Friday, September 29, 2017
Hooking Up is a Dominance Game
Lisa Wade has a new book on campus hookup culture, which she discusses on the "Hidden Brain" podcast.
She found that the students who most enjoy and benefit from hookup culture are higher class white men and women who use it as a status game. The men are competing with the other men, and the women are competing with the other women, to see who can hook up with the highest status member of the other sex. (This whole game is for hets.)
The point of hooking up is that it is for sex without emotional connection. If you get attached, you lose the game. In this, as a group, men have an advantage, which they exploit. This is also why hookups are conducted drunk, to provide plausible deniability that any real emotions were involved. And noise, to prevent conversation. While the actual sex is usually conducted in private, the point of the hookup - both the initial connection on the dance floor, and the gossip afterwards -- is so that others will know.
Wade confirms what I found at Centre -- people think there is much more hooking up than there actually is, and think it involves intercourse much more than it actually does.
Nonetheless, hookup culture creates a social expectation that goes way beyond the "winners" of that status game, and interferes with actual love and romance.