Calhoun suggests that it comes from the fact that hookups are still not accepted as the norm

Ruby said that the hookup culture can cause girls to see their outside appearance as more important than their inner qualities. “I think if the guy doesn’t want more, girls will realize that the guy doesn’t have an emotional connection to them, and that all he cared about was their looks,” she said. “That doesn’t feel great at all.”

Speaking from personal experience and having observed friends, Ruby explained that girls can, as a result, just see themselves as physical beings, caring only about outward appearances rather than inside characteristics or personalities.

Fear of Losing Respect

Walking down the hallways on Monday mornings, it is not uncommon to hear the whispered stories of the past weekend’s events. “She hooked up with whom?!” and “Literally everyone was making out.”

In fact, only 14 percent of Upper School students believe that hooking up is the most common type of relationship at Hockaday, even though nearly one-third of girls are in or have had a no strings attached relationship. The discrepancy? An element of shame and guilt still exists in a culture that at first glance seems accepting.

“We have this new sense of freedom and liberation and feel like we can hook up with whoever we want, but have we come far enough that it’s something to be open about?” Upper School Guidance Counselor Margaret Morse said. “I don’t think we are truly there.”

In the same survey, 52 percent of girls listed feelings of guilt and embarrassment as a negative consequence of the culture, and 70 percent listed losing respect from peers. When girls are still judging each other for this behavior, it is hard for them not to feel guilty or embarrassed, explained Calhoun. There is not enough shame, however, to keep girls from taking part in these relationships but enough shame that they do not talk about it.

Stephanie explained that there is a stigma at Hockaday about hooking up, one that she has felt the wrath of. “I got a reputation last year because I made out with two guys that I wasn’t dating. After that, people believed a lot of the gossip around and about me,” she said.

Bogle believes that the root of this problem can be traced back to the double standard that exists in these types of relationships. “Women’s behavior is scrutinized at every level of the hookup scene,” she said. “So, men who hookup a lot are called ‘players’ while women who do the same are called ‘sluts.’”

Bogle said that it is difficult to categorize the hookup culture as a positive change when women’s self-esteems and reputations are her dating still at stake.

“I think guys talk about that, and I question what level of respect they have for that young lady. She may think she’s very popular, but popular for what?” Calhoun said. “It doesn’t seem that the package that is the hookup culture comes with a lot of mutual respect.”

In the Long Run

In the movie “What’s Your Number,” protagonist Ally Darling (played by Anna Faris) reads in a magazine that 96 percent of women who have had more than 20 sexual partners in their lifetime will never get aged. Having had 19 partners herself, Ally resolves to revisit all of her exes in hopes of never reaching the notorious 20. The entire plotline focuses on the fact that if Ally exceeds 20 partners, she will not be able to find “the one.”

Morse does agree, while not to the extent of the movie, that the ability to maintain future relationships can be impaired by the hookup culture. “We are social beings and what I worry about as developing humans, as teenagers in the midst of identity development, you are figuring out who you are in relation to other people, and the hookup culture is kind of postponing that. It halts that part of psychological development, pushing it into your 20s and 30s,” Morse said.