Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both (Laura Sessions Stepp)


This is startling look into the culture of 'hooking up' that honestly grapples with the fallout of such a lifestyle. So, what is the fallout? 'Hooking up' leaves a wake of emotional devastation which ultimately leaves one passionless, 'unhooked,' i.e. unable to connect with others in meaningfull relationships. 

This book is a subtle critique of feminism. Feminists clamored to be free relationaly (marriage) physically (child-bearing), and sexually -- and found themselves led gently to slavery. And, make no mistake, the game of 'hooking up' is all about control, and domination of another. This book shows how women use their sexuality to try and enslave men, only to find themselves in an ever deeper, darker slavery. The drama of Genesis 3 is played out again and again in this book, "Your desire will be for your husband, but he will rule over you." 

To her credit, Stepp is critical without being judgmental. She interacts graciously with a number of students, and one gets the feeling that these interactions were made possible because she really cared about the girls she was interviewing. Also, this book is not in the vein of Tom Wolfe's "shocked but impressed," "Hooking Up," which romanticizes the unhooked culture. The tone is scientific, with touches of melancholy.

So, what is Stepp's solution to the epidemic of 'hooking up'?

1)The author longs for the days of good old fashioned dating, when relationships took time to develop, and their were restraints in place (from Parent's, Colleges, etc). However, this seems like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Is dating really the answer? Dating was the pitstop on the way to 'hooking up.' I prefer courtship.

2) Parents/School authorities having meaningful, non-judgmental dialogue with their children about sexuality. However, this is still not enough. We have to go farther and challenge parents to take responsibility for guiding their children not only through infancy, but then the teenage years, and into marriage.

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