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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hook up before you lock down; how hook up culture can impact you

    Jesus Barrera
    Xinyi Li, physics freshman, and Elizabeth Luna, physiology and molecular and cellular biology senior, share a kiss on the UA Mall on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

    Hooking up is just what it sounds like: frequent, spontaneous and uncommitted, and can vary from sneaking out at 3 a.m. for some hot, sexy penetration to a soft make-out session after class. Then, when it is over, you leave; no strings attached. Whatever “hooking up” means to you, the bottom line is no matter what you are doing, you are doing it.

    No need to fret if you are not hooking up at all. In fact, you might be better off being alone or waiting for the right person to come around.

    Clinical psychologists have found that people, particularly women, often feel depressed when hooking up because they lack interpersonal attachment and support from their romantic partners.

    According to UA alumni and clinical psychology graduate student Lauren A. Lee, committing yourself to a monogamous relationship creates a bond which boosts various physiological and emotional pathways.

    Nevertheless, the pain of losing such intimate support might increase the appeal of hooking up, where little to no bonds are made to begin with.

    “When people break up, a person has to transfer their sense of security away from the ex-partner, which is now the main source of distress,” Lee said.

    People experiencing break ups no longer receive the emotional feedback they did during the relationship and may feel lost, alone and abandoned. People who “hook up,” on the other hand, are normally unaffected by feelings of attachment because of the transient, uncommitted nature of hook-up culture. Without the extra baggage to interfere with personal or academic lives, it is no wonder why many college students prefer the uncommitted route. Having sex without the emotional stress is the beauty of hooking up.

    Contraception lies at the heart of rising hook-up culture acceptance. According to UA clinical psychology graduate student Atina Manvelian, the answer is birth control. With the rise in birth control accessibility, more people have been engaging in frequent premarital sex than in the past, which came hand-in-hand with the trend of having multiple partners.

    “For this reason, the rates of sexually transmitted diseases have gone up and remain particularly high for those in their late teens and early twenties,” said Manvelian.

    Luckily for UA students, the cost of sexually transmitted infection testing at Campus Health Service, not to mention that of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, is highly affordable compared to testing facilities beyond campus. Many students, however, find no reason to test routinely despite engaging in risky sexual behavior such as having multiple partners or having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, because they do not experience symptoms.

    Just because you think you don’t have an STI doesn’t mean you’re infection-free. One of the many STIs that frequently shows zero symptoms, Chlamydia, happens to be one of the most common STIs at the UA.

    Furthermore, the American Sexual Health Association reports that approximately 15 percent of infertile women in America attribute infertility to reproductive damage from a pelvic inflammatory disease as a result of an untreated STI.

    These silent infections can be threatening to patients, particularly women, when left untreated.

    Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that many of these symptomless infections are easily curable when treated early and pose little to no risk of medical complications in the future after treatment.

    The last thing anyone would want to hear about during the Valentine’s season is a reminder about STIs.

    If you plan on having a sexy time this weekend, it may not be a bad idea to throw in some condoms or dental dams along with the roses.

    Follow Pearl Lam on Twitter.

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