The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Call me a hopeless romantic, but I believe that if two people are attracted to each other, they should go on dates. You probably remember what dates are like from high school: two young love birds go into a coffee shop to discuss life and get caffeinated, all the while wondering if they’re going to get kissed at one point. These “dates,” as they used to be called, were often replete with breath checks and minty gum. They were also the breeding grounds for love.

Dating used to be a common phenomenon in college. In fact, it was expected that college students, along the way to growing up and finding their independence, would find that special somebody. Many people even found their spouses.

Yet, it seems that college has become a four-year break, totally devoid of romance, between crush-filled high school and date-filled adulthood. A Wharton and Engineering sophomore who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the topic matter agrees that the hook up is the most common relationship type on campus, though he clarifies that this is “just observation.”

The hook-up trend is not just anecdotal. One of the reasons that hook ups are becoming more prevalent — at least on Penn’s campus — is that we have more undergraduate women on campus than men. According to a 2010 study published in The Sociological Quarterly, campuses with lower male-to-female ratios tend to be predominated by “no-strings” hook ups and other casual relationship models.

This is a problem because many women on college campuses, including our own, aren’t happy with this trend. As Wharton senior Rokssana Sukkur stated, “What guys and girls want is different.” She also observed that girls sometimes feel the need to please, and that they sometimes engage in hook ups more to please guys.

You may be wondering why women aren’t just taking more control of the situation. After all, wasn’t that what the female empowerment movement was all about?

It’s not that simple. Although society may be ready for women to ask men out, pick up the tab and even propose, we are perpetual products of our biology. We are hardwired to play the roles we have always played. As unromantic as it may sound, women were designed to attract the men carrying a carcass, and the men would then drag those aforementioned women away to live happily ever after.

Of course, this is a crude overexaggeration of love. But there are certain rules that still pertain to dating from eons ago: the man normally initiates, and the woman reciprocates.

Besides this problem, the fact that there’s a narrower dating pool for women means we have fewer options, no matter how we handle the situation. This is one of the few instances in which being the majority means having less say.

This is not to say that the male sex is to blame. I’m sure there are guys who also want the traditional dating scene to return. Similarly, there are women who want nothing more than a carnal outlet. However, their preferences may be overpowered by the more “popular” way of doing things. This is where the problem arises: most women want a real romance and so do many men, but it cannot be, and no one is really sure why.

I’m not saying that you can’t find love at Penn. What I am saying is that the main point of college is to mature and to figure out what you want past what everyone else tells you is popular, acceptable or better. If that means having fun, then go with it. If that means holding hands during a sunset, feeling giddy every time your phone rings and feeling a body-and-soul connection with someone else that supersedes both friendship and lust, then go with that. But love needs to be a real option.

Laura Cofsky is a College sophomore from New York. Her e-mail address is Penn Name appears on Fridays.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.