Karin Agness

College freshmen quickly learn that "hooking up" means engaging in a physical relationship with someone who you may or may not have known beforehand and with whom you have little or no expectation of a future relationship. The last few years have been especially big years for hooking up, not because college students are hooking up more, but because academics, journalists, and doctors have begun writing about it.

Among others, recent titles include: Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both by Laura Sessions Stepp; Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus by Kathleen Bogle; Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America's College Campuses by Donna Freitas; and Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student by an anonymous M.D.

These authors are finally figuring out that hooking up is not an isolated experience of a few college students, or a fad. Rather, the hookup culture dominates college campuses. The authors use different methodologies and analyze hooking up from their own perspectives. They all conclude that hooking up has serious negative consequences for women, whether in the form of sexually transmitted diseases, infertility, depression, or problems with trust in future relationships.

Surveys, interviews, and statistics have convinced these authors of such dangers. Despite the evidence, many college women have not taken notice.

Valentine's Day is supposed to be a day of celebrating love, romance, and the sweetheart in your life. Yet, for many college women, it only serves as a reminder of the lack of love, romance, and sweethearts in their lives. I witnessed this firsthand when I walked past our famous frozen yogurt place at the University of Virginia -- Arch's -- on Valentine's Day one year when the holiday fell on a weekday.

Usually, this popular frozen yogurt stop has a constant flow of people. But on that Valentine's Day, something was different. You might have thought Arch's was giving away its famous frozen yogurt for free, because the line stretched out the door.

The inside was different also. Instead of individuals or pairs picking up their treats and leaving, groups of three, four, and five women were filling tables, enjoying their "Death By Chocolate" (chocolate frozen yogurt, gooey brownies, and chocolate sauce), "Cherry Bombs" (chocolate frozen yogurt, Oreos, and cherries), and other combinations of vanilla or chocolate frozen yogurt with sweets.

Karin Agness

Karin Agness is President of the Network of Enlightened Women.
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