Hooking Up

Since when did people start using the term “hooking up”? For as long as I can remember, people have used the phrase “hooking up” to refer to having a sexual encounter with another person. On the other hand, neither of my parents had heard of it before my generation. Where did the word even come from? To start, I think the term may have been developed to give people the luxury of being vague about a sexual experience. As younger and younger people started having some type of sexual experience earlier and earlier in life, a maturity issue must have been developing. These boys or girls are not at the age where they are comfortable talking about the actions that they are performing. This lack of maturity was the reason the word hooking up was even made.

The word eventually blew up into a term used on a daily bases. It would be hard for a sentence to be said without using the word hooking up. Nowadays, hooking up is one of the most talked about things on college campuses. The consequences however are what needs to be talked about. Hooking up made definitions and sexual acts so vague that interpretations can be made from extreme to boring. False rumors get spread that can make a girl regret trusting anyone. The world hooking up is dangerous to the mental health of teens.

To further understand hooking up, I think who we “hook up” with needs to be talked about. In most cases, heteronormative stances occupy the social aspect that is hooking up. Thus, shaming and diminishing the queer movement. Homophobic tendencies controlled the means in which hooking up was used, turning it into a danger. Hooking up never meant to be a word that sparked controversy into the gay community. Although people knew this, the LGBTQI community felt disrespected.

Reflection on TIME magazine

As I reflected back on the experience I had in this class and all the new, enlightening information that I learned, it became clear that our last months focus on sexual assault really hit home with me.  Its weird however, as I or no one I know has ever been sexually assaulted.   What drew me close was the act that I had no knowledge at all on the subject and no idea of some of the things I was oblivious to while being at Vanderbilt.  Now that Ive taken this class, I believe everyone should have some type of education when it comes to sex and it makes us all do in society.  That being said, the TIMES magazine articles that we read about real people and their stories or opinions was the most specific aspect of our chapter on sexual assault that will stay with me the longest.

To begin with, many of the concepts talked about in the articles by TIME magazine were topics that I could personally relate to on a deeper level than some of the other ways the information was presented.  The articles focused solely on college campuses which allowed me to think of the time Ive spent at Vanderbilt.  Also, topics such as fraternities, which is a very big deal at a school like Vanderbilt, and athletics, because I play tennis for Vanderbilt were even more of a reason that I was drawn to the information.  Articles were written about how schools will do anything in their power to deny the fact that it has a sexual assault problem.  If an athlete commits a sexual crime, than the school’s athletic program is to blame because the athletic program has a sexual assault problem, not the school.  If a frat member rapes a girl, the fraternity system has a problem and thus sanctions thrown at only that fraternity occurs.  Other articles talked about different radical ideas such as shutting down fraternities, double standards, and just personal sexual assault experiences to spread the word about an ongoing problem that many people are unaware of.  These articles shed light on people in high positions looking out for themselves and not the betterment of the community at large.

Wrapping things up and reflecting back on the first day of class, I can say with complete honesty that my expectations of the course were completely different than the reality.  In this case, I was pleasantly surprised and learned more about our culture that we live in as college students and also human nature when it comes to sexual urges.  At the end of the day, experiences are what matter most.

The double standard and possible solutions to the problem

We all know about it, but few do something to change it.  Men love it, and women hate it.  What am I? I am the double standard that is present when it comes to hooking up as it relates to men and women.  As most of us know, guys are celebrated and even idolized by their male peers for “getting with” or “getting it in with” an attractive or what his friends would deem as an attractive female.  “Damn bro, you’re so lucky. How was it?” or “F you man I’m jealous” are phrases constantly thrown around the male community when it comes to sex with girls.  On the other hand, females are called nasty things when they have any type of sexual encounter with males.

Things I’ve learned about the double standard: Women are the ones calling each other sluts.  It is very rare a guy would refer to a girl as a slut when talking to his friends.  On the other hand, girls gossip and shit talk each other like it’s their jobs.  If girls hate being called a slut, then why call another girl a slut just because she had sex with this guy or that guy? Does it really matter how many guys someone may sleep with? Does it negatively affect your life? If the answer to these questions are no then calling another girl a slut cannot be justified.  Even if the answer to the questions were yes, let a girl be who she is and don’t judge her on it.  It is hard enough already for girls to be who they are openly before they are called names and constantly judged.

On the other side of things, why do guys praise each other so much for having sex with a lot of girls? For one, guys can talk more openly about sex with each other than I think girls can and they can be truthful in saying they want to have sex really badly or are sex deprived.  Women on the other hand tend to feel embarrassed or shamed if they have a sexual attraction to someone and usually keep it in to themselves.  Also, guys are also more open in telling their friends if they had sex with someone or not rather than keep it in to themselves.  For a lot of guys, it’s about the quantity and not the quality and for this, they feel no shame in bragging about all the sex they are having.

What are the ways to stop this double standard one may ask? To start, opening up the “asking the other person out” lines to both genders could be a start.  This way the male doesn’t always seem like the aggressive one and the one looking for the girl.  Can you imagine a world in which girls asked out guys as much as guys asked out girls?  At first, girls would be called names such as “thirsty” because this would not be a norm.  As time went on however, and more and more girls started to act in this manner, the act would be normalized and not judged.  This would keep women and men on the same playing field and in turn get rid of all the slut shaming.

The next step would be acceptance.  Females would have to accept the fact they like having sex just as much as men in general and because of it should be able to try to obtain it as much as they would like.  The more this happens, the more girls who would change.  Every social trend is generational and takes time to develop.  Maybe the results would not come quick enough to affect the generation that I belong to, but why not save the next one? Men wouldn’t brag about all the sex they are having and who they are having it with because sex would be so normalized that it wouldn’t take an expert or a stud to have a lot of it.  In my opinion there is a positive correlation between the number of girls calling each other sluts and the number of guys praising their friends.  When one starts going down, the other will join.  However, the slut shaming is the start of the problem so it needs to be the first part of the solution.

Rapping things up, I think that time is the biggest and most sacred thing we have as humans in order to fix a social problem.  Slut shaming is a serious issue that has caused depression and even suicides.  The feminist movement and ideals say that men and women should be equals and one should not have advantages or powers over the other.  This being said, guys should not be idolized for having a lot of sex and girls should not be pushed down for having sex either.  Sex should be something that is cherished at the point of it, but not obsessed over after the fact.  Our brains create ideas and beliefs that we know not to be true in order to fill a niche or role in a group of people.  At the end of the day, we all want to be accepted and loved.

Sexual Assaults: The problems behind the problems

As my group and I started our final project on sexual assaults on campus, I started to think to myself that the people who have no care or urge to help the ongoing problems are probably the ones engaging in them.  I started thinking that gathering all the data and information about what is happening at Vanderbilt is great and all but what is it doing directly to bring change?  We know how many assaults are happen per year, who it usually happens to, where they usually occur, between what times they occur most frequently, and what is involved in the scenario such as drugs or alcohol.  With this knowledge it would seem like solving the issues would be a piece of cake.  This could not be further from the truth.

To start, as our results showed, most sexual assaults occur in dorm rooms between the times of 8pm and 3am.  What should be done to counteract this?  A couple ideas come to mind but don’t seem like they are plausible.  First thing the school could do is after freshman year, make living off campus a priority instead of the other way around.  The school makes way too much money on students living in dorms for four years in a row that it seems that they would never make the switch to an off campus based approach.  Having students more spread out and not so close to each other could potentially slow down the assaults.  If going back to your apartment makes it easier to escape some of the people at school than why should the administration tell you that this isn’t allowed?  Think about it: a fraternity is having an on campus party and everyone is really drunk.  Someone you know is being really creepy with you and you feel uncomfortable.  Instead of going back to the same dorm in which this person lives, you call a taxi and go to an apartment complex with people from the real world and not just fellow students.  As the statistics show, stranger danger is a myth and most sexual assaults occur from people who are known to you.

Next, if we know that alcohol is a contributing factor to sexual assaults why are limits and sanctions not being made?  College students are at a very awkward age in which they feel as if drinking is the only way to have fun and come out of ones shell.  Its either get really drunk and be ridiculous or don’t go out at all because there is no point.  If this mentality won’t change, then alcohol all together should be what needs to be limited.  The problem with this is that the school would never ban alcohol on campus because Vanderbilt would be far less attractive to many incoming huh school students who want to party and receive a great education for four years.  Fraternities will never take alcohol away from their own parties because they think getting drunk is cool and taking it away would limit the frats reputation as being fun.  Thus, the attractive and cooler girls would never show up to their parties.

Lastly, if we know that woman are far more likely to be sexually assaulted than men, why aren’t there more ways in which the school offers protection for them.  As we all know, men tend to be bigger in stature than women and usually a bit stronger.  Would there be a problem offering self-defense classes, mandatory check-ins with friends, or always having someone with you at all times while out?  For men, why aren’t there more educational classes, seminars, or groups that talk about sexual assault and what counts as consent and what does not.  The lines are not so black and white as we would all like it to be.  When it comes to consent there are ton of grey areas in which people who study and work to try to protect people from assault do not have a complete grasp on.

With all the studies, information available, and resources that give us knowledge on how to protect the people at this school, I believe the leaders and people in charge are blinded by the money flowing through their bank accounts that they lose sight of the real issues and problems at hand.  They have everything they need to fix the problems, but would rather add another zero to the end of their salary.  We know letting people live off campus would be detrimental to the total income of the school, but at least use some of that money to hire better security officers or people who have safety as the number one priority.  We know banning alcohol is very unlikely to happen at a University such as Vanderbilt, but have bans on the amount, type, and who receives it.  We know woman are assaulted a much higher rate than men but no measures are set to specifically help them.

With this all being said, I believe strides have been taken to make Vanderbilt safer. But is it enough?

What’s Sex got to do with….fraternities ?

Why is it such a big deal to be in a fraternity? For some, it’s about hanging out with a lot of people you may like or having a brotherhood that will last forever.  For others, the reason is that being in a fraternity will help them get more girls to have sex with.  For some reason college girls find an attraction with a guy being in a fraternity.  A frat guy has the appearance of liking to have a good time and show their girls a good time.  Events such as socials, date functions, and formals all turn out to be organized parties or gatherings that end with sex between the “couple” for the night.

Is being in a frat mean that you are socially accepted my most females and thus, able to hookup or have sex with?  Is sex more about someone’s social acceptance in college or about the actual act of sex?  Is it more about telling people who you had sex with and how it happened or about actually enjoying the experience?  I personally think that sex in college has turned into a competition between guys and other guys and between girls and other girls.  Fighting for who had sex with a better looking or more fun person.  Gone are the days that good sex is between a couple that has chemistry and understands the other persons body and their likes and dislikes.  With all the competition thats going on, how could one really even know what their partner wants when all the worry is about who your going to tell and how they are going to judge?  This game or battle is even more prevalent between fraternities to try and see which one is better.  Better is judged by the parties they throw and the girls that show up to them.  Said Sadiqa Thornton,” Sex doesn’t sell.  Erosion of female self esteem does.  The feeling of superiority over women does.  Turning women into “things” to be studied and judged and then calling it “sex” does. Sex doesn’t sell. Objectification does.”  This means that the judgement and the competition that was referred to earlier is what people are getting excited about now a days, not sex.

What’s Sex Got To Do With….Marriage, Religion and hookup culture?

Growing up as a jewish boy, in a jewish community, with jewish friends, norms and customs were put on me at an early age that I never realized until now. Fast forward to my sophomore year in college and my ideals and beliefs have drastically changed thanks to the wide variety of friends and people I have met. I was supposed to marry a jewish girl and have a couple kids with her and send them to a jewish elementary school, hebrew school, and then have them have a bar or bat mitzvah. These expectations seemed to be reasonable as that life sounded like something I could do. Something changed however in my thinking when I got to high school. I started experiencing new things, and had an urge to try these things. Suddenly, I didn’t want an ideal jewish life, I wanted a life in which I would love and cherish and with that I decided to broaden my scope and be more open to possibilities I never believed were possible.

How does all of this relate to sex? To start, growing up has taught me that I don’t need to go searching for things I may feel missing in my life and just enjoy the things that are present. Speaking for most of my generations people, I can say that this hookup culture that many speak of has a lot to do with the idea that we are not necessarily looking to settle down any time soon and find someone that our parents would accept. Rather, trying to find who we are as people and letting the other things such as girlfriends and dating happen on there own. The hookup culture is less about having less time to date, and more about keeping our lives simple and not being someone we’re not.

What’s Sex Got To Do With….Everyday life?

Why do we as human beings obsess and focus so much of our attentions on what some might say to be unimportant? Whats the huge deal about sex anyways? Why does it consume our minds, thoughts, and actions? For one, sex is everywhere around us, from the movies we watch on television to the advertisements that pop up on our computers everyday. Are we as humans so obsessed with sex that marketers place “sexy” things on websites to entice our interests, or does them putting all these things up for everyone to see make us obsess over sex? What came first, the chicken or the egg? We all realize the fact that sex drives dinner conversations, small talk with friends, and even classrooms, but never really question it.

For starts, as creatures of this world, humans are naturally drawn to sex because of the mere fact that reproduction is key to our existence as a species. This however is not what all the ruckus is about. I believe that people obsess over sex because they want to fit in and feel apart of something bigger than themselves. It’s like a cycle that never seems to end. When we reach a certain age in our lives, the expectation is that we focus our attention to sex. Sex is our scapegoat to all our issues in our lives that one may go through. School, family, extra curricular activities, friends, and other issues or stressors can all be quickly and maybe even artificially relieved from sex. According to studies, sex is one of the only times in a persons life that their minds are completely focused or at piece from what they are doing. Even as this paper is being written, random thoughts pop into my head at ease. We love sex as humans because we feel more connected with ourselves than at any other point.