The hookup culture that makes casual sex so common on college campuses these days might well disappear—if only the students themselves were honest with each other about it, writes Donna Freitas in the Washington Post. After eight years of research, she argues that most students either don't like the "hypersexuality" or are at best ambivalent about it. And forget the idea of chalking it up to healthy sexual experimentation—at this point, the opposite is true: "When students are expected to hook up with lots of people, doing so becomes dutiful, not daring."
As a result, those who partake often end up "emotionally dulled or depressed about sexual intimacy and romance." Students privately pine for old-fashioned dates, so much so that Freitas often had to resist the urge to bust out of researcher mode and encourage her interviewees to ask out somebody they liked. "Today, sexual experimentation might be getting to know someone before having sex, holding out for dates and courtship focused on romance rather than sex," she writes. "From where I sit, meeting a student confident enough to say she’s not hooking up and is proud about that is as experimental as it gets." Click for the full column.