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Mary Eberstadt on the Trappings of Hookup Culture

"Bacchanalia Unbound: The Toxic Forces of Sex, Alcohol, and Drugs in College Life" at First Things (November 2010).

In 2006, a particularly informative (if also exquisitely depressing) contribution to understanding hookups was made by  Unprotected , a book first published anonymously. The author was subsequently revealed to be Miriam Grossman, a psychiatrist who treated more than 2000 students at UCLA and grew alarmed by what she saw. In her book she cites numbers suggesting that psychiatric-consultation hours doubled in a few years and notes that 90 percent of campus counseling centers nationwide reported an upsurge in students with serious psychiatric problems. She also describes some of her own mental-health cases and their common denominators: drinking to oblivion, drugging, one-night sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and all the rest of the hookup-culture trappings.