Hooking Up: Sex, Theology, and Today's “Unhooked” Dating Practices

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Current theological literature on dating emphasizes issues of premarital sex and chastity. At the same time, recent sociological research suggests that dating is being replaced by the alternative practice called “hooking up” among college-age students. A key issue not addressed in these discussions is whether the current generation's contraceptive practices influence the decision to hook up rather than date. I argue that one cause of younger women's sexual assertiveness today is the increased use of contraception, which in turn promotes a mentality that sustains the practice of hooking up and an insufficient anthropology. For theologians who attempt to discuss these issues with their students, a more adequate anthropology is necessary in order to better ground a theology of dating that is able to compete against the practice of hooking up.