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Monday, July 15, 2013

College Dating in a Post-Feminist Age

Sex on Campus - She Can Play That Game, Too - NYTimes.com

"Ask her why she hasn’t had a relationship at Penn, and she won’t complain about the death of courtship or men who won’t commit. Instead, she’ll talk about “cost-benefit” analyses and the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up...

Until recently, those who studied the rise of hookup culture had generally assumed that it was driven by men, and that women were reluctant participants, more interested in romance than in casual sexual encounters. But there is an increasing realization that young women are propelling it, too.

Hanna Rosin, in her recent book, “The End of Men,” argues that hooking up is a functional strategy for today’s hard-charging and ambitious young women, allowing them to have enjoyable sex lives while focusing most of their energy on academic and professional goals.

But others, like Susan Patton, the Princeton alumna and mother who in March wrote a letter to The Daily Princetonian urging female undergraduates not to squander the chance to hunt for a husband on campus, say that de-emphasizing relationships in college works against women...

They envisioned their 20s as a period of unencumbered striving, when they might work at a bank in Hong Kong one year, then go to business school, then move to a corporate job in New York. The idea of lugging a relationship through all those transitions was hard for many to imagine. Almost universally, the women said they did not plan to marry until their late 20s or early 30s...

“I’m a true feminist,” she added. “I’m a strong woman. I know what I want.”

At the same time, she didn’t want the number of people she had slept with printed, and she said it was important to her to keep her sexual life separate from her image as a leader at Penn. ..

"What have we come to that these brilliant young women are afraid to say that marriage and children are significant parts of what they view as their lifelong happiness?’ ” Ms. Patton said.

“They have gotten such strong, vitriolic messages from the extreme feminists saying, ‘Go it alone — you don’t need a man,’ ” she added.

But, in fact, many of the Penn women said that warnings not to become overly involved in a relationship came not from feminists, but from their parents, who urged them to be independent...

Now, she said, she and her best friend had changed their romantic goals, from finding boyfriends to finding “hookup buddies,” which she described as “a guy that we don’t actually really like his personality, but we think is really attractive and hot and good in bed”...

Women said universally that hookups could not exist without alcohol, because they were for the most part too uncomfortable to pair off with men they did not know well without being drunk. One girl, explaining why her encounters freshman and sophomore year often ended with fellatio, said that usually by the time she got back to a guy’s room, she was starting to sober up and didn’t want to be there anymore, and giving the guy oral sex was an easy way to wrap things up and leave...

The close relationship between hooking up and drinking leads to confusion and disagreement about the line between a “bad hookup” and assault...

Women tended to fare much better sexually in relationships than in hookups. “Guys don’t seem to care as much about women’s pleasure in the hookup, whereas they do seem to care quite a bit in the relationships,” Dr. England said. By contrast, women “seem to have this idea they’re supposed to be pleasing in both contexts.” In hookups, women were much more likely to give men oral sex than to receive it...

For all the focus on hookups, campuses are not sexual free-for-alls, at Penn or elsewhere. At colleges nationally, by senior year, 4 in 10 students are either virgins or have had intercourse with only one person, according to the Online College Social Life Survey. Nearly 3 in 10 said that they had never had a hookup in college. Meanwhile, 20 percent of women and a quarter of men said they had hooked up with 10 or more people...

Women from wealthier backgrounds were much more likely to hook up, more interested in postponing adult responsibilities and warier of serious romantic commitment than their less-affluent classmates.

The women from less-privileged backgrounds looked at their classmates who got drunk and hooked up as immature...

Her classmates tried very hard to separate sex from emotion, because they believed that getting too attached to someone would interfere with their work. They saw a woman’s marrying young as either proof of a lack of ambition or a tragic mistake that would stunt her career.

But Catherine noted that a handful of young women are starting to question that idea... Catherine thought that her peers underestimated how hard it was to find the right person to be with — as hard, perhaps, as finding the right job."


Why can't parents be feminists?

Is it still "rape" if you drink so that you can get "raped"?
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