Bogle’s Three Sexual Scripts…How Have Things Changed?

In Kathleen A. Bogle’s novel Hooking Up, she describes the three sexual scripts throughout history and how we have gotten to the script we are at today. The first script is called “calling culture” and was primary until the mid-1920s. Calling culture was dictated by the girl and her mom. Her mom had all the power to say who is allowed to come into their home and “court” the girl. Courting was considered as “more of a career move than a romantic interlude for young men” ( Courting was done with the intent to marry, and was generally acted upon by members of the upper class. It is a perfect example of gender and power because the mother and daughter had all of the power in this situation. The boy would attempt to call the daughter, and the mother would decide if she wanted to invite the boy in or not. In addition, the young women would have multiple suiters, an idea that is exactly opposite than in today’s world because in many cultures, males are allowed to have multiple girlfriends or even wives. The mom had two major jobs in calling culture. First, she was to make sure that things between the daughter and a suiter did not go too far. She knew that there was always a logical line. Thankfully, knowing that this was more of a business decision for both parties saying that “all of a woman’s property reverted to [the man] upon marriage” (, neither the daughter nor her suitor led either of them on when they weren’t serious in the relationship. The second job by the mom was to keep lines of appropriateness and suitability intact.

After calling culture led to dating culture. Dating culture lasted throughout the 1920s-1960s. Surprisingly, dating culture in this time was used in the lower class. The word “dating” was considered as a derogatory term because when there was no more room in the lower-class home for a couple to have a date, they had to go out somewhere else to have time together. The couples were much more independent and were able to have much more time for themselves, so the upper class soon adopted dating culture. The younger crowd was who was most into dating and they realized that if they could go out to different places, then they would get more alone time. In the first two months of dating culture, women tended to judge men on their looks, what fraternity they were in, their memberships, and what they had materially. On the other hand, men tended to rate women solely on their looks. I believe this idea, that women were rated solely on their looks, and the idea that the transportation to get to the dates was tough led into hookup culture.

Hookup culture started in the mid-60s and still goes on today currently. Hookup culture occurs in high schools, colleges, and even after college, but the majority of hookup culture occurs in college. Hookup culture for males is defined as hooking up with as many women as they can and then being congratulated for it. If females did the same thing, on the other hand, they would gain derogatory labels like “slut” or “whore”.

I think this portion of Bogle’s novel titled Hooking Up relates significantly to the concept analysis post written by @starrsara14 titled “What’s Sex Got to Do With…Does This Shirt Make Me Look Like a Slut?” Personally, I found this blog post incredibly interesting and relatable. I think this relates to Bogle’s description of the 3 sexual scripts significantly between the dating and hookup stages of the sexual script. The two reasons why I believe the dating changed to hookup is one, because of the  transportation issue of dating and two, because of the fact that women were only judged by the men on their looks. I believe that this idea made the change into hookup culture because the idea of hooking up, specifically on college campuses, begins with when a guy thinks a girl is cute, they start flirting and then they go for it. The guys feel like they can just go for it because when they hookup with girls, they are congratulated for it. On the other hand, when girls hook up with a lot of guys, they gain stigmatizing labels like “slut”. This specifically leads to the idea of girls not wanting to look like a slut with the clothes that they wear because they don’t want to gain these specific derogatory labels. The idea that males only judge females on what they look like and even what they are wearing makes girls gain the labels like “slut” that they try to avoid. This, in turn, is one of the reasons that girls went from having the power in the relationship in calling culture to having very little power in hookup culture.

An example of this idea that girls don’t have the power in relationships anymore is shown in the MTV reality TV series “16 and Pregnant”. This show is filmed with a lot of unrealistic drama, but the message I am trying to portray happens in our society more and more every day. Maci, a girl from Chattanooga, TN and her boyfriend Ryan had a little boy together named Bentley. Recently, Ryan chose to randomly leave Maci and Bentley. This is a perfect example of how girls don’t get treated with a portion of respect in modern day culture than they did in calling culture before the 1920s.

The real question behind this is simple: how did we get from calling culture, where women had the power of the relationship, to hookup culture, where women have very little power and only gain social stigmas? Is my evaluation right, or is there more to it? Also, why does one gender have to be in power in hookup culture? Marriages are supposed to be equal, so why in hookup culture does one gender have to gain all the sexual labels and one be congratulated for hooking up with people?