The term sexual script refers to society’s view of normal sexual behavior. These perceptions of normality contribute to how people act, as they compel them to behave in a way that is in alignment with sexual scripts to receive social acceptance. Sexual scripts are dependent upon who, what, when, where, why and how these scripts shape how sexual expression is revealed in society. Different expectations are placed on men and women and they vary based on time and place.
A person’s direct environment influences his or her behavior. The beach is a place where teens and young adults typically wear minimal clothing and engage in sexual interactions. Therefore, beaches are a breeding ground for hookup culture to flourish, as normal behavior is viewed differently in this setting. Because of the circumstances, being sexually promiscuous may be thought of as more common and socially acceptable at the beach.
In the book, Hooking Up, Kathleen A. Bogle points out how college hookup culture is available at beaches for young adults who are now in the real world and want a break from the pressures of dating. This is particularly the case, as working young adults usually travel in large groups, creating a similar sense of safety and security that college campuses offer. People do not need to worry about the logistics of spending the night with someone, as it is common for places to be located within walking distance and for people to rent houses together at beaches. Essentially the ease and security available at college campuses is paralleled at beach locations, making hookup culture more possible. Consequently, hardworking postgraduates who miss their college days can reminisce through a summer vacation and revert back to the college sexual scripts of promiscuity.
Another factor that possibly contributes to beach hookup culture for college students and young adults is alcohol consumption. People more readily behave promiscuously because alcohol weakens their inhibitions and enables them to more freely express their sexual desires.
In the beginning of Nicki Minaj’s song, Starships, the party-like atmosphere at beaches is very evident. When she sings about the beach in her song she describes it as a getaway and mentions drinking Bud Light beer there. The media promotes partying and drinking alcohol at the beach, which is associated with sexual scripts that are in alignment with hookup culture.
Why do you think beaches promote hookup culture? Have you observed this? What sexual scripts are evident in society today?