NPR Studies Sex Without Love

A growing trend among college students and other young singles is to have sexual or slightly less than sexual encounters with no commitment and no strings attached. NPR has recently studied the trend.

The Program can be found here.

The basic ideas are found on the NPR website:

The hookup — that meeting and mating ritual that started among high school and college students — is becoming a trend among young people who have entered the workaday world. For the many who are delaying the responsibilities of marriage and child-rearing, hooking up has virtually replaced dating.

It is a major shift in the culture over the past few decades, says Kathleen Bogle, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University.

Young people during one of the most sexually active periods of their lives aren't necessarily looking for a mate. What used to be a mate-seeking ritual has shifted to hookups: sexual encounters with no strings attached.

"The idea used to be you are going to date someone that is going to lead to something sexual happening," Bogle says. "In the hookup era, something sexual happens, even though it may be less than sexual intercourse, that may or may not ever lead to dating."

Young people from high school on are so preoccupied with friends, getting an education and establishing themselves, they don't make time for relationships.

This is an interesting trend, Philosophically speaking. I have no real interest in "moralizing" about it. I think, however, that from the standpoint of someone who thinks life is about building deep and abiding personal relationships (romantic AND otherwise) ... I'm not convinced that is anything particularly fulfilling or rewarding here. But then again ... Perhaps others feel differently?

I find one thing most troubling about the whole matter. One young woman interviewed was extremely comfortable talking about her "sexual partners," but was embarrassed and uncomfortable talking about love. Much of the program revealed the lack of personal connection in these "hooks ups." Can such a lack and discomfort be in any way good?

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