Is hookup culture destroying love? Part I
The title of this recent article is “Is online dating destroying love?” but the article is really asking whether hookup culture is destroying love. Online dating is merely one of the many forums where today's sexual patterns are expressed.
England is a leading indicator of American societal trends. We’re 5-10 years behind Europe as far as cultural change. Christianity is dying in Europe and we’re seeing signs of that death here in the U.S. And the coinciding loss of Christian morality is not without consequence.
Let’s define some terms. Sex, in this context, means sex acts between a man and woman. Love, in this context, means commitment in all it’s aspects – temporal, emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, etc. By my definition, a healthy and lasting marriage is the highest form of love.
Hookup culture is a pattern of physical intimacy with various partners involving little or no emotional attachment. Boy meets girl at club/bar/frat party/coffee shop. Words are exchanged. Boy and girl make out in said venue (OK maybe not Starbucks). Boy and girl leave club. Fluids are exchanged. Later, girl texts boy. Boy ignores text. Rinse, substitute different boy or girl, then repeat.
Essentially, hook-up culture is sex without love. Here are some of the other names for the hook-up culture: one-night stands, friends with benefits, and booty calls. People have sex with various people as a completely separate activity from love.
Online dating sites make it easy for people to hook up. In the article, sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann writes “there was now a vast hyper market for love and/or sex, in which everyone was both a buyer and a seller who openly stated what they wanted and tried to satisfy their needs as efficiently as possible.”
There are two ways hookup culture hurts our society: 1) rewards the worst men and punishes everyone else 2) undermines marriage (love) and child-rearing. We’ll examine the first one in this post.
Not surprisingly, women are unhappy with the hook-up carousel. And yet many women keep jumping on. In line with the claims of feminism, they are exercising their right to pleasure. And this pursuit leads women towards to a certain type of man. According to Kaufman, women are sexually attracted to Alpha males – confident, aloof, tough “bad boys”. But what makes a man sexually attractive is often inversely correlated with his ability to commit and provide for a family. The bottom line is women want to marry nice guys but want to have sex with bastards. And as the article points out, women on the hook-up carousel are shocked when they discover all the men they’ve slept with are bastards.
Men are somewhat satisfied with being bastards. Well, the Alpha males are because they’re the ones doing the bastarding and getting rewarded for their efforts. And it’s certainly not all their fault. The system rewards bastards. Rather, it’s the nice guys who suffer. Their mothers and female friends told them that if they treat a woman well – make eye contact, listen, and open the door for a girl, that that will help them meet the love of their life. Which is a complete crock because 99% of women aren’t attracted to that.
So to sum up the consequences of hookup culture on each gender: women get what they want and are disappointed, nice guys get nothing, and jerks get everything they asked for. Good times for a few, bad and lonely times for everyone else.
Sounds like love is taking quite the beating. More about love (marriage) in part II.