The worst thing about writing feature articles (and, I would wager, books and thesises - when I finally finish them) is that you almost always stumble upon new information and ideas you could have included after the fact. (The best is picking them up from the newsstand and seeing the pretty, pretty layouts.)
In this case, I refer to Charles M Blow’s New York Times column on “The Demise of Dating” and its subsequent internet fallout, which is relevant both to The Thesis, and to a recent magazine feature I wrote (submitted, but not yet published).
Thesis-wise, most of what Blow has to say isn’t particularly revolutionary (a bit Laura Sessions Stepp redux), with the exception of this paragraph:
I should point out that just because more young people seem to be hooking up instead of dating doesn’t mean that they’re having more sex (they’ve been having less, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or having sex with strangers (they’re more likely to hook up with a friend, according to a 2006 paper in the Journal of Adolescent Research).
Which I wouldn’t say is the focus of what I’m working on, but is one of the counterintuitive (in terms of the dominant media narrative around these issues, at least) assumptions (backed up by other people’s research) my research is based on.
Feature article-wise, though, I kind of wish Blow’s article had been published two weeks ago. My topic was people (like me) who don’t like dating/don’t think dating is the most effective way to meet a romantic partner/etc, and while it contains some insights (thanks in part to my conversation with the fabulous Anne Hollands from Relationships Australia), I also feel as if, in the midst of deadlines and workcounts, I missed some key social trend points.
My favourite came from this (now deleted, but saved for my media files) post from Ladyblog:
I think that the so-called “hook-up culture” is the natural result of a cultural shift that has permitted men and women to form more and deeper platonic attachments: as fellow students, as work colleagues, as good friends and confidants. The ritual of traditional dating – in which you took an attractive near-stranger to dinner in order to get to know her better – was popular in an era of gender-segregated colleges and workplaces, which offered few other opportunities for meaningful interaction between the sexes.
So yeah. Touched on this, but didn’t make it nearly as pivotal as perhaps I should have.
Can I do a revision sometime?