One of my friends commented that he doesn't think he's ever been on a date with someone he hasn't already kissed. This is what college culture has become for a large portion of the population. You kiss someone first (and quite often do a lot more than that) before you actually decide to build a relationship with them. In a way, young people are now awarding themselves more and more "free passes." Now, it is socially acceptable to experiment with a physical relationship before introducing the emotional relationship.
This makes me uncomfortable for a lot of reasons. The biggest one, though, is how dangerous this can be. So many people hook up with others, hoping that it will lead to a relationship. They can end up being seriously hurt. The risk of sexual assault increases greatly through this hookup culture, too. There is no emotional bond on which to generate trust with someone before you allow yourself to be physically vulnerable with them. There isn't a lot of room for communication about what both parties expect from the encounter. It's a recipe for disaster, and too many times, I have seen it go wrong for people I love.
Needless to say, I am thrilled to see my friends actually going on real dates these past few weeks. It gives me hope to see that just because hook ups have become the norm, it does not mean that they are the only option.