A double standard is “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups” (dictionary.com). I completely hate that there is a double standard especially when it comes to genders. Excuse my language but it is bullshit knowing that guys can do one thing and when girls then do it they get scolded or shamed. For our group project, my partners and I looked at gender double standards and there are a good amount. Clearly most people know about the double standards against women more than they do men.
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.
Sex and hooking up are terms that are synonymous in many ways while at the same time meaning entirely different ideas. In today’s world, hookup culture is the standard, sex has taken the idea of allowing a person to be sexual without being in love, meaning sex has nothing to do with love or getting to know someone personally it’s all about the end results. In my earlier years of life I remember no one ever talked about having sex. If someone liked someone they would write love letters, talk on the phone for hours at night, put that person they liked first by either holding doors open, or even allowing their partner to meet their family. Today’s society has a completely different outlook on what it means to like someone. For example, hookup culture has become the approach of easy access to sex. Because hookup culture is so powerful in today’s society, many people would say that it has ruined the dating scene. Although, the idea of hookup culture is alive in the world, I believe that “hookup culture” isn’t real. Meaning that people use this term to protect themselves from being called other names, “it’s all a part of the hookup culture.” Hook up culture is also a way that a lot of people commodotize their bodies in exchange for love. A lot of people feel like they are forced to hook up or they won’t be appealing to people who they are attracted to. For example, hook up culture at Vanderbilt has really dismantled the dating scene and it’s very seldom that one sees a couple on campus. On the other hand, frat parties are a breeding ground for hook ups and you can expect to see at least one couple hooking up at a party.
How do we know if hook up culture is desired by students or if students want a stronger dating scene?
How can we combat hook up culture?
Does hook up culture create an environment conducive to sexual assault?
Kathleen Bogle’s book, Hooking Up, devotes an entire chapter to discussing the double standard as it exists on college campuses. In it, she illustrates how women are seen as “good” if they do not have sex with many people, do not dress provocatively, and take things slow and wait awhile to have sex. A “bad” girl is one who may be incredibly sexy, but has sex with many men, dresses improperly, and has sex when she wants to. Bogle’s research has shown that men and women in hookup cultures want different things; men want only sex and women want relationships. Now, (setting aside psychological reasons like women being more emotional and getting attached more easily) some women are looking for relationships because they want to marry in a few years. Other women may feel the need to be in relationships to protect their reputations and not be labeled “sluts” for having sex. As far as sex goes, men can have sex as much as they want to without having to worry about any sort of social backlash; they have basically no rules. For women, however, it is a different story. It is very easy for a woman to get a bad reputation– if she hooks up too often, hooks up with too many different people, hooks up with two friends (or frat brothers), dresses too scandalously, or behaves too wildly. When women do engage in these no-no’s, they are labeled as “sluts,” stigmatized, ostracized, and not seen as candidates for relationships. It seems women who want to be in relationships almost have to trick or coerce the men to be in them. Bogle found that guys are a little more willing to enter into friends-with-benefits relationships, although they are still worried about women wanting “more.” Because clearly men and women want different things, men want hookups and women want relationships, why do women not opt-out? Men are in a higher position of power within hookup culture, because that is all that they want. If women choose not to participate in hookup culture, they don’t really have any other options.
As an undergraduate female at Vanderbilt, I have seen, and even experienced firsthand, much of the double standard and differing goals of male and female students. One guy I’ve heard of is extremely well known for hooking up with lots of girls; people who talk of him almost regard him with a sort of awe. On the other hand, my female friend was once worrying about being seen dancing on guys at parties, as she didn’t want to get a bad rep like some other girls who were known for sleeping around. Guys really don’t have many “rules” governing what kind of behavior is acceptable. Hooking up with someone else’s girlfriend may make him mad at you, but you’ll still probably gain a lot of esteem from your friends. Really, guys can hook up with whomever they want, whenever they want, and not face much (if any) stigma. Girls, however, have to watch their steps. I do not agree with these labels or stigma, but I am describing what I see as dominant scripts here on campus. A woman who avoids sex and parties altogether may be branded a “good girl,” someone innocent and naive, or possibly a “goody-goody” who stands on a moral high ground above the other people who do engage in those behaviors. She can’t be too “good,” but woman cannot go too far in the other direction either. If she drinks and parties too much, she may get a name for that, especially if she makes a habit of getting “sloppily” drunk, passing out, or throwing up. If a woman has sex with too many people, she is seen as a “slut,” and then is less desirable. If a woman is looking for a relationship, she can’t have sex with the candidate too soon, or else he won’t see her as relationship material (I just want to point out that it takes two to tango here, he had sex just as soon as she did). Now, a woman’s safest bet here is to have a boyfriend (if she can snag one), or even a friend-with-benefits. She wouldn’t be judged for sleeping with too many people, or regarded as “too good” to hook up with anyone.
The problem is that a large amount of guys are not looking for relationships. They view college, especially the first couple years, as a time to let loose and have fun. Everyone just wants to party and live the college experience, right? I think that many freshmen, guys and girls, come into college with this mentality, but that over time, it gradually changes. I agree that girls are more likely to want relationships, but that there is no clear course to finding one when hooking up seems to be the only option.
I think this double standard is completely ridiculous, though the solution is not to start slut-shaming men equally. Men and women should be able to have sex whenever, however, and with whomever they want (with consent). No one should have to feel embarrassed about their sexuality. Having sex does not make someone a bad person. Our culture needs to recognize women as sexual beings with desires of their own who can make choices for themselves and do not need the fear of outside judgment to keep them in line. It is absurd to me that today, in 2014, men and women are still not equals. They may be protected from discriminatory practices by law, but in social situations with socially constructed rules and scripts for behavior, men are often favored.
How do you think we can work to eradicate the double standard? Why do you think guys do not seem to want relationships, but girls do? Does the double standard apply to non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people?
With students attending college now more than ever, the hookup scene and culture have grown in popularity. Whereas college was once a male dominated space, the presence of women on college campuses has surpassed that of men. In Hooking Up, author Kathleen Bogle writes that for every 100 women on campus, there are approximately 80 men. T Continue reading