Hookup culture can have harmful effects on college students


Infographic by Elisa Zody — Digital and Multimedia Editor

Data shows the negative effects hookup culture can have.

Ashley Cope, Reporter

Once they enter college, many young adults may feel pressured into participating in hookup culture, which could be seen as something cool and what everyone is doing. However, no one talks about the negative consequences, such as the negative affect on mental well-being, of participating in hookup culture.

According to the National Library of Medicine, a study of 607 18 to 26-year-old undergraduate students showed that 45% of students who have participated in hookups have regretted it, and 27% have feelings of loneliness after a hookup. This study includes the risks of hookup culture, such as the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy and pregnancy scares. 

Laura E. Klinger, in an article published in College Student Affairs Leadership, said women overwhelmingly experience more negative outcomes than men when participating in hookup culture. 

“In a sample of 291 sexually active students, women’s depressive symptoms increased incrementally with their number of sexual partners. However, this result was not found for male participants,” Klinger said in the article. 

Women also have more potential consequences when it comes to casual hookups. In addition to these possible consequences, I believe sex is an emotional connection, and is not meant to be done casually.

“Sex is a very intimate thing to share with somebody, so I wouldn’t advertise going around and sharing it with every other person or every person that you met. It is something that you should share with the person that you know and that you are emotionally intimate with,” junior Cecely Zamora said.

Also, Zamora said hookups can lead to low self-esteem in women and many women struggle with the feeling of needing to change the way they look.

“Instead of seeing the person as they are on the inside, paying attention to the really important things, they are more paying attention to our bodies and the physical lust component instead of seeing for what the person is made of, and I think that is also kinda transitioning to how women–how we perceive our own bodies as well,” Zamora said. 

According to the National Institute of Health, 43.1% of people who lived together and participated in pre-marital sex have lower marital satisfaction, lower dedication, negative communication and higher likelihood of divorce. By not participating in hookup culture in college, young adults are more likely to find long-lasting partners and less likely to go through divorce later in life. 

This is something as a community we can come together to bring awareness to. Hookup culture should not be normalized and students should be more conscientious about the many negative effects hookup culture has on young adults. 

“It’s not only affecting college campuses, but it is transitioning into high school as well, going into younger generations,” Zamora said. 

It is especially important that we teach young women to value themselves and inspire women to not be pressured by hookup culture. By not normalizing hookup culture on college campuses, we are helping lower the amount of STD infections, unwanted pregnancies and harmful mental health effects.