The Issues of the Hookup Culture in the Movie Liberated: New Sexual Revolution


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The context of the issue in the documentary Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution is that today’s societal norms in which millennials engage in sex is considered hookup culture. Abiding by its title, the film crew follows spring breakers as they embrace their sexuality and find up to 4 or 5 sexual partners in an evening. These partners are typically strangers and agree that their intercourse is for entertainment only. The issue of casual sex is very controversial. On one end of the spectrum, sex is intended for procreation and should be saved for a spouse. On the other hand, freedom with sexuallity is a key component to a healthy life. Sexual liberation from a young age has been normalized for a long time. Multiple partners before marriage, is not a new concept and this generation is simply welcoming the idea.

The fashion in which hookup culture occurs and presents itself is an issue for two reasons. First off, young adults do not outline or establish sexual boundaries. When young men or women start drinking with a lack of regards of their own limits, their decision making skills go askew. This leads them to adapt mob mentality and do things they may regret later on. Where there is no healthy understanding of sex, there’s almost always sexual intrusion.

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Secondly, due to the latest advances in technology, casual sex falsifies a sense of empowerment and validation in young people who are seeking to be perfect. Through social media and the internet, vivid images of a true woman or man generate insecurities and confusion. Boys consider a “real man” to be wealthy, muscular, and sexually active with many women. Girls consider a “real woman” to be sexy but not a slut, skinny but with curves, and always confident. These unrealistic expectations, results in seeking validation from outside sources. This is why college students turn to hookups. It’s presented as the only short term solution to a much larger problem; a society that says “you’re not sexy, you’re not perfect.”

In regards to spring break culture and pressures in media, the film is relatively accurate. While addressing sexual liberation, it missed the mark. By filming in the spring break capital of the United States, they showed only the most radical point of view with a small subset of people. Recall the sexual encounter between Shay and Anna, which happened only minutes after meeting each other (22:30). This is not ordinary nor is it appropriate to apply that occurance to all millenials. Sexual liberation is meant to put sexuality the same terms as we treat politics. No matter how radical or conservative people are with their sexuality, all we can do is educate and encourage them to pave a healthy path to sexuality. Rather than using media to exploit teens, we should use it to our advantage. By exposing truths, dangers, and reality of casual sex, we are presented with the opportunity to teach sexual health without a textbook and in terms they will understand.They should be equipped with the knowledge of how society will treat them once they begin their sexual journey.

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