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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Home Runs Shouldn’t Be Easy

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Hookup culture leads to overall dissatisfaction within students, and should not be normalized (Getty Images).

To hit a home run, a batter generates power through their swing, connects squarely with the pitched ball, and launches it high and deep enough to clear the outfield fence.

This process is methodical, precise, and difficult, but for sex running bases, making that home run doesn’t take much!

Hookup culture: characterized by casual sexual encounters, with little emphasis on emotional connection, has become a prominent feature of modern dating, particularly among young adults. 

While proponents tout its emphasis on sexual liberation and personal agency, a closer look reveals a landscape fraught with potential harms.

Given that it fulfills their physical demands without interfering with their busy schedules, hookup culture is popular among today’s college students. 

It appears to be a great bargain for a young person who wants to be free of constraint and to have no strings attached. You can engage in sexual activity without committing to a real relationship, which might drain valuable time and energy. 

Hookup culture can, however, leave someone who is vulnerable face-down on the concrete. There’s a reason it is known as “hookup culture”: someone is bound to be left hanging. 

Despite the persuasive justification made by hookup culture, “attachment-free” sex does not exist. This is not only a moral or cultural taboo issue; it is a biological phenomenon. During sexual interactions, the hormone, oxytocin, is released by both men and women. 

Whether you want it to or not, oxytocin creates emotional links between couples during sex, which is why, regardless of your valiant attempts to avoid “catching feelings”, you nonetheless manage to be attached. Oxytocin chemically binds a newborn to their mother after delivery, therefore it is known as “the love hormone.” 

This link is both physical and emotional. The same neurotransmitter that binds you to your nightmare of a one-night stand—the person you wish existed only in your dreams—is also the one that releases its links on the following day. 

Because of this hormonal release, there is a correlation between casual sex and feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. This disconnect between physical intimacy and emotional connection can leave individuals feeling used, isolated, and questioning their self-worth. 

The expectation of casualness can clash with the natural human desire for emotional connection, leading to feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Furthermore, hookup culture can foster a culture of comparison and insecurity. 

The constant pursuit of new sexual partners, often fueled by the curated profiles on dating apps, can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a distorted perception of one’s own attractiveness. 

This can be particularly detrimental for young people whose self-esteem is still under development.

Physically, hookup culture poses a significant risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The emphasis on quantity over quality in sexual partners increases the likelihood of exposure to various pathogens.  

Studies have shown a clear link between casual sex and a higher prevalence of STIs, especially because there is inconsistent condom use.

With this, there can be lasting health consequences, ranging from mild discomfort to severe reproductive issues.

Sex isn’t an inherently bad thing, but when society encourages the casualness of it, it causes not only psychological, hormonal harm, but also physical injury. 

It is vital that people are aware of these harms, so they can make safer, healthier decisions when it comes to intimacy.

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