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"hook Up" Culture: The Stereotype of a Generation

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"Hook Up" Culture: The Stereotype of a Generation

When we hear the word stereotype, the majority of people thing of racial slurs or unjust categorizing of a group of people. However, Generation Y has become a victim of a stereotype that spans every race, religion, and culture of those associated with it. Deemed by many as the "hook up" generation, we have become subject to the stereotype as a sexually open group of people, falling away from the culturally acceptable relationships. While our generation seems to be more sexually active and casual than previous generations, it actually views sex in a more traditional and romantic way, despite what the media and other sources tell us. While "hooking up" does occur, it is not more prevalent in our generation than that previous to us, though it may be more openly discussed than in earlier times.

The first thing that must be determined is how our generation, and those in generations preceding ours, defines the idea of "hooking up". This is no easy task. In her book, author Kathleen Bogel attempts to determine how people define the idea of hooking up. However, the results yield a widely varied number of opinions on what people think constitutes a hook up. From "just kissing" to full sexual intercourse, what it means to hook up is shrouded in a grey area. The general consensus is that physical contact falling between these two extremes is considered hooking up. However, the one idea that determines if it is hooking up, whether it is a peck on the lips or sex, is that it is not in the context of a "dating" relationship. When compared to earlier generations, for instance when mothers and daughters together decided when a boy was allowed to "call" on the girl, the idea of sex outside of a relationship puts a dark cloud over our morality. However, this stereotype of being the slutty generation is based on loose facts and a small percentage of the population. (459)

On the outside, the Y generation gives the impression that we are a people with loose morals and driven by sexual desire. While this is partially the fault of the media who show only the small part of our generation who do live this lifestyle, it is also partially the fault of the male half of generation. While Natalie Waits and Buzz Pruitt tell us that most people seek a romantic relationship as the end product of hooking up, most men will deny this. According to Donna Frietas, men feel a need to brag and often lie about the amount of hook ups they get. They feel for the most part that a busy sexual life with multiple partners confirms their masculinity. In addition to this, women have fallen into the stigma that they have become much more open to sex outside of relationships, especially on college campuses. However, most men were found to have exaggerated the number of partners they have had, and most women are looking for serious



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