Adults may hear about “The Hook Up Culture” – maybe through TV shows, movies or pop culture references – but for 11-to-18 year olds today, the Hook Up Culture is their reality… it’s where they live today!
Disproportionately, most 11-18 year olds in America are unfamiliar with intact marriages, or if they knew of one, it ultimately ended in divorce. Therefore they simply don’t understand the value of marriage.
But, they are also being fed a constant message that it’s okay to engage in sexual behavior before marriage and there are no consequences for it.
Yet, Science says something altogether different.
In the Hook Up Culture, you’re going from person to person, not establishing a relationship with any of them… just “hooking up”.
A generation ago, this would have meant that you would call someone, get together and innocently hang out together… that was a hook up. Today, however, there’s a whole new meaning to those words. It means that you’re going to hook up with someone you may or may not know, you’re going to have sex – with no commitment afterward. Think about the movies “Friends with Benefits” and “No Strings Attached”.
For today’s youth, that’s their reality.
Yet, as I said, Science tells us that this reality runs contrary to the way we are designed.
Every human brain – no matter who you are, where you live, or what your circumstances may be – reacts when you have sex, or any other intimate encounter with another person. When this happens, your brain releases a chemical called oxytocin, also known as the “hug hormone”. Oxytocin is the bonding chemical between human beings. In addition to sexual situations, women release it when they go into labor and when they nurse their babies. In men and women, it is released whenever there is skin-to-skin contact between human beings.
The net result of your brain releasing this hormone is that you and the person you are with create a cemented memory, which bonds the two of you together.
This is why hospitals greatly encourage mothers and fathers to hold their newborns with skin-to-skin contact in order to make the baby feel secure and bonded to his parents, as well as create a bond within the mother and father as well.
Oxytocin also offers a “relaxation effect”. This has been proven true in many mothers who nurse their children. When they nurse, the brain releases the hormone and the mother is often able to relax, physically and mentally.
The bottom line is: whenever you have skin-to-skin, or intimate contact with another person, you biochemically bond with that person at a very deep level.
This is great when we are discussing a committed husband, wife, and their children.
However, when teenagers are being promiscuous – experiencing sexual situations with multiple partners – they are bonding with each and every one of these people… TO A POINT.
I use the analogy of tape, in regards to this.
Imagine a piece of brand new, industrial tape. When you stick it to something, it is very sufficiently bonded. However, when you stick it to something, tear it apart, then stick it to something else, then tear it apart, and so on… when you get to about three different attempts at bonding, the tape looses it’s “stickiness”.
Similarly, when we humans bond with someone and then tear that bond apart too many times, we eventually loose the ability to bond to anyone at all.
Then, by the time this young man or woman meets the person they want to bond with, marry, and spend the rest of their life with, it will be very difficult for them to bond with them physically, emotionally, and biochemically.
After studying one generation after another of young people who have ever increasingly had more and more sexual partners at a younger and younger age, experts are noticing that we now have a generation of young people who have become jaded toward sex, commitment, self-worth, marriage, and even their own future.
When we condition our brains to grow accustomed to bonding-tearing apart, bonding-tearing apart, bonding-tearing apart; then we program ourselves to accept and even expect a life without commitment, without bonding as we are intended, and with divorce and heartache.
Combine this to the fact I mentioned earlier that this young generation isn’t exposed to successful marriages anymore, and you have an ongoing recipe for disaster.
You see, unlike “No Strings Attached”, there is no happy ending in real life when it comes to the Hook Up Culture. Our kids are perpetually being fed a lie that they can go about their way, having sex with one person after another and it’s all going to work out nicely in the end.
More times than not – even if pregnancy or STD’s do not occur – by creating multiple bonds between multiple sexual partners, you end up with psychological, biochemical, emotional, and mental wounds that have scabbed over and been ripped back open over and over again. These wounds turn into lifelong scars that affect their adulthoods, their marriages, and even their relationships with their own children.