It’s 11 p.m. at a Risky Business-themed fraternity party. Two inebriated strangers make eye contact from across the room. The rest is history, until the next morning. This is the hookup culture present at Chapman University.
A new sociology study from Occidental College claims that a college environment normalizes hookup culture by posing a false expectation of what “fun” is supposed to be. This leads the stereotypical college experience to revolve around boosting up one-night stands, according to the study.
According to Lisa Wade, the associate professor of sociology at Occidental College and author of “American Hookup,” any interaction you have with a person can trigger a chemical reaction in your body. This reaction can make you crave them for better or for worse.
“You have casual sex at the party for the same reason you take notes or eat in the dining hall. You feel like it’s the right thing to do,” Wade said.
Chapman students share their experience with having one-night stands. Some turned out better than others.
One sophomore psychology major, who chose to remain anonymous, is no amateur when it comes to being in a relationship. When she entered Chapman she unexpectedly caught the feels for someone. Unfortunately the boy that she gave her heart to had other plans.
“I didn’t know where it was going and after we had hung out for a while, I asked him what was going on between us,” she said. “He said he wasn’t looking for anything until his senior year,” said this anonymous student.
She didn’t just sit around and wait; according to the psychology major, women are attracted to men that they have a good time being around. They want to keep seeing them and hope to be their end game. Her experience with men has jaded her perspective of them.
“Guys don’t want girlfriends in college, but just want to party and get with anyone they can,” she said.
Things didn’t go as smoothly for another anonymous sophomore business major. The female student recalls attending her first fraternity party. What she did not expect was a one night stand.
“He was really down to earth and seemed genuinely interested in learning about me,” this anonymous student said. “I got too drunk and we ended up sleeping together,” she said.
The following day they were smitten. Pillow talk, breakfast, and a trip to the beach later, the student expected to see him again the next day. She was sorely wrong.
“He dropped me off at my dorm that night and that was literally the last time I saw him,” the student said.
According to Wade, if a one-night stand is not reciprocated by either of the individuals involved, it is not healthy. One person is not entitled to determine the rules.
“When we engage in these types of encounters we are starting a relationship and we are always accountable for how we make each other feel,” Wade said. “It’s our job to treat the other person as a person,” Wade said.
An anonymous male business major explains a time where he lead a female student on to believing that their one-night stand would progress into a relationship. At the time, this was not his intention.
“I feel like if I was consistently seeing this girl and then randomly decided to stop talking to her it would be different. We met once and I didn’t expect her to want anything more and I really wasn’t trying to be a typical asshole,” the student said.
According to the male student one-night stands are very normal in college. When one person expects more out of a tipsy hookup, the other person shouldn’t be fully penalized.
Sophomore public relations and advertising major, Hayley Wierwell says she had trouble with a hookup-turned one-sided relationship.
“I was walking back to my dorm room and bumped into a guy triggering me to spill water all over myself,” Wierwell said. “He then asked for water and leaned in to kiss me and I turned me cheek and said no,” Wierwell said.
The next time Wierwell ran into her mystery man was at a fraternity party. Confronted for a second time by this stranger, Wierwell gave in. They exchanged numbers and ended up sleeping together. The next morning called for an awkward conversation.
“I looked at him and said this can only be a one time thing because I’m in love with someone else,” Wierwell said.
Wierwell is one of many students who have woken up to find their one night stand is not the person of their dreams, reflecting the findings of the new Occidental study.
This story has redacted the name of a student who chose to remain anonymous on May 16, 2018– the same day the story was posted.