Do Women Create the Hook-Up Culture?

by Maggie Gallagher

Hanna Rosin tries to shock the conscience of the trendy nation (yawn) by claiming in The Atlantic that women are the driving force creating a hook-up culture on college campuses. Many women may like the hook up culture and Rosin may have interviewed them all.

I don’t think she considered this study, for example, which found:

Overall, both genders showed a preference for traditional dating over hooking up. However, of those students who strongly preferred traditional dating, there were significantly more women than men (41 percent versus 20 percent). Of those who showed a strong preference for hooking up, there were far fewer women than men (2 percent versus 17 percent). However, context mattered: when considering the possibility of a long-term relationship, both women and men preferred dating over hooking up; however, when the possibility of a relationship was not mentioned, men preferred hooking up and women preferred dating.

On the whole, men and women agreed on the benefits and risks of dating and hooking up.

However, there were some notable differences:

Women more than men seem to want a relationship. They fear, both in dating and hooking up, that they will become emotionally attached to a partner who is not interested in them.

Men more than women seem to value independence. They fear that even in hooking up relationships, which are supposed to be free of commitments, a woman might seek to establish a relationship.

This is not a nationally representative sample. So who knows.  But in at least an attempt to objectively determine what women want, just 2 percent of female college students preferred hooking up; college men were eight times more likely to prefer hooking up.

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