Most people see college as the easiest time to have sex with friends, classmates, or strangers. It is probably the only period in life where thousands of young people live in the same community and have (for the most part) a similar goal in mind: sex. For this reason, I see college campuses as domes of sex, and this sexual vibe will not disappear anytime soon. In Chapter 5: The Campus as a Sexual Arena of “Hooking Up”, Kathleen A. Bogle analyses the prominence of sex in college and how it elicits misperceptions and certain behaviors among students.
This Sex and Society course has taught me about extremely important issues, mentalities, and trends regarding sex and its connection to society. I believe that the societal construction of binaries and stereotypes is the most important concept because it crosses all sexual boundaries and has a major impact on groups in society. We learned that society often creates binaries to categorize certain groups and apply stereotypes to these groups. Binaries allow people to easily apply certain stereotypes and narrow-minded opinions to groups of people, and this often leads to discrimination or systems of hierarchy. Ever since I learned about this concept, I have seen it reoccur constantly in readings and discussion. It seems that it is almost human nature to mentally categorize certain groups as one and the same, leaving little opportunity for the genuine acceptance of authentic and distinct personalities.
As college students at Vanderbilt, I am sure we are all familiar with the overwhelming influence of the hookup culture. Even if you don’t engage in hooking up yourself, it is hard to avoid noticing the random make-outs at fraternity parties or the loud sex noises from the room next door. This overwhelming increase in sexual interactions since high school should logically come as no surprise. College students are given the freedom and often times the encouragement to engage in intimate interactions without repercussions from parents or detention warnings from teachers. But why is hooking up so popular now and what characteristics of hooking up affect the social and emotional lives of college students? In Chapter 3: The Hookup of “Hooking Up”, Kathleen A. Bogle analyses this trend and personally interviews college students to get an authentic account of what hookup culture is all about.
It is difficult to imagine living in a foreign world where you are basically forced to act a certain way, both sexually and emotionally, based on your occupation and stereotype. This is exactly what Filipina maids in Lebanon must do. These live-in maids face double standards, narrow stereotypes, and racial hierarchies that mold many of their personalities and sexualities in ways that appease Lebanese society. Hayeon Lee addresses this unique phenomenon in her article, “The Public and Hidden Sexualities of Filipina Women in Lebanon.”
If you asked me to describe college in three general words I would probably say Academics, Activities, and Alcohol. I call these the three A’s of college, and although they constitute a huge aspect of many people’s college experience, I would like to focus on alcohol in particular. More specifically I want to address the role that alcohol plays in hooking up. I’m sure we are all aware of alcohol’s role as a social drink or “social lubricant”. Certain students get drunk to fit in with the crowd while others use this distorted state of mind to give them the confidence pursue a hookup. Some men also encourage girls to drink lots of alcohol so that they are more likely to want to engage in intimate activity due to their drunken state of mind. This concept of alcohol as a sexual tool is the theme for the popular comedy, “Superbad”.
Technology and social media are aspects of our modern society that few can live without. Apps and websites such as Facebook, Tinder, and Grindr, make social connecting simple; perhaps too simple. Social media has a major influence on modern hook up and intimacy, and it has changed the way we interact with others. Simply put, social media makes it easier to hook up with strangers and forget about the whole “get to know each other” ordeal (aka dating). In the movie “Sex Drive” a teenager named Ian goes on a road trip with his two friends in hopes of hooking up with a gorgeous girl he met online.
Most of us have probably experienced the social double standards associated with sex. Guys who sleep with a lot of women are seen as charismatic players and girls who sleep around are seen as sluts. This sexual double standard implies that a man and a woman can both sleep with five people over the span of a month, and the man will likely be hailed as a ladies man while the woman will be considered a whore. This sexual phenomenon seems to permeate men and women of all ages. The comedy film “Easy A” perfectly depicts this double standard in a modern high school setting.