HETERONORMATIVITY AND HOOK UP CULTURE

In this section of the course, we have discussed the social construction of sexuality and contemporary patterns of courtship, often described as “hooking up.” Use the readings and lectures from Units 14 and 15 to complete the assignment, and look up other information as needed.

1. Research on sexuality often refers to the normative social construction of sexuality in the United States as “heteronormativity.” Explain what this is and why it is considered a basic social institution. Describe how this institution organizes desire, sexual expression, and emotional support in this society. Incorporate examples from the readings to illustrate how heterosexuality is both normative and compulsory. (40 points) Approximately 3-4 paragraphs.

2. One feature of institutionalized heterosexuality in the United Sates is different expectations/roles for men and women. Use materials from readings/films to illustrate and describe some of these gender differences. Use evidence from the readings to give a brief explanation for why these differences occur and persist. (40 points) Approximately 3-4 paragraphs.

3. One change in contemporary sexuality from the mid-20th Century is the change in courtship patterns from formal dating to hooking up for both other-sex and same-sex couples. What is your definition of a “hookup”? (20 points) Approximately 1-2 paragraphs.

4. Based on the article by Armstrong, Hamilton and England (“Is Hooking Up Bad for Women”), what are the advantages and disadvantages of hookups versus relationships for heterosexual women? (30 points) Approximately 2-3 paragraphs.

5. Reflect on your own experience, that of others that you know (heterosexuality and/or LGBTQ), and media representations. How is the hook-up pattern of courtship better or worse than the dating pattern of courtship? Would it be useful to revive and reshape the dating “script”? Why or why not? Give a concrete example to support your argument about the relative merits of each system – you can make it anonymous or use an example of someone else that you know rather than a personal one. (40 points) Approximately 3-4 paragraphs.

6. Some people describe dating as a “lost social script.” How would you ask someone on a date if you had to do it in person (not by text or email)? Where would you meet the person and where would you go? (10 points) Approximately 1 paragraph.

Your assignment should be typed, double-spaced, in 12pt font, and approximately 3-5 pages. You will need to be concise. Write logically, with correct grammar and spelling. Please number the pages and leave one-inch margins on all sides. (Writing style: 20 points)

References: You can use American Sociological Association (ASA) or American Psychological Association (APA style). You should include references on a separate page. References will not count as part of your 5-page limit.

Grade Breakdown (200 points)
40 points Explanation of heteronormativity
40 points Explanation of gender differences in institutional heterosexuality
20 points Definition of “hookup”
30 points Advantages and disadvantages of hookups and relationships for young heterosexual women
40 points Reflection on relative merits of dating versus hooking up systems of courtship
10 points Description of how would you ask someone on a date
20 points Writing style (grammar, spelling, logical flow, references)

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