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The Damaging Effects Of Living In A Hook-Up Culture That Lacks Sex Education

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Long gone are the days of moonlit walks, romantic dinners and bouquets of flowers. Whether we like it or not, we Millennials are now referred to as the “hook-up generation.” While some people enjoy the hook-up culture they find themselves in, some of us are dismayed that when our mothers ask us if we've gone on any dates recently, we realize the only remotely romantic experience we've encountered lately is “Netflix and chill.”

The world of random hookups and extreme commitment phobia can be a bit confusing and scary for some. So, I've found some interesting stats to put your mind at ease (or not).

The Unclear Definition Of Hooking Up

The problem with the word “hookup” is that it can mean a variety of different things. When your friend tells you she hooked up with the cute guy at that party you went to last weekend, you may assume she had full on intercourse, while she may mean that she just made out with him. Clearly making out and having sex are two different things. Not having a clearly defined definition of what “hooking up” is can cause confusion and make things a tad awkward.

So, my friends, this brings us to the question you've been dying to ask, but have been too afraid to. What does it even really mean to "hook up?" It seems that people partaking in this culture don't even really know, so we wanted a better understanding of just what constitutes the strange world of romance and sex that we Millennials find ourselves in.

According to one study, half of college students have intercourse when they “hook up.” Out of 1,468 college students in another study, 429 said they participate in oral, vaginal and anal sex when they “hook up.” Another study said two thirds of "unpartnered women [are] interested in uncommitted sex and over one fifth of unpartnered men are not interested in this activity." Also, 28 percent of college students who do hook up have 10 or more hookups while they are in college.

Friends With Benefits

If you're a hopeless romantic like me, you may be asking yourself if there is any hope at all to find real love in a world where relationships are last week's fashion.

Luckily, movies like "Friends With Benefits" seem to give some people hope. Many of us are familiar with the movie starring beloved heartthrob Justin Timberlake, where he suddenly begins to catch feels for a woman he strictly uses for casual sex.

But is this just something we see on TV and hear about in Katy Perry songs? How many people actually have a friend with benefits whom they engage in casual sex with?

In one study, out a group of 125 college-aged students, 60 percent of them had a friend with benefits. Could this be influenced by the media? Perhaps. According to another study, 20 percent of characters on TV shows are involved in a “friends with benefits” sort of relationship.

The Rise Of STDS

The hook-up culture may sound exciting and free to some, but it definitely isn't when you contract an STD. The sad thing about the rapid rise of STDs is that it can been avoided if more people wear condoms. It's a no brainer, really.

But what Millennials forget is that STDs can spread by oral intercourse just as much as they can spread by vaginal intercourse. One study found that few Millennials wear condoms when it comes to oral sex. Unfortunately, the rise in STDs seems to have come around the same time that oral sex became much more popular.

Oral sex has increased significantly, and many people don't consider oral sex actual sex. One study found that among a group of women in college, 0 percent used condoms when they performed oral sex, while 69 percent of them wore condoms during vaginal intercourse.

The scary part is that the prevalence of chlamydia, herpes and syphilis have increased in the past 10 years, and by the time someone reaches age 25, one in two sexually active persons will have an STD.

Is there connection between the rising popularity of oral sex and the increasing rate of STDs? I'm no scientist, but I wouldn't doubt it. If we're going to perpetuate hook-up culture, we need to be more safe, more educated and more responsible.