I just graduated from college last year, and for me this was a Strange Thing about Being a Grown-Up. The way this experience (this brief connection with another person, who I really kinda liked) ended made me realize that I have no clue what the social conventions here are, aside from what I've distilled from romantic comedies, Cosmo, serious artistic meditations on love, etc.
While I was composing a story about this, I got sidetracked revisiting articles I'd seen in the Times about how the kids these days "hook up" (the accepted term among those who study the mating habits of adolescents), instead of the previously described dating.
I found this pretty recent column... pretty straightforward. I also came across this article from the Style section in March 2007, on a book by a Washington Post reporter about, well... the title: "Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both."
By paragraph 4 I'm reading about how girls are the "victims" of this practice (which I admit I had previously perceived as a victimless crime).... and about how it's a symptom of female sexual aggressiveness.
The article is critical, but most explicitly of the author's conclusion that hooking up hurts girls, not her identification of this cultural habit as solely a consequence of changed female behavior. Also, the author's response to critics:
"I understand their anger because in this current political climate women’s choices are being threatened,” she said, “the right to choose an abortion, the right to live with a same-sex partner.”Not that she's interested in my opinion:
It has led many women to be wary of any suggestion of limits on their lifestyle choices, she said.
Ms. Sessions Stepp said that she welcomes criticism, though not from people who have not read the book or who have never conducted research.Still ... what I'm hearing is that boys will behave themselves exactly as much as we force them to, and if they expect to get in our pants without buying us dinner first, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
“This is what I love about the bloggers,” she said. “They haven’t been out there interviewing young people for 10 years. They’re talking about their own college experience. Everyone’s had some sort of sexual experience and they all think they’re experts on it.”