Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Report claims college dating is near-extinct

August 1, 2001
Packaging senior David Frick and Ali Liu, an international studies and economics senior, enjoy some spaghetti and each other. A recent report by the New York-based Institute for American Values showed hook-ups are becoming more common than dates. —

The music’s blaring, and college students are practicing their mating call - grinding. From across the bar, boy meets girl who’s hoping for Mr. Right, but instead she will settle for Mr. Right Now.

Is this a tale of college dating today?

According to the national report “Hooking Up, Hanging Out, and Hoping for Mr. Right - College Women on Dating and Mating Today,” dating is dead.

The report, by the New York-based Institute for American Values and financed by the Independent Women’s Forum, said women’s choices are hooking up, hanging out and commitment - with dating as an almost extinct option.

The report was based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 women at four-year institutions.

“Hooking up” is a vague term to explain casual encounters of kissing, oral sex or intercourse without the expectation of a relationship, said Kate Kennedy, campus project manager at the forum.

“Women might want to act like men,” Kennedy said. “But they don’t react like men.”

According to the report, 91 percent of the women reported a rampant hook-up culture on their campuses, and 40 percent said they had hook-ups. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents said they were virgins.

Cherie Phillips, a political science senior at MSU, said there’s no point to date in college “when all guys want is sex.”

Kennedy said 63 percent of the respondents said they would like to meet their future husbands in college, but Phillips said that’s an outdated idea.

“I think we grew up with the assumption that you’ll meet your future husband or soulmate in college. But that’s part of the past,” Phillips said. “Instead people don’t value relationships. They value sex.”

Steven McCornack, a communication professor who teaches an interpersonal relationships class, said this isn’t a huge cultural revolution.

“Yes, there is a hook-up culture,” he said. “But is this different from 1983 when I was in college? No.”

McCornack said factors on a college campus - which include a small geographic area flowing with alcohol, and a dense monogamous population of young, relatively attractive, fit and intellectual people - contribute to a hook-up scene.

“There’s nothing much to do but screw and get drunk,” McCornack said. “This is a chronicle of college towns nationally where men and women are thrown together on top of each other.”

According to census figures from October 2000, colleges enroll 100 female students for every 85 men, Kennedy said.

College women say it is rare to be asked on a date. Fifty percent of college women seniors reported having been asked on six or more dates, and one-third of the women said they had been asked on two dates or fewer.

Kennedy said the interviews showed most college students are hanging out in groups.

“It’s easier than having to be forced to interact one-on-one,” Kennedy said.

Gary Hoppenstand, an American Thought and Language professor who teaches popular culture classes, said the film industry represents today’s dating scene.

“Instead of a Romeo and Juliet-type story you’re getting more of a group encounter,” he said.

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