Building the next generation of leaders for marriage, family, and sexual integrity

Friends with Benefits or the Benefits of Friends?: The Fall of Friendship in the Hook-up Culture and the Need for its Restoration to Relationships

Opening remarks by conference moderator, Micah Watson, Ph.D., Union University

Elizabeth Marquardt, Institute for American Values
Jason Carroll, Ph.D., Brigham Young University

The hook-up culture, present on nearly every college campus in the nation, has significantly distorted friendship. On many college campuses, students use the word “friend” to describe a connection to another person that requires even less commitment than real friends would expect of each other. Other students, contrastingly, barely use the word friend or create any sort of underlying friendship before becoming “hooked at the hip” to a boyfriend or girlfriend. In the first half of the keynote address, Elizabeth Marquardt highlights how the hook-up culture has devalued meaningful friendship and impaired young people in accomplishing a crucial life task: that is, forming and sustaining mature relationships.

In the second half of the keynote address, Dr. Jason Carroll discusses why it is crucial for young people to develop the virtue of friendship plays a critical role in the healthy development of both non-romantic and romantic relationships during the transition to adulthood, as well as providing a needed foundation for lasting marriage relationships. Dr. Carroll also discusses patterns in the modern college culture that threaten the formation of meaningful friendships and suggests some specific ways that participants can foster better friendship patterns in their own lives and on their college campuses.

Additional remarks by Robert P. George, Ph.D., Princeton University

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