I’ve been busy doing science so I’m a little late to this NY Times story about ‘hookup culture‘–apparently, college students are slutty sluts slutting around, and they’re not happy about it. In a stellar display of top-notch journalism, the story is based around four students (yes, four) at elite colleges.
That might have something to do with why the story gets interesting when it collides with data (boldface mine):
Buried in the statistics is information about who is participating in the hookup culture more or less actively. And, it turns out, not everyone on campus embraces the scene equally. Only 14 percent of students hookup more than 10 times in four years and these students are more likely than others to be white, wealthy, heterosexual, able-bodied, and conventionally attractive, according to quantitative studies of hookup behavior. Students who do not fall into these categories hook up significantly less and are more likely to disapprove of or be uninterested in the whole endeavor.
So it appears hookup culture is a white, wealthy thing.
Now some people might be confused or angry about the phrase “dysfunctional suburban culture” (it could also be degenerate). In the 1980s, as the cultural wars raged*, phrases like dysfunctional or degenerate urban culture were bandied about–because poor, single minority mothers with all of their awesome power were supposedly dragging the Republic down (for the long version rebutal, read Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites). You know, those people, the irresponsible ones with all of their out-of-wedlock babies. Never mind, that this ‘urban culture’ is composed of the same people now being lauded for turning urban areas around (especially since all those urbanites look alike…).
Now I realize we live a post-racial society [cough, cough], but does anyone think concerns about ‘hookup culture’ wouldn’t be hollered hither and yon if blacks or Latinos were driving the increase? Every conservative faith-tank would be trotting out experts. Charles Murray would come scurrying out of his hidey-hole. But when the children of the elite engage in the same behavior?
Nary a peep.
*Should probably read “formented by conservatives in an effort to win electoral power” but why be