Got the ‘Hook Up’

To have casual sex or not to have casual sex: That is the question.As freshmen get acquainted with college life, one issue they may have to deal with is the “hook-up” culture on campus.

The Journal of Sex Research defines hook-up as a sexual encounter usually lasting one night between two people who are strangers or brief acquaintances.

“I would not advise anyone to just hook up. Hook-ups aren’t about love. It is just about physical interaction between two people,” said Natasha O. Clayton, a health specialist and victim advocate at FAMU’s Center for Human Development, located on the west side of Tucker Hall by the Black Archives building.

The likely cause for the culture, Clayton said, is loneliness.

“I believe that many (students) want to be with someone but do not want to establish a committed relationship and therefore settle,” she said.In a study conducted by Dr. Drew Pinsky, 91 percent of college women reported a “rampant hook-up culture” on their campuses.

“I believe that females and males are more pressured in college (than in high school) to have sex, due to the fact that many believe it is a right of passage,” Clayton said.

Brandon Johnson, a 20-year-old junior from Detroit, agreed up to a point.

“I believe more people are expected to have sex in a college relationship than in a high school relationship,” Johnson said. “But I do not believe that there is an overwhelming pressure to have sex in college.”

Erin Washington, a 19-year-old theater student from Montgomery, Ala., disagreed.

“I do believe that there is pressure to have sex in college.” She said. “But in college, you have a mind of your own.”

Clayton said the “hook-up” culture, although it has some short-term benefits, has many problems.

“The consequences to just hooking up can range from the simple fact that college students aren’t building the foundation for good relationship skills,”

Clayton said. “Other consequences can be more dangerous, such as contracting STDs, HIV or AIDS.”

Johnson agreed. “The hook-up culture on college campuses is simply a learning process of how to approach women, but if you enter college without having relationship skills, then you will be lacking, and the hook-up is not where you learn those skills.”

Johnson advised freshmen not to get caught up in the culture.

“After a while, you get tired of just hooking-up and you will soon find yourself wanting to settle down,” he said.

Clayton said that students, especially freshmen, should be more informed about sexually transmitted diseases and use protection to avoid them.