Breaking down hooking up

Amara Harper, features writer

The hallways at KHS are full of whispers and giggles as the previous weekend’s gossip makes it way around the student body.

The hallways at KHS are full of whispers and giggles as the previous weekend’s gossip makes it way around the student body. Snippets of conversations fill the ears of students, many of them about who hooked up with whom. The definition of a ‘hookup’ however, is shrouded in mystery. Some KHS students describe it as having sex, while some describe hooking up being as simple as kissing. The fact of the matter is, people don’t stop to consider is the effects that come with hooking up.

“I feel like a lot of people [hook up] and then it gets really messy because everyone starts finding out and getting into each other’s business,” Stephanie Ligammari, junior, said. “Overall it causes a lot of issues.”

Hooking up will sometimes affect more than just the people involved in the relationship according to American Psychology Association (APA). Although this drama doesn’t seem to be stopping teens from hooking up; many at APA are see this in high school students who are engaging in hookups at a rising rate.

“It has definitely become a situation at KHS,” Eva Dodson, freshman, said. “Mostly I think it affects friend groups because more people get involved and things get messy.”

In spite of this, some students find hooking up to be a part of all teens’ lives. Some even consider it to be a part of growing up.  

“I feel like the general consensus of hooking up at Kirkwood is only second base [or sexual acts],” Michael Lay, sophomore, said. “It usually never goes farther than that”

It is kind of like a rite of passage.

— Micheal Lay

The spike in hook ups has started to alter the number of typical high school relationships, according to a study done by Boston College. Due to this, researchers found many teenagers moving away from what is generally accepted as high school dating.

“I’ve seen less people dating and more people hooking up,” Dodson said. “Even just inside the freshman class. I especially see this socially. This makes everybody angry at each other because of entangling hookups.”

Hook-ups can also directly result in a social benefit according to Psychology Today. When hooking up with a more popular student, these students believe they will rise in the social hierarchy, according to the Kinsey Institute, this pattern is described as peer culture.

“Everyone has their cliques and to get into the cliques you have to do a little more, especially being a new kid, ” Ligammari said. “Everyone wants to be known at KHS. They will go to extreme lengths such as hooking up with someone just to be known.”

This peer culture is most prevalent in high school and college, according to the Kinsey Institute. This culture will commonly lead to teenagers doing sexual acts they are not comfortable with, as said by APA.  Yet, this culture is still encouraged among peers because they are aware of the social effects hooking up causes.

“At Kirkwood everyone wants to fit in and everyone wants to be doing the same thing,” Ligammari said. “If someone is not very popular and someone hears they hooked up with a football player, once everyone finds out, people are going to start talking about you. If people start talking about you, you’re in.”