CNN has a story today about a growing movement called the “Love and Fidelity Network,” described in the article as “a secular, nonprofit group dedicated to helping college students open the discussion for a lifestyle that doesn’t involve casual sexual activity with anonymous or uncommitted partners.”
The article focuses on the way the hookup culture on many college campuses puts special pressure on girls. Girls oftentimes feel pressured to conform to a lifestyle of casual sex because that’s the script they see on TV, and that’s what their friends tell them is normal, and ultimately, that’s all many guys are offering.
Here’s a great snippet from the article:
On Facebook.com, several groups are rooting for the traditional dates. The motto on the group Bring Dating Back reads, “This group is for all those girls who wish that once in a while a guy would take her out on a date before trying to get her into bed. At least invite us to dinner before expecting us to get down and dirty!”
Vanderbilt student Boyle says her decision she made at the end of her freshman year to quit hooking up came with criticism. She is still surrounded by friends and peers who do it.
She’s already lost some guy friends who couldn’t understand her decision. But Boyle counters, “They probably weren’t my friends anyway.”
In my own experience, the on-campus sexual culture prevalent these days (in which there’s no real connection between sex and genuine relationships) has an especially negative effect on girls. They are more often the ones who come out of it feeling cheated, dissatisfied, and, in some cases, struggling with low self-esteem.
Most universities offer no guidance for students except to shove heaps of condoms at them and tell them to “be safe.” University health “experts” give little thought to the emotional repercussions of sex.
I know that it’s not politically correct to admit that there are any differences between men and women, but studies show that more women than men are dissatisfied by their sexual experiences in college. There is a certain school that would tell you that this difference is due to girls’ internalization of the outdated mores of some repressive patriarchal system. But I think it’s because the hookup culture is so heavily slanted against forming real relationships. Anyone who knows women knows they place a high value on relationships.
Casual sex doesn’t produce deep relationships. When casual sex is the only kind of relationship available, guys don’t benefit morally or spiritually, I would argue. Yet young women seem to get the worst of the bargain because of the high emotional cost they often bear. As the article explains in one example:
Casual hook ups fueled by alcohol may be the norm across college campuses, but Boyle, now a 21-year-old junior at the school, chose to stop. Her reasons to quit hooking up echo the emotional devastation of many college students, particularly girls whose hearts are broken by the hook-up scene.
“I saw it [hooking up] as a way to be recognized and get satisfaction,” said Boyle, shaking her blond ponytail. “I felt so empty then.”
College girls are the special target of a radical sexual culture on today’s college campuses. It is a culture that asks of them everything and offers them nothing. It is presided over by a legion of leftist academics who have been enamored of the sexual revolution ever since the summer of love. These leftists enjoy calling themselves feminists, but they fail to see that the sexual revolution left many young women feeling powerless.
What’s a girl to do if she wants — you know — actual love? Girls often see a shallow hookup culture as the only option. Many acquiesce. But through groups like the Love and Fidelity Network, I am glad to say, some girls (and guys) are searching for better ways to love and relate.
(FYI: How girls are uniquely affected by the college hookup culture is the topic of an essay I am contributing to a book out later this year entitled Proud to Be Right: Voices of the Next Conservative Generation, edited by NRO’s own Jonah Goldberg.)