Millennial Sex is Defined by the Hook Up Culture, and College Campuses Are Taking Note

Sex. Sex. Sex. It’s everywhere. It’s on the TV, in ads, on the internet and even on smart phones.

One can argue that each generation has had exposure to sexuality in varying degrees. The baby boomers are most famous for the sexual revolution. Generation X had the to deal with the epidemic of AIDs and how that shaped homosexuality and LGTBQ rights. Generation Y, or the millennials , is dealing with “hook up culture.”

Recently, the Daily Beast released an article about the 20 “safest sexual” colleges (colleges with the best safe sex programs) throughout the United States. The universities on the list range from Big 10 (Michigan) to Ivy League schools (Cornell). It’s an important thing because nearly half of the STI cases reported occur in people from ages to 15-24. Despite the negatives or positives of the hook-up cultures, colleges are preemptively combating the issue by providing numerous options for safe sex.

The hook-up culture is definitely something entrenched in the millennial generation. With twenty-somethings delaying marriage and not partaking in serious monogamous relationships, hooking up seems to be the most common method of satisfying those urges. Having casual sex or hooking up may eliminate the emotional investment that comes with a relationship. Sometimes college students do not have the time to devote to relationships or do not want to deal with the work that is involved in a relationship. Hooking up, whatever definition one goes by, allows for people to experiment sexuality and enjoy sex. That said, having multiple sexual partners may increase the likelihood of receiving an STI. Colleges have recognized that problem and have provided excellent resources for individuals to practice safe sex. From increasing the availability of condoms and contraceptives to providing outreach and sexual assault programs, colleges are not prohibiting nor are they advocating for casual sex.

Many may argue that the hook-up culture is negative towards women and men. Some of the arguments are that women become lost in sex, becoming disconnected and utilizing sex to avoid emotional problems. Casual sex may allow men to use women (or other men) for sex; ultimately leaving people emotionally scarred. These arguments do not explore the repercussions of casual sex within homosexual relationships and these arguments may conform to the gender stereotypes of how men and women act within relationships. Men and women both may be hurt by the hook-up culture if it is used for an unhealthy reason.

Despite the arguments, people still are having sex whether it’s healthy or not and colleges are doing the right thing by providing people with measures to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Hopefully by colleges providing safe sex measures, it will allow for the taboo of sex to be lifted and will (hopefully) decrease the number of STIs amongst students.

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Michelle Adams

Currently serving as an AmeriCorps member at the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness with the Campaign to End Homelessness program, Michelle is passionate about ending homelessness. She graduated with a B.A. in Communication and a specialization in public relations and a minor in sexuality and conflict/management from Michigan State University. Her interests lie in writing about culture, sexuality/gender and homelessness. Offline she enjoys quoting How I Met Your Mother, volunteering, swinging at parks and stargazing.

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