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This past Sunday I gave a lecture on sex, dating and relationships at the Newman Center at the University of Iowa.As a professor here, I teach classes on the American family and introductory sociology courses, so I’ve heard a lot about the undergraduate hook-up culture.So, let’s say you’re at a bar on a Saturday night (and as I’ve said in previous columns, bars are probably not the best place to meet a like-minded mate, but hey, you’re young and want to have fun, so let’s be practical.) First thing you want to do is watch how much alcohol you consume.
Here are a few highlights: “How do you break the routine of hook-ups and try to find a quality relationship? These kinds of benefits require trust—and trust takes time to build.” Think about what you want from a relationship: Mutual appreciation? This, to me, is one of the biggest problems with the hook-up culture: It skips over all the emotional relationship and trust building and jumps into a physical and very personal act without the emotional backup.To prepare for the talk, I attended at Thursday 10 p.m.Mass where about 75 committed Catholic undergrads served as a focus group: After I explained why I thought it was important for issues of sex and dating to be address within the Church, I asked students to put their anonymous questions on index cards.My students aren’t sure what a hook-up really means, or how to find a lasting relationship when casual sex is the norm.