2012 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award First-Place Winner: Sexism in Practice: Feminist Ethics Evaluating the Hookup Culture
Hooking up—the practice of pursuing sexual activity without any expectation of a relationship—has become a fixture of the U.S. college experience, resulting in an identifiable hookup culture across the country that can and should benefit from a feminist analysis. Sociological research reveals that this practice appeals to college students by ostensibly providing greater independence than traditional relationships. An outside analysis of these claims, however, demonstrates that the heterosexual hookup culture operates in a decidedly sexist fashion. In fact, the four common features of this culture: lack of commitment, ambiguous language, alcohol use, and social pressure to conform, all undermine the freedom, equality, and safety of women on campus. An intentionally feminist perspective is in a unique position to highlight and critique these faults and the additional resources of feminist theology and ethics have the potential to help change this sexism in practice.
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