The following essay by Father Robert Barron, rector of Mundelein Seminary, appeared September 17 on RealClearReligion.
I first came across the term “hookup culture” in Leonard Sax’s thought provoking and disturbing 2005 book, Why Gender Matters. But the phenomenon itself I found beautifully depicted in a novel published a year earlier: Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons.
As Sax specifies, the hookup mentality — prevalent among even some very young people but especially among university students — dictates that casual sexual encounters involving absolutely no expectation of relationship, or even psychological engagement, are perfectly acceptable. Sax, a psychiatrist specializing in family therapy, learned of the hookup world from the veritable army of young women suffering from depression and anxiety who were streaming to his office. And through the figure of Charlotte Simmons — an innocent girl from North Carolina who utterly lost her way morally and psychologically at a prestigious university where casual sex and drugs were far more important than learning — Wolfe showed the debilitating effects of this self-absorbed and hedonistic culture.
Now it would seem self-evident that such permissiveness, though prevalent, is morally problematic and something to be decried rather than celebrated. But peruse an article titled “Boys on the Side” in the most recent edition of The Atlantic in order to find a dissenting opinion. According to Hanna Rosin, the hookup mentality is, in point of fact, a great boon to women.
She allows that lots of books and studies have pointed out the dark side of the hookup culture, the deep frustration and humiliation that can follow from transient sexual encounters, but she insists that steady questioning of typical young women today would reveal that none of them really wants a return to traditional morality. She argues, “For most women, the hookup culture is like an island they visit, mostly during their college years and even then only when they are bored or experimenting or don’t know any better.
But it is not a place where they drown.” Why aren’t they destroyed by this sexual licentiousness? Rosin explains, “The most patient and thorough research about the hookup culture shows that over the long run, women benefit greatly from living in a world where they can have sexual adventure without commitment or all that much shame, and where they can enter into temporary relationships that don’t get in the way of future success.”
One might think that prevalence of casual sex would produce women who are sexual victims, but Rosin contends that precisely the opposite is the case. Young women who choose a variety of sexual partners and who assiduously steer clear of pesky relationships are “managing their romantic lives like savvy headhunters.” Instead of being manipulated by powerful men, young ladies are happily becoming adept at manipulation. And here is Rosin’s grand conclusion: “The hookup culture is too bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012 — the freedom, the confidence, the knowledge that you can always depend on yourself.”
To read entire story, click here.
Why aren’t our Bishops encouraging the reading of the Bible & the CCC?
If they were most concerned about catechesis rather than – politics and money, and materialism, our Country would be much more moral.
If they read the CCC themselves, they would know that ‘teaching’ is their main job.
Reading St Paul puts teaching a ways down the list for bishops. Their first rule is to be holy, which is required for serving as apostles and prophets. (Now, no doubt we’ll read some dissing about prophets; but that will only come from those who believe prophets are fortune tellers, and have no clue at all to what prophesy consists of.)
– Please supply the exact Bible verse where St, Paul says teaching is WAY DOWN on the list for Bishops (Apostles). You say that all the time.
CCC: ” 888 Bishops, with priests as co-workers, have as their FIRST TASK “to preach the Gospel of God to all men,” in keeping with the Lord’s command.
They are “heralds of faith, who draw new disciples to Christ;
they are authentic teachers” of the apostolic faith “endowed with the authority of Christ. ”
Bible: Mark 26:15 (This is Jesus speaking. – )
“And He said to them, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.”
Are you saying that Jesus put “teaching” way down on the their list of priorities ? Prove it.
1 Corinthians 12:28 ” And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors; after that miracles; then the graces of healing, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.” So, the list here is hierarchical; thus, teaching comes in third place … Yet note that polical involvement comes lower on the ladder, but the most prominent dynamic in our episcopacy is politics. The Pope has called them to become holy, and what else could this mean than to exercise the highest levels of the Church which is apostle, then prophet, then doctor (ie teacher). Most of them are “doctoring” the Church instead of teaching the Church. Can you think of any bishop that has risen to the level meant for bishops, which is apostle and prophet? In other words are there any of them who exercise these higher functions that you can recall?
The whole Protestant movement is based on a mis-understanding of Saint Paul, which Saint Peter Warns of.
2 Peter 3
11 Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness? 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat? 13 But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to his promises, in which justice dwells. 14 Wherefore, dearly beloved, waiting for these things, be diligent that you may be found before him unspotted and blameless in peace. 15 And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation: as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, has written to you: 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
I agree PETE…I wish our church leadership would encourage more reading of Holy Scriptures and the CCC with many of the writings of our church doctors…it’s so sad these days.
WWMMS? What would Mary Magdalene say? Oh, that’s right, “sell everything you’ve got and follow Jesus”: I wonder if preachers are explaining just exactly how one is supposed to follow Jesus, and why?
When “persons” like Carolyn Kennedy can get up on stage at the Demoncrat Convention and declare what she did as what she calls herself, “a ‘Catholic'”, and the so called Shepherds are as quiet as an apsotate church mouse, why should anyone be surprised at what this apparently non medically qualified “journalist” has to say!
May God have Mercy on America, no longer the land of the Free and the Brave!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Kenneth, a clue perhaps to the “mystery” of why the bishops do not object to such stuff as you describe: While at Catholic Univ for a couple courses in mid eighties, I wandered through the Univ library and ran across the section containing the doctoral dissertations of the bishops. I skimmed through a few and was dismayed at how badly they were done … not scholarly at all, not think pieces, not reflective of high intelligence … real bummer to realize the low level of episcopal mind we have in this nation.
I think Carolyn Kennedy lives in the Diocese of Cardinal Dolan.
Unfortunately for the Church in America, that explains alot!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
It is obvious that Hanna Rosin (I bet she is a follower of Margret Sanger) is trying to justify her own death-style and is so afraid of being right with God. It seems that she should visit Mr. Sax and spend time with him watch and listen to all of those confused liberated young girls that need his services to get their lives turned around and then go visit the clinics where so many of these “fun-loving” girls are spending time and money trying to be healed of all of those nasty sexual-transmitted diseases, not to forget all of the abortions that they are getting. Sadly, far too many of our priests and bishops still accept birth-control and won’t attack this horrible sin, plus, how many of those that are running around the altars are shacking-up and using birth-control. Every time that a Priest does bring this up from the pulpit, his collections drop at an amazing rate and the pews get emptier, at least for a while, until the faithful hear about a Priest that is faithful to the Teachings of the Church is around and they will abandoned their silent priests and flock to this true Priest. +JMJ+
Sexual adventure only leads to disease, drunkenness, drugs and fear for women. Fear of getting pregnant, fear of being hurt or killed, fear of being alone and the sick feeling in the morning when you realize what you have done. Who wants to tell their future husband that they were a slut or they have had an abortion or they have an STD. No wonder so many Obama stickers are on young women’s cars. The message is that you are right and have the right to live your life without any consequences or cost of your actions.
Hanna Rosin is dangerous. Even in a purely secular viewpoint, she’s just wrong. We are designed and created to love people and use things. Get those two things mixed up and your life is going down the drain, and your souls with it. Rosin teaches mythical “advantages” to do what amounts to using people as if it were consequence-free. It requires looking at people the same way we do soulless things. There is only one way that turns out, you lose your own soul in the process of pleasure seeking.
The young women don’t want any relationships to deter them from earning a college degree and having a career. They aren’t ready to be married to one person and have a home and, maybe, a family. Yet, they still want to satisfy their sexual desires. However, since no form of contraception is 100% effective, if a pregnancy occurs will the woman get an abortion? Also, the number of people contracting sexually transmitted diseases is increasing. Some of these diseases are not curable, such as herpes and HIV/AIDS. In the future, if the woman wants to get married, many men, even those who are part of the hook up culture themselves, might not want to marry a woman who had sexual relations with dozens of men and who might not remember the names of many of these causual encounters. Like it or not, there still is a double standard; even men who sleep with almost anyone will not want a wife who has been promiscuous. These women may pay a high price in the future for their behavior today.
Re.: “even men who sleep with almost anyone will not want a wife who has been promiscuous”, you are unfortunately right.
However the men who do these things face the same possibility of Eternal Damnation as the women they use.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
If only in college (a Catholic one at that) could have told me to read Thessolonians 4:3-8.
And, only by loving God can this resonate and move hearts.
I can’t understand why Fr. Robert Baron wastes his time on essays such as this.
What is the point of your comment, Eileen?
OMG, would anybody in their right mind who’s lived through America’s ‘great’ experiment in “Sexual Revolution,” which started sometime in the ‘sixties, has read Hanna Rosin, and knows that she’s selling a lying philosophy, but does it in a prideful way to pathetically bolster such a sinful lifestyle, because it EMPOWERS her and all those pitiful souls who believe that “wimmin” can be JUST as sexual as men, and furthermore, can WALK AWAY from the consequences of what is tasted, JUST LIKE a man does, buy into Rosin’s noxious koolade?; but,as is so obvious to all who’ve had their CONSCIOUSNESS RAISED DURING THESE TURBULENT YEARS BY THE SHEER MAGNITUDE of said consequences, the oh-so bitter fruit of the ABORTION HOLOCAUST that we’re STILL engulfed by. Yes, meditating on the American Holocaust of legalized abortion killing, and sensing then knowing it was generated by the sin/crimes of adultery and fornication CAN really clear one’s mind so that a GREAT RECKONING is probably in store for America because of ALL THOSE “unrepeatable” HUMANS SAVAGELY EXECUTED on the altar of PLEASURE AND CONVENIENCE.
And so I’ve come to a tentative conclusion that I know will be a downer for some, that another, probably WORSE candidate for President than Hussein Obama is waiting in the wings of U.S. history, and MAY bring the chastisement from Jesus’ Hand that we as a nation seem so assiduously eager to bring down upon ourselves. What a way to possibly end such a GREAT EXPERIMENT as the United States has experienced up until the present time. Hope I’m wrong, but I seem to sense it coming in my spiritual “bones”. May the Holy Mother of Christ Jesus pray for us!—GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE