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Vincent Moore

News Editor

College students are hooked on hookup apps, at least according to a article. The article was published March 27, 2017, and cited a survey which indicated that 72 percent of millennial college students use Tinder.

KSC Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies Patricia Pedroza Gonzalez, Ph. D. said that even though the app gives choices to women, it does nothing in the way of changing gender perception.

“Now I’m allowed to have multiple partners or whatever I want, then is where I see that the gender norm does not change. Because if the girl does [have multiple partners], she’s perceived as the slutty girl anyways,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez explained that the constant judgement of hookup culture can make things worse for those with low self-esteem, “If somebody has a weak self-esteem, and enters into this culture, the self-esteem I don’t think will be increased, I think it will be damaged because we live in a culture that will judge you differently if you’re a man or a woman for example. This is where it becomes fascinating to me to observe that, because I care about the self-esteem of young people. When we are young we are more vulnerable to things,” Gonzalez said.

Assistant Associate Director of Emotional Health Programming & Outreach Coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention, Forrest Seymour said that despite the popularity of the app, hookups on campus aren’t any more frequent.

“There’s like a stereotype of the college student that college students are having sex all the time, are drinking all the time. And when we do research on that we find two things, one is that the rates of sexual activity as well as substance use are lower than we think and not only lower than what I would think, but they’re lower than what students think. So what students think about themselves is that everyone else is having sex and partying all the time, but in fact, so people are, but it’s less than what we think,” Seymour said.

All the time doesn’t appear to be the case according
to a survey conducted by, which found that both the men and women respondents reported on having an average of five unique sexual partners while in college.

Seymour said the phenomena is called social norming, and that it pushes students into engaging in sexual relationships more than they otherwise would do so.

“The thing about hookup culture, there’s a sense of pressure for a lot of students, like ‘isn’t this what I’m supposed to be doing? I’m supposed to be hooking up, I’m supposed to be having casual sexual relationships all the time? Isn’t that what college students do?’ when in fact, no it’s not what
college students do all the time,” Seymour said.

Even though the technology might make hooking up
easier, Seymour said that hookup culture on campus isn’t anything new, “I don’t think that it’s just your generation, I know there’s research that it’s been going on for decades, this image on what college is like. This big sex and party thing.”

Seymour said that downloading the app doesn’t always imply frequent or serious use, “I suspect that there’s a lot of people who use that app just as a novelty, like they’re not hooking up with anybody through that app but they’re just sort of curious and they download it and they check

it out.”

Seymour said that the rise of social media has lead many young adults into becoming unaccustomed to in-person interactions, “People talk about how young adults often have been able to avoid a lot of face to face conflicts in their lives because they mediate so much of their relationships online. You can filter things out, you can block somebody. So the prospect of a face to face interaction that might be weird and go wrong is often pretty foreign.”

According to Seymour, the risks that hookup culture offers aren’t limited to how they affect our social lives.

“I’m going to sound like an old curmudgeon, but I think that any time we engage in physical intimacy with someone we don’t know well, or don’t know at all, but particularly if we don’t know well, we’re taking a risk. There’s some disease risks, you can get sexual transmitted diseases that maybe the other person doesn’t know they’re carrying, there’s risks of pregnancy for women, and there’s risks of sexual violence, which is real, it happens,” Seymour said.

Seymour said that with hookup culture not only is there a risk of being a target of sexual violence, but there’s also a risk of being accused of sexual violence.

A KSC junior said that she had no interest in hookup apps because they were weird, “I think you don’t really know anybody from their social profile, and can be saying anything,” she said.

Gonzalez said that hooking up isn’t a substitute for a loving relationship, “If [you] have multiple partners, good for you, but if you tell me that that will create a kind of love or a kind or intimacy? No.”

A first-year student said that he doesn’t use hookup apps and prefers face to face interaction, “I’ve never really found the purpose of them, I’m more of a going on social type of person.”

Seymour said that overall he believes hookup apps are an overall detriment to society: “If I could wave my magic wand and all hookup apps would disappear and never be available again, would I do that? Probably. I think all of us would probably be more likely to have healthy, meaningful, fulfilling intimate relationships if we had to see that person face to face first. All the non-verbals, all that stuff, we’re just going to know so much more about who we’re connecting with.”

  Vincent Moore can be contacted at

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