“Hookup” has become a buzzword, a misleading concept for students, parents and educators alike—one that confuses more than explains the nuances of this complex and pervasive trend. Wade analyzes its cultural roots: the evolution of courtship, our unrealized feminist revolution, America’s new business model of higher education, and the increasingly tenuous economic futures faced by young people. The hookup came to dominate college campuses in this context, but the trouble extends beyond hooking up to the culture itself. It rewards students who endorse and embrace “meaningless” sex, while ostracizing those who don’t. And there is no escaping it. It permeates not just dorm rooms and frat houses, but dining halls, quads, Facebook and Instagram feeds, and even classrooms. It is now part of the quintessential college experience, necessary for forming and maintaining friendships, and it often determines social status, whether students opt in or out.
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