How many college students actually hook up more than twice a year? You won’t believe the number.

The Accepted Wisdom today is that College = Hooking Up. Both fans and detractors of the Millennials often use this truth as a jumping-off point for whatever Pro or Con argument they want to make.  Trouble is, the so-called “hookup culture” is just that — so-called. In reality, fewer than 15 percent of college students hook up more than twice a year.

Why does this matter? Because apparently the media coverage is so intense that it’s made college students believe the “hookup culture” is real — and that there is something wrong with them if they aren’t indulging in it.

Hookup culture: It’s not real, but the media coverage is making students feel left out of it anyway..

A new study set to be published in the February issue of the journal Sociological Perspectives shows that the media focus on college hookup culture—whether positive or negative—just solidifies the idea among students that college involves hooking up, whether it really does or not…  According to [the] study, working-class and Latino students were overrepresented among those who lived at home, and those were the students who felt they were missing the real “college experience” because their lives did not allow them access to hookup culture…

In all the pearl clutching about college-age men and women getting drunk and getting laid, we’re missing the fact that for lots of young people in the U.S., college isn’t one big party. 

As the author of this interesting article points out,  “Maybe if we have a more realistic view as a culture about what the experience of college is like for most students, then we’ll see more books about the college loan crisis instead of more books about hooking up.”




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. Vice President, Zoomer Media Ltd. . Author of "The New Old" . 30 years experience in marketing communications, advertising, media . Speaker, writer, commentator on the revolution in aging and how to market to Boomers and seniors