Sun Feb 25 00:29:44 2024
EVENTS
 FREE
SOFTWARE
INSTITUTE

POLITICS
JOBS
MEMBERS'
CORNER

MAILING
LIST

NYLXS Mailing Lists and Archives
NYLXS Members have a lot to say and share but we don't keep many secrets. Join the Hangout Mailing List and say your peice.

DATE 2013-07-01

HANGOUT

2024-02-25 | 2024-01-25 | 2023-12-25 | 2023-11-25 | 2023-10-25 | 2023-09-25 | 2023-08-25 | 2023-07-25 | 2023-06-25 | 2023-05-25 | 2023-04-25 | 2023-03-25 | 2023-02-25 | 2023-01-25 | 2022-12-25 | 2022-11-25 | 2022-10-25 | 2022-09-25 | 2022-08-25 | 2022-07-25 | 2022-06-25 | 2022-05-25 | 2022-04-25 | 2022-03-25 | 2022-02-25 | 2022-01-25 | 2021-12-25 | 2021-11-25 | 2021-10-25 | 2021-09-25 | 2021-08-25 | 2021-07-25 | 2021-06-25 | 2021-05-25 | 2021-04-25 | 2021-03-25 | 2021-02-25 | 2021-01-25 | 2020-12-25 | 2020-11-25 | 2020-10-25 | 2020-09-25 | 2020-08-25 | 2020-07-25 | 2020-06-25 | 2020-05-25 | 2020-04-25 | 2020-03-25 | 2020-02-25 | 2020-01-25 | 2019-12-25 | 2019-11-25 | 2019-10-25 | 2019-09-25 | 2019-08-25 | 2019-07-25 | 2019-06-25 | 2019-05-25 | 2019-04-25 | 2019-03-25 | 2019-02-25 | 2019-01-25 | 2018-12-25 | 2018-11-25 | 2018-10-25 | 2018-09-25 | 2018-08-25 | 2018-07-25 | 2018-06-25 | 2018-05-25 | 2018-04-25 | 2018-03-25 | 2018-02-25 | 2018-01-25 | 2017-12-25 | 2017-11-25 | 2017-10-25 | 2017-09-25 | 2017-08-25 | 2017-07-25 | 2017-06-25 | 2017-05-25 | 2017-04-25 | 2017-03-25 | 2017-02-25 | 2017-01-25 | 2016-12-25 | 2016-11-25 | 2016-10-25 | 2016-09-25 | 2016-08-25 | 2016-07-25 | 2016-06-25 | 2016-05-25 | 2016-04-25 | 2016-03-25 | 2016-02-25 | 2016-01-25 | 2015-12-25 | 2015-11-25 | 2015-10-25 | 2015-09-25 | 2015-08-25 | 2015-07-25 | 2015-06-25 | 2015-05-25 | 2015-04-25 | 2015-03-25 | 2015-02-25 | 2015-01-25 | 2014-12-25 | 2014-11-25 | 2014-10-25 | 2014-09-25 | 2014-08-25 | 2014-07-25 | 2014-06-25 | 2014-05-25 | 2014-04-25 | 2014-03-25 | 2014-02-25 | 2014-01-25 | 2013-12-25 | 2013-11-25 | 2013-10-25 | 2013-09-25 | 2013-08-25 | 2013-07-25 | 2013-06-25 | 2013-05-25 | 2013-04-25 | 2013-03-25 | 2013-02-25 | 2013-01-25 | 2012-12-25 | 2012-11-25 | 2012-10-25 | 2012-09-25 | 2012-08-25 | 2012-07-25 | 2012-06-25 | 2012-05-25 | 2012-04-25 | 2012-03-25 | 2012-02-25 | 2012-01-25 | 2011-12-25 | 2011-11-25 | 2011-10-25 | 2011-09-25 | 2011-08-25 | 2011-07-25 | 2011-06-25 | 2011-05-25 | 2011-04-25 | 2011-03-25 | 2011-02-25 | 2011-01-25 | 2010-12-25 | 2010-11-25 | 2010-10-25 | 2010-09-25 | 2010-08-25 | 2010-07-25 | 2010-06-25 | 2010-05-25 | 2010-04-25 | 2010-03-25 | 2010-02-25 | 2010-01-25 | 2009-12-25 | 2009-11-25 | 2009-10-25 | 2009-09-25 | 2009-08-25 | 2009-07-25 | 2009-06-25 | 2009-05-25 | 2009-04-25 | 2009-03-25 | 2009-02-25 | 2009-01-25 | 2008-12-25 | 2008-11-25 | 2008-10-25 | 2008-09-25 | 2008-08-25 | 2008-07-25 | 2008-06-25 | 2008-05-25 | 2008-04-25 | 2008-03-25 | 2008-02-25 | 2008-01-25 | 2007-12-25 | 2007-11-25 | 2007-10-25 | 2007-09-25 | 2007-08-25 | 2007-07-25 | 2007-06-25 | 2007-05-25 | 2007-04-25 | 2007-03-25 | 2007-02-25 | 2007-01-25 | 2006-12-25 | 2006-11-25 | 2006-10-25 | 2006-09-25 | 2006-08-25 | 2006-07-25 | 2006-06-25 | 2006-05-25 | 2006-04-25 | 2006-03-25 | 2006-02-25 | 2006-01-25 | 2005-12-25 | 2005-11-25 | 2005-10-25 | 2005-09-25 | 2005-08-25 | 2005-07-25 | 2005-06-25 | 2005-05-25 | 2005-04-25 | 2005-03-25 | 2005-02-25 | 2005-01-25 | 2004-12-25 | 2004-11-25 | 2004-10-25 | 2004-09-25 | 2004-08-25 | 2004-07-25 | 2004-06-25 | 2004-05-25 | 2004-04-25 | 2004-03-25 | 2004-02-25 | 2004-01-25 | 2003-12-25 | 2003-11-25 | 2003-10-25 | 2003-09-25 | 2003-08-25 | 2003-07-25 | 2003-06-25 | 2003-05-25 | 2003-04-25 | 2003-03-25 | 2003-02-25 | 2003-01-25 | 2002-12-25 | 2002-11-25 | 2002-10-25 | 2002-09-25 | 2002-08-25 | 2002-07-25 | 2002-06-25 | 2002-05-25 | 2002-04-25 | 2002-03-25 | 2002-02-25 | 2002-01-25 | 2001-12-25 | 2001-11-25 | 2001-10-25 | 2001-09-25 | 2001-08-25 | 2001-07-25 | 2001-06-25 | 2001-05-25 | 2001-04-25 | 2001-03-25 | 2001-02-25 | 2001-01-25 | 2000-12-25 | 2000-11-25 | 2000-10-25 | 2000-09-25 | 2000-08-25 | 2000-07-25 | 2000-06-25 | 2000-05-25 | 2000-04-25 | 2000-03-25 | 2000-02-25 | 2000-01-25 | 1999-12-25

Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2013-07-15
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] getting a college education
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/fashion/sex-on-campus-she-can-play-that-game-too.html?src=me&ref=general&pagewanted=all

t 11 on a weeknight earlier this year, her work finished, a slim, pretty
junior at the University of Pennsylvania did what she often does when
she has a little free time. She texted her regular hookup — the guy
she is sleeping with but not dating. What was he up to? He texted back:
Come over. So she did. They watched a little TV, had sex and went to
sleep.
Related

On Campus, Opening Up Conversations About Sex (April 17, 2012)

The Collection: A Fashion App for the iPad
The Collection

A one-stop destination for Times fashion coverage and the latest from
the runways.

Download It From the App Store

Follow Us on Twitter
NYTimesFashion on Twitter

Follow -at-NYTimesfashion for fashion, beauty and lifestyle news and
headlines.
Enlarge This Image
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

A generation of women faces broad opportunities and great pressures,
both of which help shape their views on sex and relationships.
Enlarge This Image
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Some Penn women don’t truly feel off the clock unless they’re at
a campus bar or fraternity party. Spring Fling, shown here, is one of
the year’s biggest parties.
Enlarge This Image
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Spring Fling.
Enlarge This Image
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Haley, left, said that when drinking is involved, guys think the
“default answer is always yes.” Catherine, right, said she would
not throw away a good relationship because the timing wasn’t right.
Enlarge This Image
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Spring Fling.
Enlarge This Image
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

Nationwide, nearly 3 in 10 seniors say they have never hooked up in
college.

Their relationship, she noted, is not about the meeting of two souls.

“We don’t really like each other in person, sober,” she
said, adding that “we literally can’t sit down and have
coffee.”

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.

“I positioned myself in college in such a way that I can’t have
a meaningful romantic relationship, because I’m always busy and the
people that I am interested in are always busy, too,” she said.

“And I know everyone says, ‘Make time, make time,’ ”
said the woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity but agreed to be
identified by her middle initial, which is A. “But there are so many
other things going on in my life that I find so important that I just,
like, can’t make time, and I don’t want to make time.”

It is by now pretty well understood that traditional dating in college
has mostly gone the way of the landline, replaced by “hooking
up” — an ambiguous term that can signify anything from making
out to oral sex to intercourse — without the emotional entanglement
of a relationship.

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.
For Discussion

How did your romantic and sexual experiences in college shape the
relationships you've had since then?

Please tell us in the comments below.

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.

“For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will
be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again
have this concentration of men who are worthy of you,” advised Ms.
Patton, who has two sons, one a Princeton graduate and the other a
current student. In many places, Ms. Patton was derided for wanting to
return to the days of the “Mrs. degree,” though a few female
writers, noting how hard it can be for women to find mates in their 30s,
suggested that she might have a point. (Ms. Patton just landed a book
deal with a division of Simon & Schuster.)

As lengthy interviews over the school year with more than 60 women at
Penn indicated, the discussion is playing out in the lives of a
generation of women facing both broader opportunities and greater
pressures than perhaps any before, both of which helped shape their
views on sex and relationships in college.

Typical of elite universities today, Penn is filled with driven young
women, many of whom aspire to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, bankers
or corporate executives like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg or
Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer. Keenly attuned to what might give them a
competitive edge, especially in a time of unsure job prospects and a
shaky economy, many of them approach college as a race to acquire
credentials: top grades, leadership positions in student organizations,
sought-after internships. Their time out of class is filled with club
meetings, sports practice and community-service projects. For some, the
only time they truly feel off the clock is when they are drinking at a
campus bar or at one of the fraternities that line Locust Walk, the main
artery of campus.

These women said they saw building their résumés, not finding
boyfriends (never mind husbands), as their main job at Penn. 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.

In this context, some women, like A., seized the opportunity to have sex
without relationships, preferring “hookup buddies” (regular
sexual partners with little emotional commitment) to boyfriends. Others
longed for boyfriends and deeper attachment. Some women described a
dangerous edge to the hookup culture, of sexual assaults and degrading
encounters enabled by drinking and distinguished by a lack of emotional
connection.

The women interviewed came from all corners of Penn’s population.
They belonged to sororities (or would never dream of it), reported for
the school newspaper, sang or danced in performance groups, played
sports. Some spent almost every weekend night at a “downtown” (a
fraternity party at a nightclub, where men paid for bottle service) or
at a campus bar. Others preferred holing up in the library or hanging
out with the theater crowd. They came from all over the country, and as
far away as China and Africa. Some had gone to elite private high
schools; others were on full scholarship. They came from diverse racial
backgrounds, and several were first-generation immigrants. They were
found in a wide variety of ways, from chance encounters in coffee shops
to introductions from friends.

Because they believed that talking publicly about sex could come back to
haunt them — by damaging their reputations at Penn, their
families’ opinions of them or their professional future — the
women spoke on the condition that their full names would not be
revealed. Most are identified by their first or middle names or by a
middle initial. They spoke over the course of the academic year, often
repeatedly and at length.

An Economic Calculation

For A., college is an endless series of competitions: to get into
student clubs, some of which demand multiple rounds of interviews; to be
selected for special research projects and the choicest internships;
and, in the end, to land the most elite job offers.

As A. explained her schedule, “If I’m sober, I’m
working.”

In such an overburdened college life, she said, it was rare for her and
her friends to find a relationship worth investing time in, and many
people avoided commitment because they assumed that someone better would
always come along.

“We are very aware of cost-benefit issues and trading up and trading
down, so no one wants to be too tied to someone that, you know, may not
be the person they want to be with in a couple of months,” she said.

Instead, she enjoyed casual sex on her terms — often late at night,
after a few drinks, and never at her place, she noted, because then she
would have to wash the sheets.

Nationally, women now outnumber men in college enrollment by 4 to 3 and
outperform them in graduation rates and advanced degrees. Some
researchers have argued that the gender imbalance fosters a culture of
hooking up because men, as the minority, hold more power in the sexual
marketplace, and they prefer casual sex to long-term relationships.

But Elizabeth A. Armstrong, a sociologist at the University of Michigan
who studies young women’s sexuality, said that women at elite
universities were choosing hookups because they saw relationships as too
demanding and potentially too distracting from their goals.

In interviews, “Some of them actually said things like, ‘A
relationship is like taking a four-credit class,’ or ‘I could
get in a relationship, or I could finish my film,’ ” Dr.
Armstrong said.

Increasingly, she said, many privileged young people see college as a
unique life stage in which they don’t — and shouldn’t —
have obligations other than their own self-development.

Women say, “ ‘I need to take this time for myself — I’m
going to have plenty of time to focus on my husband and kids later,’
” Dr. Armstrong said. “ ‘I need to invest in my career, I
need to learn how to be independent, I need to travel.’ People use
this reference to this life stage to claim a lot of space for a lot of
different kinds of things.”

Some women also want to wait to see how men turn out as they advance
through their 20s.

A., for example, said that she did not want to settle down until she
could choose a partner knowing that his goals and values were fixed.

“‘I’ve always heard this phrase, ‘Oh, marriage is great,
or relationships are great — you get to go on this journey of change
together,’ ” she said. “That sounds terrible.

“I don’t want to go through those changes with you. I want you
to have changed and become enough of your own person so that when you
meet me, we can have a stable life and be very happy.”

In the meantime, from A.’s perspective, she was in charge of her own
sexuality.

“I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve regretted any of my
one-night stands,” she said.

“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.

“Ten years from now, no one will remember — I will not remember
— who I have slept with,” A. said. “But I will remember,
like, my transcript, because it’s still there. I will remember what
I did. I will remember my accomplishments and places my name is hung on
campus.”

Independent Women

Susan Patton says women like A. are making a mistake.

Ms. Patton, who graduated from Princeton in 1977 and is now a human
resources consultant in New York, said in an interview that she wrote
her letter after attending a conference on Princeton’s campus, where
she took part in a discussion about careers with a group of female
students. At one point, she asked the young women if any of them wanted
to marry and have children. They at first appeared shocked by the
question, then looked at one another for reassurance before, she said,
“sheepishly” raising their hands.

“I thought, ‘My gosh, 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.

“That’s one thing that my mom has always instilled in me:
‘Make decisions for yourself, not for a guy,’ ” one senior
at Penn said.

A friend of hers, who attended a nearby college and did have a serious
boyfriend, said that she felt as if she were breaking a social taboo.
“Am I allowed to find the person that I want to spend the rest of my
life with when I’m 19?” she said. “I don’t really know.
It feels like I’m not.”

Even if they did meet someone they were interested in, some women said
the logistics of a relationship were just too hard. Some described
extracurricular commitments — running debate tournaments for local
high school students, or organizing Model United Nations conferences
— that took up 30 to 40 hours a week, and came on top of going to
class, doing homework and, in the case of less-wealthy students,
work-study jobs. Some relationships ended, or never got off the ground,
simply because schedules didn’t align.

Moreover, by senior year, the looming prospect of graduation and job
applications made many students leery of dating.

“There’s this hypothetical, ‘I would like to be in a
relationship, because it’s like comforting and stable and
supportive,’ ” a senior, Pallavi, said of her friends’
attitudes. “But then, the conversations that I’ve had, it’s
always like, ‘Well, then what do I do when we get to May, because
we’re graduating, and so where do we go from there?’ That
uncertainty is a huge sort of stop sign.”

She had dated a few men in college but said that she wasn’t sure if
she wanted to get married. With the economy changing, and people less
likely to have straight career tracks, she thought that the uncertainty
and the need to be mobile might discourage people from marrying.

For herself, she was planning to stay in Philadelphia for two years to
pursue a master’s degree part time while working for the university,
then possibly get a Ph.D. and a law degree somewhere else. That pretty
much precluded a serious relationship, she said.

“Hypothetically, if I were to enter into a serious relationship with
someone right now,” she said, “would I honestly say to them:
‘We’re going to spend two years in Philadelphia, and then with
some kind of crazy luck I’m going to spend eight years somewhere
else? And God knows what you would have been doing for the two years
that we were still in Philadelphia — you either would have to up and
leave with me, or we’d have to do a long-distance.’ That’s
just too much to even ask anyone to commit to.”

Adapt, Have Fun

Some women went to college wanting a relationship, but when that seemed
unlikely, they embraced hooking up as the best alternative. M., an
athletic freshman with long legs and a button nose, arrived at college a
virgin and planned to wait to have sex until she had her first
boyfriend, something she expected to happen in college. But over the
course of the fall, as she saw very few students forming relationships,
she began to lose hope about finding a boyfriend and to see her
virginity as a hindrance.

“I could be here for four years and not date anyone,” she said
she realized. “Sometimes you are out, and there’s a guy you
really are attracted to, and you kind of want to go back home with him,
but you kind of have that underlying, ‘I can’t, because I
can’t just lose my V-card to some random guy.’ ”

At a party in the spring semester, she was taking a break from dancing
when she ran into a guy she had had a class with in the fall. They
started talking, then danced until the party was over. M. went back to
his room, where they talked some more and then started making out.

By this time, she said, “I wasn’t very drunk — I was close
to sober,” which made her believe she could make a considered
decision.

“I’m like, ‘O.K., I could do this now,’ ” she
recalled thinking. “ ‘He’s superhot, I like him, he’s
nice. But I’m not going to expect anything out of it, either.’


The alternative, she said, was that “I could take the chance that
one night I get really drunk and sleep with someone that I don’t
want to sleep with, which probably is what would have ended up
happening.”

So she had sex with him. In the morning, he walked her home.

“Honestly, all of my friends, they’re super envious, because I
came back with the biggest smile on my face,” M. said. As she had
expected, she and the guy remained friendly but nothing more. Yet she
was still happy with her decision.

“All of my friends are jealous, because I had such a great first
experience,” she added. Over spring break, she slept with someone
else.

In general, she said, she thought that guys at Penn controlled the
hookup culture. But women played a role as well.

“It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt
a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get
a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do,
you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to,
like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to
get attached.”

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.”

The Default Is Yes

For many Penn students, their initiation into the sexual culture takes
place at fraternity parties during New Student Orientation, a five-day
period before classes start in the fall, which, along with Spring Fling
in April, is known as the biggest partying time of the year.

“You go in, and they take you down to a dark basement,” Haley, a
blond, pink-cheeked senior, recalled of her first frat parties in
freshman year. “There’s girls dancing in the middle, and
there’s guys lurking on the sides and then coming and basically
pressing their genitals up against you and trying to dance.”

Dancing like that felt good but dirty, and like a number of girls, Haley
said she had to be drunk in order to enjoy it. 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.

In November of Haley’s freshman year, a couple of months after her
first tentative “Difmos,” or dance-floor makeouts, she went to a
party with a boy from her floor. She had too much to drink, and she
remembered telling him that she wanted to go home.

Instead, she said, he took her to his room and had sex with her while
she drifted in and out of consciousness. She woke up with her head
spinning. The next day, not sure what to think about what had happened,
she described the night to her friends as though it were a funny story:
I was so drunk, I fell asleep while I was having sex! She played up the
moment in the middle of the night when the guy’s roommate poked his
head in the room and asked, “Yo, did you score?”

Only later did Haley begin to think of what had happened as rape — a
disturbingly common part of many women’s college experience. In a
2007 survey funded by the Justice Department of 6,800 undergraduates at
two big public universities, nearly 14 percent of women said they had
been victims of at least one completed sexual assault at college; more
than half of the victims said they were incapacitated from drugs or
alcohol at the time.

The close relationship between hooking up and drinking leads to
confusion and disagreement about the line between a “bad hookup”
and assault. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, 10 to 16 forcible sex offenses were
reported annually to campus security as taking place on Penn’s
campus or in the immediate neighborhood.

In January, Penn announced that it was forming a commission, led by a
faculty member, to study the impact of alcohol and drug use on campus,
with a particular focus on sexual violence.

When drinking is involved, Haley said, “Guys assume that the default
answer is always yes.”

“I think a lot of guys get the idea: ‘O.K., this girl’s
coming to this party, and she’s drinking. That means her goal of the
night is to hook up with somebody,’ ” she said. “They’re
like, ‘O.K., she came out, and if she dressed like that, it must
mean that she wanted to hook up.’ ”

A friend of hers, Kristy, shared a story about a different kind of
coercion. She had been making out with a guy at his house, not sure how
far she wanted to go, when he stood up and told her, “Get down on
your knees.”

At first she froze. “I was really taken aback, because I was like,
no one has ever said that to me before,” she said. Then he said
something like, “ ‘I think that’s fair,’ ” she
recalled. When she still hesitated, he pushed her down.

“It was at that point that I was like, ‘I’ll just do
it,’ ” she said. “I was like, ‘ “It will be over
soon enough.’ ”

Paula England, a sociologist at New York University, who led an online
survey of 24,000 students at 21 universities called the Online College
Social Life Survey, said that 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.

Part of the reason men aren’t as focused on pleasing women in
hookups, Dr. England said, is the lingering sexual double standard,
which sometimes causes men to disrespect women precisely for hooking up
with them.

There is judgment from other women, too — two women said they had
been rejected from sororities because of their sexual reputations. And
technology has made it easier to spread gossip. One woman recalled a guy
showing her an e-mail he had received on his fraternity Listserv, in
which another guy described having sex with a girl in the bathroom at a
club.

“They’re not afraid to use names,” she said of the men,
adding, “I’m sure there’s been a story about me on a
Listserv. It happens to everyone.”

Opting Out

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.

Mercedes, a junior at Penn who is on financial aid, said that at her
mostly Latino public high school in California, it was the troubled and
unmotivated students who drank and hooked up, while the honors students
who wanted to go to college kept away from those things.

When she went to Penn, she was surprised to see her elite classmates
drinking, but even more surprised by the casual making out. She would go
along with her friends to fraternity parties, but she refused to dance
with strangers or to kiss anyone.

“Sharing that side of myself with a stranger just seems very strange
to me,” she said in September. “I mean, if you break it down,
it’s a very strange thing to do.”

Her unease was common among students from relatively modest backgrounds,
said Dr. Armstrong, the University of Michigan sociologist. In one
study, conducted with Laura Hamilton, now a professor at the University
of California, Merced, Dr. Armstrong followed roughly 50 women from
their freshman year at Indiana University in 2004 until the end of their
college careers. They found that the 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.

At Penn, Mercedes said: “Everyone else seemed to live life, not
really care about what they were doing. Like, ‘You’re only young
once,’ they had that sort of mentality. And I didn’t understand
why I couldn’t be, like, free-spirited, and not really care about
the consequences of my actions.”

She added, “Nothing is stopping me from rebelling. I just didn’t
rebel.”

By the start of her junior year, Mercedes had still never kissed anyone.
Then in the fall, she found herself often getting into late-night
conversations with a boy in her dorm. They talked about their studies,
their families, politics. One weekend he invited her to a poetry slam
off campus. The next night, they shyly confessed that they liked each
other and had their first kiss.

Interviewed again in the spring, she said things were proceeding slowly
but steadily. The two never had to hook up. They were just dating,
getting to know each other in the old-fashioned way.

Physically, they had not gone further than making out, Mercedes said,
and she thought she might want to wait to have sex until marriage.
“It’s not like I’m doing it because of my reputation,”
she said. “It’s not because a religion tells me to wait. I think
of it more as, this is the way I want to emotionally connect to someone,
and I think that only a person who deserves me to be emotionally
attached to them should have that opportunity to see me in that
way.”

Romantics

Catherine, a Penn senior, had found hooking up in college to be a
continual source of heartbreak. She had repeatedly made the mistake of
thinking that because she was sleeping with someone, they were in a
relationship, only to be disabused when the guy broke things off
abruptly. The only glimmer of light had been a friendship with a guy she
had met while studying abroad in Ireland, which blossomed into a romance
just before she had to leave. Although, because of the distance, they
ended up not pursuing a relationship, the experience had given her hope
for the future.

In Catherine’s view, 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. In an article on Slate titled “Marry Young,”
the writer Julia Shaw, who married at 23, said her generation was
missing out on the support that young couples could provide each other
as they faced the challenges of early adulthood.

“Marriage wasn’t something we did after we’d grown up, it
was how we have grown up and grown together,” she wrote of herself
and her husband.

As a teenager, Catherine had thought she would wait to get married until
her late 20s or early 30s. But her college experiences had made her
think that she would rather marry young than throw away a good
relationship because it wasn’t the right time.

That might mean having to pass up certain career opportunities, for
geographic reasons. But 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.

“People kind of discount” how “difficult it is to find
someone that you even remotely like, let alone really fall for,” she
said. “And losing that can be just as impractical and harmful to
yourself, if not more so, than missing out on a job or something like
that. What else do you really have at the end of your life?”

  1. 2013-07-01 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Wished you were there...
  2. 2013-07-04 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] video miracles
  3. 2013-07-10 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [group-digests-at-linkedin.com: The OU Job Board will be running a
  4. 2013-07-11 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] bad day at the office
  5. 2013-07-14 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Digital Revolution Stage II
  6. 2013-07-14 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] charter fishing
  7. 2013-07-14 Paul Robert Marino <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Digital Revolution Stage II
  8. 2013-07-15 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] getting a college education
  9. 2013-07-15 einker <eminker-at-gmail.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Dell Add-in cards for Workstations and Dell Dimension PCs
  10. 2013-07-15 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Dell Add-in cards for Workstations and Dell
  11. 2013-07-15 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Dell Add-in cards for Workstations and Dell
  12. 2013-07-16 From: "Paul Robert Marino" <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Dell Add-in cards for Workstations and Dell Dimension PCs
  13. 2013-07-16 From: "Paul Robert Marino" <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Dell Add-in cards for Workstations and Dell Dimension PCs
  14. 2013-07-17 Paul Robert Marino <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Weird Linux network question
  15. 2013-07-17 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Weird Linux network question
  16. 2013-07-21 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] all your phones be mine
  17. 2013-07-21 From: "Paul Robert Marino" <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] all your phones be mine
  18. 2013-07-21 From: "Paul Robert Marino" <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] all your phones be mine
  19. 2013-07-22 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Big Brother is Watching You
  20. 2013-07-22 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Lt Gov caught getting blown by secretary at 100MPH by black box
  21. 2013-07-23 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] linux in government
  22. 2013-07-23 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] open everything
  23. 2013-07-23 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software Jobs
  24. 2013-07-23 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Attempt Patent the World Wide Web - win $100mil
  25. 2013-07-24 Ruben <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] wall street
  26. 2013-07-24 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Gnome Blow up
  27. 2013-07-24 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Prying Eyes
  28. 2013-07-26 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] death by iphone
  29. 2013-07-26 Robert Menes <viewtiful.icchan-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] death by iphone
  30. 2013-07-26 Elfen Magix <elfen_magix-at-yahoo.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] death by iphone
  31. 2013-07-28 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Cure Suicide Now - More Coffee
  32. 2013-07-29 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] career moves
  33. 2013-07-29 Robert Menes <viewtiful.icchan-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] career moves
  34. 2013-07-29 Elfen Magix <elfen_magix-at-yahoo.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] career moves
  35. 2013-07-29 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] career moves
  36. 2013-07-29 Elfen Magix <elfen_magix-at-yahoo.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] career moves
  37. 2013-07-31 Paul Robert Marino <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software Jobs
  38. 2013-07-31 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software Jobs
  39. 2013-07-31 Paul Robert Marino <prmarino1-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Big Brother is Watching You

NYLXS are Do'ers and the first step of Doing is Joining! Join NYLXS and make a difference in your community today!