Donna Freitas is very worried about today's college students. If you read The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy (Basic Books), you will be worried too. Freitas provides compelling evidence that far too many young adults live lives of quiet desperation—sexually and socially. While her proposed solutions to this problem are not radical enough to be deeply redemptive, she has much to say that Christians should heed.
The End of Sex paints a vivid portrait of hookup culture. A hookup is any level of physical intimacy, from prolonged kissing to sexual intercourse, as long as it takes place within a context understood by both participants to imply no commitment beyond the present encounter. "Hookup" is a term that is designed to be ambiguous. There is a social point to the term's ambiguity. The significance of what would otherwise be a meaningless encounter is the postmortem discussion and gossip among the peers of those who hook up. Males can say that they hooked up and hope that their buddies will assume that they had intercourse. Females can have multiple hookups and hope that others will think they are popular without assuming that they are "cheap" or "easy" (after all, maybe nothing more than kissing and fondling took place).
As the subtitle of The End of Sex makes clear, Freitas thinks that hookup culture is destructive. "Hookup culture promotes bad sex, boring sex, drunken sex you don't remember, sex you could care less about, sex where desire is absent, sex that you have 'just because everyone else is, too,' or that 'just happens.'". Her assumed audience is concerned ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more