A review by Caroline Simon of Donna Freitas‘ new book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.” (Simon is professor of philosophy at Hope College in Holland, MI and Freitas was a former professor of religion at Boston College.) The book is written for a secular audience, but this review is from Christianity Today. Interesting propositions and insights on today’s college students and their attitudes and actions revolving around sex and intimacy.
What Freitas finds most disturbing about hookup culture is that most of those who participate do so less than willingly. The students that she interviewed almost always saw their hookups as imposed by social expectations or as random acts—”It just happened” was a prevailing theme. In this context she has illuminating observations about the link between hookup sex and alcohol. Students “pre-drink” before going to parties because they want to be numb enough to do things that they would not do if sober. At some level they know that engaging with sexual behaviors of various sorts with strangers and casual acquaintances is demeaning. They brace themselves to do these things because they “know” that this is what “everybody” does at parties.