When I picked up the Style section of The New York Times last Sunday, I was excited to see the front-page feature, "The New Math on Campus," a look at how the gender imbalance on college campuses (60 percent women, 40 percent men at some schools) is affecting the dating scene. I research, write, and lecture on sex, romance, and abstinence on college campuses, and especially on how these life experiences relate to students' quest for meaning in general and spiritual and religious commitments in particular. The article quoted young women bemoaning the dearth of datable guys at UNC Chapel Hill, which they say means all the guys get to be players—at least for a while, living it up with any girl they want because the girls are desperate:
"A lot of my friends will meet someone and go home for the night and just hope for the best the next morning," Ms. Lynch said. "They'll text them and say: 'I had a great time. Want to hang out next week?' And they don't respond." Even worse, "Girls feel pressured to do more than they're comfortable with, to lock it down," Ms. Lynch said.
This kind of talk from women on campus is something I hear all the time during lecture visits to university campuses and in my research. So I wasn't surprised when reporter Alex Williams mentioned hookup culture. He turned to sociologist Kathleen Bogle, author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, for more information.
"Women do not want to get left out in the cold, so they are competing for men on men's terms," [Bogle] wrote. "This results in more casual hookup encounters that do not end up leading to more serious romantic relationships. Since college women say they generally want 'something more' than just a casual hookup, women end up ...1
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