Nasty hookup websites
Students are less happy and healthy than in previous generations, less so even than just ten or twenty years ago." A very important book.
I follow Lisa Wade on Facebook, and I find her posts to be interesting, so when I saw she had a book published, i was interested. Excerpts she posted were great (see link to a Guardian article, below), but I worried the full book would be dry. This is fascinating and enlightening and, ultimately, reassuring.
The author did a good job of describing the culture on campus rather than just focusing on what is happening, which I thought was a good approach.
She draws on broad, original, insightful research to explore a challenging emotional landscape, full of opportunitie Offering invaluable insights for students, parents, and educators, Lisa Wade analyzes the mixed messages of hookup culture on today’s college campuses within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution.
The obvious callouts are here, but the main message is that hookup perpetuates white, hetero, gender stereotypes for both men and women.
And, as a culture,*3.5 stars*A serious academic looks at hookup culture in the round, terrifying anyone who wishes they could relive their undergrad days. There's an anthropological strain here, which dispassionately looks at the culture, its norms, and its understood rules, including an almost deep-play Geertzian explanation of grinding.
She came to speak on campus in April and although I couldn't go, I decided to at least read the book. This book is her research, largely told through stories from interviews she conducted and journal entries Wade gleaned from students on her campus and many other campuses. But some things did surprise me, like how the research showed that this hookup culture is mostly embraced by white students.
She explains hookup culture, the cultural norm of "emotionless" encounters, the role alcohol plays, issues of consent and sexual assault, what happens to students who don't want to play the hookup game, how hookup culture effects relationships beyond college, etc. As someone who mentors, teaches, and writes for young adults, many things in this exceptionally researched book came as no surprise, like how drinking alcohol and hooking up were often linked. My heart broke many times for these young men and women who force themselves to shut out all emotion to have "fun" or "meaningless hookups" or hookups in the hope that they'll actually find a meaningful relationship only to be crushed when they're completely ignored.