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Heterosexual hook-up culture fits into finding a long-term partner at Colorado State

Sierra Cymes
Sierra Cymes

Disclaimer: This column is a result of an informal survey conducted with 100 randomly approached CSU students. The results do not represent the entire Colorado State University student body, or every group within that body, only a small sampling that evaluated these individuals’ preferences. 

The term “hook-up culture” started appearing in psychological literature and reviews in the mid-2000s. Hook ups, or casual sex, have begun to define this generation’s young adults. According to MTV, it may seem like all young adults do nowadays is hook up.


To find out what presence the hook-up culture has at CSU, I created a survey to discover what goals heterosexual men and women really value more: hooking up or finding a long-term partner. The survey also reveals the values some women encourage by entertaining the hook-up culture at CSU, and what effects it has on long term relationships between partners.

Every woman has her list of traits for the partner of her dreams. The virtuous quality “honesty” was rated first in the list that 84 percent of 50 women attending CSU look for in a man they want to marry.

On the contrary, on a list for a potential hook-up, honesty was only valued 4 percent of the time for women. This statistic implies some women are willing to abandon their standards for men as long as they are handsome. In support of this idea, handsomeness was ranked first for 92 percent of women.

On popular reality shows like MTV’s Jersey Shore, men and women display their physical assets over their self qualities and worth when going clubbing to get a hookup for the night. Women on the show go out in tight dresses and guys wear expensive shirts and cologne.

More and more, promiscuity defines the public view of young adults today. At CSU everything is not quite Jersey Shore, though.

Forty seven out of 50 men surveyed at CSU say they did not believe the only way to get attention from women was to be “hook-up material.”

How much influence does hooking up have in priorities and goals of heterosexual men and women at CSU? Feel free to let out a sigh: almost none.

For CSU men surveyed, 96 percent ranked “finding a long-term relationship” over “hooking up with girls” in college. For women, finding a long-term relationship was overwhelmingly preferred as well.

Yes: our desire to have a real relationship is greater than our want to hookup, but how has the hookup culture affected how we relate to one another?


Shockingly, being “model hot” and “not showing flaws” takes root in ⅔ of women trying to hookup and women trying to get in a long-term relationship. In other words, even outside of the hook-up culture, women are not being themselves.

I blame shows like MTV and today’s media for instilling these values in women. Media tells women they need to be perfect in mind and body to have any relationship. In reality, showing your flaws is how a relationship becomes real for both people.

Through all the noise from the media, the hookup scene is not a means to an end for the majority of CSU students surveyed. So to find that long-term partner, feel free to let your freak flag fly, but be yourself along the way.

Collegian Columnist Sierra Cymes can be reached at or on Twitter @Sierracymes.

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