Is Hooking Up Bad For Young Women?

“Girls can’t be guys in matters of the heart, even though they think they can,” says Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both, published in 2007.

In her view, “hooking up”—casual sexual activity ranging from kissing to intercourse—places women at risk of “low self-esteem, depression, alcoholism, and eating disorders.” Stepp is only one of half a dozen journalists currently engaged in the business of detailing the dangers of casual sex.

On the other side, pop culture feminists such as Jessica Valenti, author of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women (2010), argue that the problem isn’t casual sex, but a “moral panic” over casual sex. And still a third set of writers like Ariel Levy, author of Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (2005), questions whether it’s empowering for young women to show up at parties dressed to imitate porn stars or to strip in “Girls Gone Wild” fashion. Levy’s concern isn’t necessarily moral, but rather that these young women seem less focused on their own sexual pleasure and more worried about being seen as “hot” by men.

Following on the heels of the mass media obsession, sociologists and psychologists have begun to investigate adolescent and young adult hookups more systematically. In this essay, we draw on systematic data and studies of youth sexual practices over time to counter claims that hooking up represents a sudden and alarming change in youth sexual culture. The research shows that there is some truth to popular claims that hookups are bad for women. However, it also demonstrates that women’s hookup experiences are quite varied and far from uniformly negative and that monogamous, long-term relationships are not an ideal alternative. Scholarship suggests that pop culture feminists have correctly zeroed in on sexual double standards as a key source of gender inequality in sexuality.

The Rise of Limited Liability Hedonism

Before examining the consequences of hooking up for girls and young women, we need to look more carefully at the facts. Unhooked author Stepp describes girls “stripping in the student center in front of dozens of boys they didn’t know.” She asserts that “young people have virtually abandoned dating” and that “relationships have been replaced by the casual sexual encounters known as hookups.” Her sensationalist tone suggests that young people are having more sex at earlier ages in more casual contexts than their Baby Boomer parents.

This characterization is simply not true. Young people today are not having more sex at younger ages than their parents. The sexual practices of American youth changed in the 20th century, but the big change came with the Baby Boom cohort who came of age more than 40 years ago. The National Health and Social Life Survey—the gold standard of American sexual practice surveys—found that those born after 1942 were more sexually active at younger ages than those born from 1933-42. However, the trend toward greater sexual activity among young people appears to halt or reverse among the youngest cohort in the NHSLS, those born from 1963-72. Examining the National Survey of Family Growth, Lawrence B. Finer, Director of Domestic Research for the Guttmacher Institute, found that the percent of women who have had premarital sex by age 20 (65-76 percent) is roughly the same for all cohorts born after 1948. He also found that the women in the youngest cohort in this survey—those born from 1979-1984—were less likely to have premarital sex by age 20 than those born before them. The Centers for Disease Control, reporting on the results of the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, report that rates of sexual intercourse among 9th-12th graders decreased from 1991-2007, as did numbers of partners. Reports of condom use increased. So what are young people doing to cause such angst among Boomers?

The pervasiveness of casual sexual activity among today’s youth may be at the heart of Boomers’ concerns. England surveyed more than 14,000 students from 19 universities and colleges about their hookup, dating, and relationship experiences. Seventy-two percent of both men and women participating in the survey reported at least one hookup by their senior year in college. What the Boomer panic may gloss over, however, is the fact that college students don’t, on average, hook up that much. By senior year, roughly 40 percent of those who ever hooked up had engaged in three or fewer hookups, 40 percent between four and nine hookups, and only 20 percent in ten or more hookups. About 80 percent of students hook up, on average, less than once per semester over the course of college.

Photo by stacya
Photo by stacya
In addition, the sexual activity in hookups is often relatively light. Only about one third engaged in intercourse in their most recent hookup. Another third had engaged in oral sex or manual stimulation of the genitals. The other third of hookups only involved kissing and non-genital touching. A full 20 percent of survey respondents in their fourth year of college had never had vaginal intercourse. In addition, hookups between total strangers are relatively uncommon, while hooking up with the same person multiple times is common. Ongoing sexual relationships without commitment are labeled as “repeat,” “regular,” or “continuing” hookups, and sometimes as “friends with benefits.” Often there is friendship or socializing both before and after the hookup.

Hooking up hasn’t replaced committed relationships. Students often participate in both at different times during college. By their senior year, 69 percent of heterosexual students had been in a college relationship of at least six months. Hookups sometimes became committed relationships and vice versa; generally the distinction revolved around the agreed upon level of exclusivity and the willingness to refer to each other as “girlfriend/boyfriend.”

And, finally, hooking up isn’t radically new. As suggested above, the big change in adolescent and young adult sexual behavior occurred with the Baby Boomers. This makes sense, as the forces giving rise to casual sexual activity among the young—the availability of birth control pill, the women’s and sexual liberation movements, and the decline of in loco parentis on college campuses—took hold in the 1960s. But changes in youth sexual culture did not stop with the major behavioral changes wrought by the Sexual Revolution.

Contemporary hookup culture among adolescents and young adults may rework aspects of the Sexual Revolution to get some of its pleasures while reducing its physical and emotional risks. Young people today—particularly young whites from affluent families—are expected to delay the commitments of adulthood while they invest in careers. They get the message that sex is okay, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize their futures; STDs and early pregnancies are to be avoided. This generates a sort of limited liability hedonism. For instance, friendship is prioritized a bit more than romance, and oral sex appeals because of its relative safety. Hookups may be the most explicit example of a calculating approach to sexual exploration. They make it possible to be sexually active while avoiding behaviors with the highest physical and emotional risks (e.g., intercourse, intense relationships). Media panic over hooking up may be at least in part a result of adult confusion about youth sexual culture—that is, not understanding that oral sex and sexual experimentation with friends are actually some young people’s ways of balancing fun and risk.

Even though hooking up in college isn’t the rampant hedonistic free-for-all portrayed by the media, it does involve the movement of sexual activity outside of relationships. When Contexts addressed youth sex in 2002, Barbara Risman and Pepper Schwartz speculated that the slowdown in youth sexual activity in the 1990s might be a result of “girls’ increasing control over the conditions of sexual intercourse,” marked by the restriction of sex to relationships. They expressed optimism about gender equality in sexuality on the grounds that girls are more empowered in relationship sex than casual sex. It appears now that these scholars were overly optimistic about the progress of the gender revolution in sex. Not only is casual sex common, it seems that romantic relationships themselves are riddled with gender inequality.

Hookup Problems, Relationship Pleasures

Hookups are problematic for girls and young women for several related reasons. As many observers of American youth sexual culture have found, a sexual double standard continues to be pervasive. As one woman Hamilton interviewed explained, “Guys can have sex with all the girls and it makes them more of a man, but if a girl does then all of a sudden she’s a ‘ho’ and she’s not as quality of a person.” Sexual labeling among adolescents and young adults may only loosely relate to actual sexual behavior; for example, one woman complained in her interview that she was a virgin the first time she was called a “slut.” The lack of clear rules about what is “slutty” and what is not contribute to women’s fears of stigma.

On college campuses, this sexual double standard often finds its most vociferous expression in the Greek scene. Fraternities are often the only venues where large groups of underage students can readily access alcohol. Consequently, one of the easiest places to find hookup partners is in a male-dominated party context. As a variety of scholars have observed, fraternity men often use their control of the situation to undermine women’s ability to freely consent to sex (e.g., by pushing women to drink too heavily, barring their exit from private rooms, or refusing them rides home). Women report varying degrees of sexual disrespect in the fraternity culture, and the dynamics of this scene predictably produce some amount of sexual assault.

The most commonly encountered disadvantage of hookups, though, is that sex in relationships is far better for women. England’s survey revealed that women orgasm more often and report higher levels of sexual satisfaction in relationship sex than in hookup sex. This is in part because sex in relationships is more likely to include sexual activities conducive to women’s orgasm. In hookups, men are much more likely to receive fellatio than women are to receive cunnilingus. In relationships, oral sex is more likely to be reciprocal. In interviews conducted by England’s research team, men report more concern with the sexual pleasure of girlfriends than hookup partners, while women seem equally invested in pleasing hookup partners and boyfriends.

The continuing salience of the sexual double standard mars women’s hookup experiences. In contrast, relationships provide a context in which sex is viewed as acceptable for women, protecting them from stigma and establishing sexual reciprocity as a basic expectation. In addition, relationships offer love and companionship.

Relationship Problems, Hookup Pleasures

Relationships are good for sex but, unfortunately, they have a dark side as well. Relationships are “greedy,” getting in the way of other things that young women want to be doing as adolescents and young adults, and they are often characterized by gender inequality—sometimes even violence.

Talking to young people, two of us (Hamilton and Armstrong) found that committed relationships detracted from what women saw as main tasks of college. The women we interviewed complained, for example, that relationships made it difficult to meet people. As a woman who had just ended a relationship explained:

I’m happy that I’m able to go out and meet new people … I feel like I’m doing what a college student should be doing. I don’t need to be tied down to my high school boyfriend for two years when this is the time to be meeting people.

Women also complained that committed relationships competed with schoolwork. One woman remarked, “[My boyfriend] doesn’t understand why I can’t pick up and go see him all the time. But I have school… I just want to be a college kid.” Another told one of us (Hamilton) that her major was not compatible with the demands of a boyfriend. She said, “I wouldn’t mind having a boyfriend again, but it’s a lot of work. Right now with [my major] and everything… I wouldn’t have time even to see him.” Women feared that they would be devoured by relationships and sometimes struggled to keep their self-development projects going when they did get involved.

Subjects told us that relationships were not only time-consuming, but also marked by power inequalities and abuse. Women reported that boyfriends tried to control their social lives, the time they spent with friends, and even what they wore. One woman described her boyfriend, saying, “He is a very controlling person… He’s like, ‘What are you wearing tonight?’… It’s like a joke but serious at the same time.” Women also became jealous. Coping with jealousy was painful and emotionally absorbing. One woman noted that she would “do anything to make this relationship work.” She elaborated, “I was so nervous being with Dan because I knew he had cheated on his [prior] girlfriend… [but] I’m getting over it. When I go [to visit him] now…I let him go to the bar, whatever. I stayed in his apartment because there was nothing else to do.” Other women changed the way they dressed, their friends, and where they went in the hope of keeping boyfriends.

When women attempted to end relationships, they often reported that men’s efforts to control them escalated. In the course of interviewing 46 respondents, two of us (Hamilton and Armstrong) heard ten accounts of men using abuse to keep women in relationships. One woman spent months dealing with a boyfriend who accused her of cheating on him. When she tried to break up, he cut his wrist in her apartment. Another woman tried to end a relationship, but was forced to flee the state when her car windows were broken and her safety was threatened. And a third woman reported that her ex-boyfriend stalked her for months—even showing up at her workplace, showering her with flowers and gifts, and blocking her entry into her workplace until the police arrived. For most women, the costs of bad hookups tended to be less than costs of bad relationships. Bad hookups were isolated events, while bad relationships wreaked havoc with whole lives. Abusive relationships led to lost semesters, wrecked friendships, damaged property, aborted pregnancies, depression, and time-consuming involvement with police and courts.

The abuse that women reported to us is not unusual. Intimate partner violence among adolescents and young adults is common. In a survey of 15,000 adolescents conducted in 2007, the Centers for Disease Control found that 10 perecent of students had been “hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend” in the last 12 months.

If relationships threaten academic achievement, get in the way of friendship, and can involve jealousy, manipulation, stalking, and abuse, it is no wonder that young women sometimes opt for casual sex. Being open to hooking up means being able to go out and fit into the social scene, get attention from young men, and learn about sexuality. Women we interviewed gushed about parties they attended and attention they received from boys. As one noted, “Everyone was so excited. It was a big fun party.” They reported turning on their “make out radar,” explaining that “it’s fun to know that a guy’s attracted to you and is willing to kiss you.” Women reported enjoying hookups, and few reported regretting their last hookup. Over half the time women participating in England’s survey reported no relational interest before or after their hookup, although more women than men showed interest in a relationship both before and after hookups. The gender gap in relationship interest is slightly larger after the hookup, with 48 percent of women and 36 percent of men reporting interest in a relationship.

Toward Gender Equality In Sex

Like others, Stepp, the author of Unhooked, suggests that restricting sex to relationships is the way to challenge gender inequality in youth sex. Certainly, sex in relationships is better for women than hookup sex. However, research suggests two reasons why Stepp’s strategy won’t work: first, relationships are also plagued by inequality. Second, valorizing relationships as the ideal context for women’s sexual activity reinforces the notion that women shouldn’t want sex outside of relationships and stigmatizes women who do. A better approach would challenge gender inequality in both relationships and hookups. It is critical to attack the tenacious sexual double standard that leads men to disrespect their hookup partners. Ironically, this could improve relationships because women would be less likely to tolerate “greedy” or abusive relationships if they were treated better in hookups. Fostering relationships among young adults should go hand-in-hand with efforts to decrease intimate partner violence and to build egalitarian relationships that allow more space for other aspects of life—such as school, work, and friendship.

Recommended Resources

Kathleen A. Bogle. Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus (New York University Press, 2008). A provocative investigation of college hookups based on 76 interviews.

Paula England, Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer, and Alison C. K. Fogarty. “Hooking Up and Forming Romantic Relationships on Today’s ­College Campuses.” In M. Kimmel and A. Aronson (eds.), The Gendered Society Reader, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2008). Overview of the role of gender in the college hookup scene.

Norval Glenn and Elizabeth Marquardt. Hooking Up, Hanging Out, and Hoping for Mr. Right: College Women on Mating and Dating Today (Institute for American Values, 2001). One of the first empirical investigations of college hookups.

Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth A. Armstrong. “Double Binds and Flawed Options: Gendered Sexuality in Early Adulthood,” Gender & Sexuality (2009), 23: 589-616. Provides methodological details of Hamilton and Armstrong’s interview study and elaborates on costs and benefits of hookups and relationships for young women.

Derek A. Kreager and Jeremy Staff. “The Sexual Double Standard and Adolescent Peer Acceptance,” Social Psychology Quarterly (2009), 72: 143-164. New empirical research confirming the continued existence of sexual double standards.

Wendy D. Manning, Peggy C. Giordano, and Monica A. Longmore. “Hooking Up: The Relationship Contexts of ‘Nonrelationship’ Sex,” Journal of Adolescent Research (2006), 21: 459-483. Part of a series on sexual activity among younger adolescents.

Comments 8


August 6, 2010

The research here seems to be well-done, but the authors repeat well-known and predictable clichés about the "sexual double standard."

Instead of saying what everyone already knows -- that it is problematic that men can have all the sex they want and increase their reputations while at it and that women are labelled as "hos" if they do the same -- why not explore other sexual double standards and other gender inequalities?

One of the biggest of these is one that no one, including these researchers, is talking about -- that society still expects men to initiate contact when seeking dates, romantic relationships, or the like.

Why is it that I as a man am still expected to ask women on dates rather than vice versa? If women want to complain about male partners being abusive and controlling, many of them not going to find much sympathy from me. It's apparently okay for women to use the excuse that they're too shy to ask a guy out on a date, but if I am to use the same excuse, I'm labelled a coward or a loser by both men and women alike. I've graduated from college already, but unlike all the people in this study, I haven't ever had sex before, have only been in one relationship (a long-distance one that I found online), have never hooked up before, and have only gone on a few dates. Is it my fault that I'm shy? Is it my fault that I'm a man, so I can't just wait for a woman to initiate? Why isn't anyone talking about the millions of men who can't find love because society forces them to have "the balls" (a sexist term and notion in itself) to go up to a woman and ask for a date? And when they're turned down repeatedly, why isn't anyone making sure that their self-confidence and self-esteem isn't so ruined that they end up in a vicious cycle of loneliness?

If women asked men on dates, they would empower themselves with being able to find the best man of their choosing, for sex, dating, a relationship, or whatever. No longer would they have to be taken advantage of by men at fraternity parties. No longer would they have to put up with abuse. Many men, who are too shy to talk to women, would now be able to find love, and women could have more power in deciding who they wanted to date. Today, many women refuse to date men who are younger than them or shorter than them. That's inequality and injustice right there. But at the same time, there are probably many women who are just as willing to date these men but who are too shy to ask. Instead of just saying that men cannot be that shy, we should be encouraging both sexes to initiate. Maybe in a certain situation, one of them would eventually open up. It could be the man, or it could be the woman. But in today's society, it always has to be the man. And since he might not find the courage to open up, the situation ends up in a dead end, with the man remaining lonely and the woman getting asked out by a more confident man who might not be as good of a fit for her. The woman who go to the fraternity party might not give such a shy man a look, but he may be a better sexual or romantic partner than the more confident man who will just simply talk to her, lure her in, and then take advantage of her. Heck, the shy man might even make sure that the woman is sexually satisfied rather than just trying to satisfy himself. But if the woman doesn't ask but only waits and if she's unwilling to give a shy man a chance, she will never know.


August 7, 2010

phillip, are you being serious or trolling? You seriously state that you are not going to sympathize with a woman who is being abused because you find it difficult to approach another person and start a conversation leading towards a romantic encounter?

Whether or not you are "at fault" or lonely should have no bearing on appreciating the dignity of another human being and respecting that person enough to be concerned about their suffering. The inconsistency of your position is this: you demand —perhaps on the basis of some assumed universal responsibility we all have towards one another to be considerate of the suffering of those whose self-confidence and self-esteem are ruined— to be respected and supported in your hesitations and understandable fragility towards people while at the same time openly refuse to lend support to *the many* who are being physically and emotionally abused, *because* such women are part of a larger social arrangement constraining both men and women. *By your own criticism* of this as a social problem, you make them out to be doubly victims: victim of the constraints to remain shy themselves, and then for the women victim of the abusers in their own lives. And yet, for whatever unstated reason, you deny them your sympathy as double-victims, put forward your own idiosyncratic life as victimized by that same society, and it's not too difficult to read you as eventually blaming the women for their predicament, rather than initiate and pursue the shy men such as yourself.

And then there is the audacious claim that an aesthetic preference, itself probably constructed and mediated through the same social values you want to claim as victimizing the shy, amounts to an inequality and an injustice. That's absurd: you might as well say some people's preference for pizza over falafel is an injustice committed against Mediterranean delis, when in a more just and equitable society people will all equally prefer any food at any moment.

Have you considered the possibility that one of the main reasons why you are not pursued is due to your bald-faced, but apparently also not transparent to you, lack of self-transparency, your inability to empathize with others? Perhaps it's not that you're shy, but that people intuitively discern your anxious self-absorption and find that's not what would interest them at the moment.

This article doesn't so much retread common clichés as situate them in a growing tendency to cast the hookup culture as morally ambivalent at best, morally detrimental at worst, but overall anti-feminist —at least "feminist" insofar as some mainstream moderates and conservatives delimit the term. And the situation of this cliché needs to occur because it's *still* a systemic and defining problem, and particularly when it relates to college campuses and the social forms in the panhellenic groups. I take the authors to be alluding to resolving some of the social problems you'd like to see addressed, particularly the initiation of romantic encounters by either sex, precisely by undoing the inequality you're claiming is cliché. The determination "Men initiate the encounter" is a significant part of this social valuation of assigning activity/dominance to (true) men and passivity/submission to (true) women, such that men who find it difficult or nerve-racking to initiate dialogue are somehow inferior men ("coward or a loser"). That women *repeat* these social values does not mean it's an entirely separate part of the tired cliché; that is, it's *not* a separate double-standard or gender inequality, *but the exact same one repeated in its pervasiveness*! So, when such a cliché constrains women to the role of being passive/submissive and thus incapable of initiating or unwilling to own their own agency (and own it in the specific way you'd find beneficial for your specific situation), this is not a different problem left unaddressed or unanalyzed.

It seems to me that in the closing paragraph, the authors have such a notion in mind when they note that women "would be less likely to tolerate “greedy” or abusive relationships if they were treated better in hookups." I take this to mean that women and men will find more opportunities for egalitarian or equitable or consensual relationship precisely by being open to pursuing them on their own initiative. The double-standard you call a cliché constrains the choices by assigning those roles (men pursue/initiate, women are pursued/passive), and so women who would prefer their own choices are forced to pick from a narrower selection of partners. On the assumption that greedy or controlling partners are more likely to pursue actively partners (I suspect there's statistical evidence for this, but I'm not a sociologist and so unaware of what studies support or undercut this), then they will be a larger portion of the dating pool under cliché constrains than under non-cliché ones —thus, the critical role in attacking the "tenacious sexual double standard" opens up more possibilities and more partnerings.

As well, the larger goal of increasing the mutual respect within hookups and pairing it to increasing the mutual respect in relationships permits greater opportunities for relational experimentation. In this more liberated situation, for the shy there is less risk or less consequence for mistakes, and thus they can attempt entry on their own initiative into romantic partnerings at levels of commitment they can feel comfortable with. It could also remove failure or incompatibility as a personally deficient event, since much of that cliché valorizes quantity and quality —getting many numbers, getting laid multiple times, getting quantifiably hotter partners ("nines and dimes")— as signs of superiority, rather than consider all of one's experiences as learning or educational moments or encounters with a wholly other person nevertheless traversed through shared intimacy. Meaning, rather than embarrassment or shame at rejection or at premature ejaculation, either indifference to the fact or supportive integration into one's self-understanding ("Interesting. So next time I can try x and see what happens then...").

This is why that double standard is so much a worn cliché: it *really does* affect and constrain all manner of ways in which people, all people, develop their relationships. Including stigmatizing awkwardness or social anxiety!

If my initial tone rubs you wrong, I can only say that your post had me flabbergasted and I chose to express that. It is difficult for me to understand how someone who identifies as a victim of something can nevertheless withhold sympathy from somebody else who is as much a victim of it as the one, unless that one does not see how both are sharing their misfortunes. It's possible you don't see this, and given your argument very likely. But the case I dread is that you do see that, but still choose your misfortune as its own more urgent double-victimization (victimized by the social values, and then ignored in your plight by the people opposed to those social values) than physical and emotional abuse. If you truly are ruined and left in a vicious cycle of loneliness, then all the more do you have reasons to empathize and sympathize with the partner trapped in a controlling relationship who is no less alone in spite of that controlling partner —or at least, *everyone* so ruined is, were you not describing yourself but simply using yourself as an example...


November 17, 2010

Polemos, its interesting that out of a well put out point that Phillip made, you took one little point, distorted what he meant and then turned it into an attack on him.

I will re-iterate the same point in a shorter, more succint way. Why is that in 2010, among all these discussions of gender, hooking up, dating, gender-expectations, everything else has been covered except the "who initiates"?

Its like the big pink elephant in the middle of the room that everyone ignores. To say the avoidance of this subject is highly suspect would be an understatement.

To discuss all of these topics and never ever (or so incredibly) rarely tackle this sexist role that's out-dated, is weird. Its like writing a 500 page book about a coin, and never studying one side of the coin.

All of these things and dynamics are deeply tied into the initiating. There's plenty of study in social psychology to show that the type of men most likely to initiate hookups are narcissistic, abusive. sociopathic men.

At the same time, society has this nasty expectation that women not initiate. That's basically setting women up for really nasty men. Instead of discussing initiation itself, we're all focusing on how we can make the psychopaths less psychopathic, ignoring all the other things that can be done, such as empowering good, caring men, and *more importantly* empowering women to take their dating and sex life into their own hands... Its mind-boggling to ignore that whole area of "initiating". Its just mind-boggling.


November 17, 2010

"Have you considered the possibility that one of the main reasons why you are not pursued is due to your bald-faced, but apparently also not transparent to you, lack of self-transparency, your inability to empathize with others?"

A great attempt at shaming, but I'm sure phillip lives on planet earth, and is smarter than to fall for it. The reason he isn't pursued is because he is an average heterosexual male. And heterosexual males do not get pursued unless they stand out in some way (superior looks, fame or status).

Again, why tiptoe around the big elephant in the room? Our society has this nasty restriction it puts on women. It tells women to never pursue or initiate anything with men (unless he fills society's criteria of fame or status).

Instead of tackling that sexist role, you're shaming Phillip for daring to be average. Its like "phillip how dare you not be perfect! If you were perfect, women would pursue you!".


November 17, 2010

I apologize for making 3 comments in a row, but its on 3 different points...

Basically... I have compassion for both the women abused by greedy womanizers and for guys like phillip. The attempt to shame phillip for not sympathizing with those women however strikes me as odd and selfish.

Its basic human psychology that when you're a victim you mostly focus on your own issues, and don't have much compassion for other victims. Those women are too busy feeling sorry for their own state (getting used by womanizer) to care about phillip. And he does the same to them.

"""It seems to me that in the closing paragraph, the authors have such a notion in mind when they note that women “would be less likely to tolerate “greedy” or abusive relationships if they were treated better in hookups.”""

So the entire focus is on reforming jerks, womanizers and playas... and trying to shame them into being non-sociopaths... But I ask this. Why is there no focus on empowering women?

Why no direct empowerment of women? Why is this whole focus on empowerment through shaming? We'll empower women by shaming womanizers into being less abusive?

That might be a valid strategy, but why is it the only strategy? Why is there absolutely no direct energy invested into encouraging women to initiate on their own? Why is there no effort in giving women choice? That logic of "first we'll make jerks less jerk-like, and then women will get courage to have choice" I mean, its just a very indirect, inefficient way to go about it.


November 29, 2010

"Basically… I have compassion for both the women abused by greedy womanizers and for guys like phillip. The attempt to shame phillip for not sympathizing with those women however strikes me as odd and selfish."

To clarify this one:

- The women who are getting abused and hooking up with greedy womanizers aren't exactly sitting around and feeling sorry about socially ackward guys who get socially rejected left and right. Its not like they're sitting around and empathizing with phillip. In fact, its usually those same women who most often end up in abusive hookups that are the first to mock, make fun of and reject guys like phillip for being shy or awkward.

- At the same time, you tried to shame philip for daring to not have compassion for those women :D Double-standard much? What's this frame of "make everything perfect for every woman, before we let any man have a single improvement". So every man should make every single woman's life on planet earth perfect, before a single man experiences a single improvement in his gender role.

The real reason you will never achieve your goals is precisely because you're selfishly trying to solve the gender-role problem one-sided. Its a feedback loop. As long as there are gender roles that hurt men, you will not be able to remove gender roles that hurt women. They're tied to one another. As long as society mocks and shames philip (which you hypocritically just did, despite being an expert on gender, you acted as a societal agent of gender-role enforcing through shaming a guy into a male role). As long as society mocks philip, it will not care about women hooking up with sociopaths. You can either solve both, or none.


February 26, 2012

Has anyone ever considered the fact that there are female sociopaths.Believing women are always a victim isn't livng in reality.Women can be completely abusive and cold with men who want a relationship after a hook up.These men exsist as do the women that use men for sex.


June 26, 2013

Is there any money to fund research for the male perspective?

Despite a rise in hook-ups, men continue to be funneled into these dating roles :

1) Initiator. This role results in frequent rejection and loss of self-esteem.

2) Relationship financier

3) Driver. After college when nearly all men and women have cars, men do nearly all of the driving, particularly at night.

4) Sex worker. The dating/hook-up sex act is typically a man pleasuring (or trying his best. Women in general aren't successful in pleasuring themselves manually despite more experience with their own less responsive genitalia) a woman for many minutes followed by a few minutes of exertion to pleasure himself.

5) Full-time body guard

During typical dating activities, particularly at night, he will be viewed negatively for fleeing the scene while she will not or his reception of a lighter injury. In addition, she will generally complicate his traditional role by wearing decorative footwear impedes walking while criticizing his vigilant suggestions.

In addition, many American women reject men because their penises still have functional genital tissue (penile foreskin) removed when they were infants. Like adult men, adult women will not choose circumcision when given a choice.

Overall, the sexist double-standard is propagated in these articles :
Whatever benefits women also benefits men.
Whatever benefits men hurts women.

Comments are closed.