This video created by College Humor shows six stereotypes of girls that guys have the “misfortune” of dating. These girls include the Athletic One, the One Who Likes to Party, the One Who Goes to Church, the Dumb Hot One, the Friend, and the Perfect One (who unlike the rest is very desirable but unable to be kept for long). While this video is intended to be a humorous portrayal of what college girls are like when they are dating someone, the objectification of the women in these videos is undeniable, and the outlandish stenotypes further add to the notion that dating in college is an unnecessary burden, resulting in the conclusion that “hook ups” are the only option.
Across the country, college students pride themselves on the success of a hook up and in some cases the number of hook ups that can occur in a given week or even night. This type of culture stems in some degree from the fast paced world we live in and as well as a decrease in face to face conversations that have come as a result of new technology. However, certain stigmas about dating have also arisen over the years contributing to a lessened desire to date or find a significant other while in college. This change in intimacies amongst young adult is described in “Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus” by Kathleen A. Bogle. In her writings, Bogle documents interview responses from college students and their thoughts on the ever-confusing hook up culture.
Bogle notes that the word “hook up” has many connotations and that each young adult may interpret its meaning differently. Some factors that may contribute to an individuals’ use of the word hook up include the type of upbringing they have had, whether religious and conservative or progressive and liberal, or even the sexual encounters they have had prior to leaving home for college. A hook up can occur randomly on or off campus as a result of intoxication and poor decisions, or may come as a result of a set up by mutual friends. It can be noted that male students who seek only physical relationships rather than emotional or intellectual ones may be the ones to provoke many hook ups on college campus. As demonstrated in the video above, many stereotypes of what relationships can be like deter students from engaging in more serious relationship for the four years they are away at school. The video also suggests that dating is something desired by most girls but is a burden or inconvenience for guys. The video shows the couples in two primary situations, the initial meeting and the hook up. I think the clip should be more accurately labeled the people you hook up with in college rather than the people you date, since the simplicity of the video suggests that little more beyond sexual interactions occurred between the couples. Furthermore the video suggests that the first step for a girl to find an individual to date begins with a hook up rather than getting to know the individual.
All these contribute to the confusing world that is college. Unfortunately, Vanderbilt is no exception to these rules and stereotypes. Vanderbilt has a very visible hook up culture with a not so unique heteronormative feel. The hook up culture sounds the ever-present Greek Life and has to some degree become centered on drunken nights at parties and bars. When asked their opinions on the matter, students respond with a range of answers. Many agree that it is the most convenient and easy way of engaging in sexual activities without the commitments required by relationships. Male students overwhelmingly seem to support the idea of a hook up culture, which makes me wonder whether female students simply agree with the idea to please or impress guys on campus. Still, there are students who support the idea of dating while in school, and to a lesser degree, dating with the intention of finding a future spouse. This video demonstrates the confusion between dating and hooking up and how to find the line between the two.
Whether or not individuals enjoy casual hook ups, they an inescapable aspect of college life. Students must now figure out what they want and how to transition into more serious relationships when they feel it is necessary. Do you think that the hook up culture is simply a phase in the history of college campuses, much like calling and dating? Or is it a permanent fix on campuses with the arrival of new technology and fewer human interactions?