rarely do things that do not have emotional ties, and the "pleasure" from a hookup, may not be worth the emotional let down when the hookup fails to be "Mr.Right."

According to a new book by Laura Sessions Stepp called "Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both," sex on college campuses for young women today means joyless encounters devoid of pleasure, leading to cynical and depressed young women. She reports her conclusions are supported by interviews with "dozens" of young women that resulted in the book, which is a story about nine girls over the period of one year.

I am pretty ambivalent about this and think a lot more research and interviews need to be completed before I buy the dismal conclusions. I look forward to your comments!

Photo credit: popofatticus

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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