Working Title: What is the Difference in Hookup Culture’s perception in Heterosexuals Versus Non-Heterosexuals?
Keywords: hookup culture, heterosexual, LGBTQ
I will begin my research paper by explaining hookup culture and its implications:
When examining the sexual relationships that occur on modern college campuses, it is inevitable to at one point discuss hookup culture. Hookups can be any number of things, from kissing to intercourse, and generally occur between two people that have a mutual understanding that no romantic or committed relationship is taking place (Watson 2017, Lamont 2018). According to many researchers, hookup culture on college campuses is extremely heteronormative and gendered (Lamont 2018). Lamont argues in a 2018 article that hookup culture is structured around heterosexual men and their desires, which feeds the sexual double standard of men needing to appear more sexually active and women needing to appear less sexually active. Overall, this culture is being normalized through media and that this is the evolution or replacement for the dating scene as it was in the past (Watson 2017). Because of all of this, hookup culture has been studied primarily through a heterosexual lens, lacking research on how LGBTQ+ college students are engaging with hookup culture. Logically, it would seem that all college students would be engaging in hookup culture regardless of sexual orientation, as college-age is typically the time that many explore their bodies and desires. Rupp even states in a 2014 article that women who kiss other women at bars or parties for the pleasure of male onlookers have reported discovering or confirming bisexual or lesbian identities, especially when engaging in male-female-female threesomes. Lamont (2018) explains this behavior as exploring same-sex desire in a socially acceptable circumstance. Lamont further explains that men are not awarded this convenience, as those that do are “always labeled ‘gay’ and thus stigmatized” (pg. 1003).
The above information begs the question:
This paper compares the perception of hookup culture between heterosexual and non-heterosexual college students.
To answer this question, I will use surveys and interviews that have been completed, including some referenced in this proposal:
In Rupp’s 2014 paper that focuses on queer women in the hookup scene, interviewed several college age or post-college age women of various sexual identities. Through these interviews, many accounts are given of how these women jumped at the chance to experiment with sex acts with other women given how it was normalized in culture. Many referenced the Katy Perry song “I kissed a girl and I liked it”, and discussed specific accounts of kissing women at parties or similar scenes. These interviews also discussed threesomes as a way of engaging in same-sex acts within the safety of hookup culture, and how engaging in same-sex sexual activities does not mean that these women are adopting new sexual identities.
Lamont (2018), had interviews with 24 LGBTQ students. These students saw hookup culture as a negative, and described it as prioritizing male needs and upholding the sexual double standard. Many of the interviewees were disgusted with the topic and upset at how the culture can make men more predatory.
I plan to include more interviews with heterosexual students in my research paper.