Assistant Research Scientist of the Kinsey Institute and co-author of Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior Justin R. Garcia gave a presentation entitled “Love, Sex, and Hookups: Queering Heteronormative Courtship” at the Student Resource Building this past Tuesday.

Hosted by the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity, or RCSGD, and co-sponsored by Health & Wellness and the Feminist Studies Department, the event began with an overview of hook-up culture and its portrayal in the media, as well as society’s recent propensity to be open about “hookups.”

“This is not the end of dating per se, but marks a change in relationships,” Garcia said.

According to Garcia, the way people view sex has shifted, as sexual acts such as oral sex are becoming less private and intimate, although not exactly “the new handshake.”

Throughout the presentation, Garcia said there is no clear, agreed-upon definition of a hookup, often causing sexual partners to have expectations that differ from sexual realities.

Deanna Nathan, a third-year cultural anthropology major, was shocked by some of the data on men and women’s comfort levels regarding certain sexual acts.

“I thought that was kind of surprising that men really have a different view of what women actually are thinking,” Nathan said.

RCSGD Media and Reference Coordinator Mick Castro, second-year sociology major, said the lecture shed light on the commonalities in reasoning among people who seek to hookup.

“I was actually really shocked about the fact that people who were hooking up — a lot of them were looking for relationships,” Castro said. “In the data, they wanted relationships, even though there’s this connotation that when you’re going to hook up with someone, there’s nothing that’s going to come out of it.”

Garcia also said data from college campuses nationwide show that there are multiple issues of sexual double standards and misguided expectations regarding intercourse within straight, gay and lesbian relationships, in contrast to one-time hookups.

Fourth-year sociology major Dani Gruenberg found Gruenberg’s presentation eye-opening, as it addressed aspects of hook-up culture not typically discussed.

“He was awesome and really well-spoken,” Gruenberg said. “I think that what mostly got me to go to the lecture was that he was going to talk more about the queer aspects within the hookup culture, which I haven’t really been taught about.”

According to Nathan, while media sources oftentimes purport a hook-up culture that normalizes sexual assault, safely executed hookups are overall “natural and healthy,” so long as they are completely consensual.

“I always think it’s perfectly fine, as long as people are being safe and as long as hook-up culture doesn’t segue into rape culture,” Nathan said. “I’m all for it.”


A version of this article appeared on page 4 of the Thursday, October 31, 2013 print edition of the Daily Nexus.