Mark Welsh: Air Force Commander Says "Hookup Culture" Influences Military Sexual Assault

A “hookup” is a colloquial term often used to describe some form of sexual interaction with another person (or in some cases, multiple people). It can range from kissing to intercourse.

Recently there have been more reported cases of sexual assaults in the military. In response, the Air Force’s top commander, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III used the term, “hookup mentality” to justify why these high rates of sexual assaults are occurring.

Let’s think about the logic behind this: People are getting sexually assaulted and it’s because of some hookup mentality/culture in society today. The problem with that theory is that a “hookup” is essentially a vague term to describe kissing, making out, oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, etc. (you get the picture). And last time I checked, that’s been happening since the history of the human race. “Hookup culture” is just another way to describe human culture. Most people don’t end up being celibate for life so that means the vast majority of us eventually “hook up!” And to blame cases of rape and sexual assault on “hookup culture” is absolutely absurd. People can enjoy consensual sex and hookups. But this is not an excuse to violate another human being and force them to have sex.

If we really want to blame it on the rise of our present day “hookup culture,” then how come this was never brought up during the Baby Boomers era? With the historical increase of 76.4 million babies born in a few years in the United States, I think it’s safe to assume that a lot of people were “hooking up.” Chances are, sexual violence occurred back then as well but again, saying that it was caused by a “hookup mentality” doesn’t make any sense.

Who’s really to blame for sexual assault cases? Perpetrators and rapists. And regardless of who you are, such as the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention chief, if you commit sexual assault it’s your fault. Let’s stop blaming some “hookup culture,” victims of sexual assault, or the clothes a victim wears. People actively make the choice to assault others and we shouldn’t make any excuses for their heinous actions.

We should always consider how such ridiculous explanations of sexual violence affect victims of these crimes. It trivializes the experiences of these victims, regardless of gender, age, race, and sexual orientation.

With that said, go out and enjoy consensual hookups, because contrary to Gen. Mark A. Welsh III’s beliefs, it will not result in more cases of sexual assault.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Caleb Peng

Bachelor of Arts from Emory University. A feminist, environmentalist, humanitarian, enthusiastic learner, CrossFitter, musician, and filmmaker. Check out my sexual violence prevention videos at www.youtube.com/projectunspoken and follow me on Twitter @CalebPeng

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