Healing from the Hookup Culture

by: Anna Maria Hoffman

We live in a society that wants our relationships to be overly hypersexualized and not very substantive. We live in a society that falsely tells us young women that we will be happy and cherished if we wear clothes that undermine our human dignity, think of ourselves and men as sexual objects only, and behave aggressively with men to achieve “gender egalitarianism.”: We also live in a society that falsely tells young men they’ll be content if they treat women and themselves like sexual objects, trade in their kindness for disrespectful behavior, and forget about being a gentleman around others.

Our society wants us to adopt these traits, which are sadly rooted in a lack of love for ourselves and others. It wants us to believe the hookup culture will fulfill us when we see that it’s bruising our friends and loved ones, emotionally and psychologically. It refuses to acknowledge young people who don’t want to embrace these cultural molds and instead want to live life cherishing their dignity and that of others.

It’s time for our generation to liberate itself from the emotional and psychological shackles of the hookup culture. It’s time for young people to rise above a culture that continues to devalue their uniqueness, well-being, happiness, and needs. It’s time for us young people to provide our friends, peers, and loved ones with better alternatives to the hookup culture that truly uplift them.

If you have been hurt by the hookup culture, know that there is hope for your situation. If you know others who have been hurt by it, let them know they no longer have to suffer with thoughts of their past. Reassure them that they can overcome their situation and make a positive transformation in their lives.

Here are some ideas that we need to spread to our generation to achieve cultural renewal and be a beacon of hope for others:

Cherish others for their dignity instead of seeing them as objects to use:Although young men drive the hookup culture more than young women, both genders are at fault for fueling its existence. Instead of seeing each other as sexual objects to fulfill temporary desires, young men and women should value each other for their dignity, personalities, and uniqueness. More emphasis needs to be placed on both genders supporting each other in their struggles and positively rejoicing with each other in their successes.

Personalize the consequences of the hookup culture to others:
Explain to people around you that the hookup culture promises happiness, but instead: creates emotional and psychological pain and strains friendships.: Let them know thatit is a public health issue, because it makes our generation more prone to contracting STDs and less hopeful about having the chance to attain life-long love. Make the issue: personal to them, so they can better understand how this culture truly works against their interests and suppresses their happiness.

Use scientific facts to make a strong case against the hookup culture:
Many people in our generation don’t know that there’s lots of research on the negative psychobiological effects of the hookup culture. One of the most knowledgeable people on: this subject is psychiatrist: Dr. Miriam Grossman. She explains how the hormone: oxytocin, which promotes attachment, mainly explains why hooking up negatively: impacts young men and women, especially women, psychologically and emotionally. By providing others with this knowledge, you can further convince them that they don’t need to experience the pains of the hookup culture as they search for true happiness in life.

Be a shining example to others:
Show others how a life of not being involved in the hookup culture actually makes: people more happy, fulfilled, and confident. Show them that there is real beauty and honor in the choice of rejecting the hookup culture and waiting for the right: person to share yourself with. Explain to them that there’s more joy in waiting: for the right person and married life to experience the gifts of marriage than immersing: yourself in the hookup culture, which disrespects and cheapens those gifts.: If they have participated in the hookup culture and have decided to reject it, reassure them that they can start over. Remind them that they should never view themselves as “damaged goods” and should instead see themselves as stronger people who can experience great joy in their lives through self-renewal. If they are still struggling with the hookup culture, be an anchor of support for them. Talk to them about their problems and provide them with helpful solutions.
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Equipped with these ideas, you can be a light for others in your life who don’t know much about the hookup culture or need help in overcoming its negative effects. You can also apply these ideas to your own life to improve yourself, if you’re struggling with the hookup culture.

If we want to change our culture and make it less hypersexualized, we need to spread these good ideas to others around us. Real change happens on the local level, as we share better alternatives to what our culture has to offer to others. Don’t be afraid to be a beacon of hope for others on this subject. Together, let’s make that change we want a reality, one person at a time.

This blog post was originally published on: Counter Cultured’s “Chastely Living”: column.: 

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