Think of the Children

Long time readers know that I'm a fan of Caitlin Flanagan's ability to string together the sentences. But like Matt, I'm less a fan of the notion that there is something specifically wrong with the way this generation of young adults (and especially young adult girls) are approaching sex.

For whatever reason, nearly every article I've read on "hooking up" relies on a series of "surveys" at some college, or anecdotes strung together. Comparing said surveys and anecdotes to my own surveying as a college student in the distant past, doesn't actually reveal much difference. I find it inconceivable that young people have stopped going to the movies together, going out to parties together, walking the town together etc. I find it inconceivable, that there is scourge of uncommitted sex lately visiting the children. There was plenty of uncommitted sex when I was college.Uncommitted sex was one of the reasons many of us went to college.

Anyway, I'm ranting. Matt has reams of data that, for my money, demolish this notion of "hook-up culture." I don't want to speculate on motives. But whenever I see older people fretting over the sexual proclivities of their children, I can't tell whether I'm seeing genuine concern, or envy and regret.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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