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The Media’s Role in a Rising Hook-Up Culture

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

By Hannah Young

Image via HelloFlo

It is clear that hook-up culture is all around us and it has completely changed how we perceive or go about getting involved in relationships. It seems like every college campus, and even high school, has accepted hooking and, in some cases, it is praised. Many young people turn to hook-ups because it gives them a feeling of euphoria with no strings attached. Something about getting the same experience as an exclusive couple without long-term commitment is intriguing.

But what exactly is a “hook-up? A hook-up is defined as a casual yet intimate encounter outside of dating or an exclusive relationship. It can usually be classified anywhere between a make-out session to intercourse. As generations pass, it appears that frequent and intimate encounters are starting to become the new norm. Although it is up to you to determine what you want to do with your body, there is no denying that there is an added pressure to have a luscious sex and love life. Where does this pressure come from you may ask? The answer is right in front of you (literally): mass media.

Think about the songs that are popular right now, the movies or tv shows you watch, or even the advertisements you see every once in a while. At least one of the things you thought of likely contains some sort of sexual situation or undertone. Many popular songs, shows, and movies normalize hookups and sex thus bringing the conversation into our everyday lives. There are positive impacts of normalizing conversations about sex in our society and it is something that deserves attention. However, the media sometimes tends to blur the line between normalization and glamorization. When the media creates an over-saturated perception of sex and hook-ups, there can be negative impacts on our society. This is because the media tends to push the belief that your sex and love life need to be active and perfect in order to fit into society.

Additionally, business experts have found that sex sells, especially in a younger target audience, because it grabs our attention. By utilizing sexual imagery, advertisers can trap their audience into believing that using a certain product or acting a certain way will make them more desirable. Young girls especially face this problem almost daily due to societal standards of how they should look, act, and dress. The media is already so involved in their outward appearance that it is no surprise that it immediately translates to young girls’ choices behind closed doors.

In summary, whether we like it or not, hook-up culture has been weaved into our society and that is very unlikely to change. At the end of the day, you are able to choose whether you want to participate in it or not; whatever you decide is completely fine! Try not to let judgment or peer pressure get to you because no one has the right to tell you what you should do with your body. Hook-up culture itself is not the problem here- the real problem is how the media brainwashes people into believing they need constant hookups and encounters in order to be respected. As long as you are not endangering yourself or others, you are free to do what you want and you should not let the media rule over your personal life!

Written by writer Hannah Young


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