Post-Roe, Generation Z is rethinking hookup culture

By Jonathon Van Maren

There is something profoundly depressing about the response of many pro-abortion Americans to the fall of Roe v. Wade. As I noted in this space last month, some activists have urged women to engage in a “sex strike” to protest pro-life laws. While this news is humorous in one regard – it turns out feminists do think abstinence works! – it is also a sad reflection on a culture that is willing to openly admit that sexual freedom is purchased with the blood of babies. What they are essentially saying is this: If we can’t kill off any children conceived through sex, we might as well give up on sex altogether.

A recent article in Insider titled “Swearing off men and avoiding intimacy: Gen Z reconsiders sex in the wake of a post-Roe world” makes this point explicitly, beginning with these lines:

Madeline V. might be done with men altogether. A 24-year-old marketing assistant who identifies as bisexual, Madeline, who asked that Insider use only her first name, has decided that sticking to female partners may be the safest sexual route these days.

It’s not a fear of men, exactly, that has inspired this young woman to consider swearing off an entire gender; it’s the heightened fear of an unwanted pregnancy — and a subsequent lack of options — that has forced Madeline to proceed with sexual caution in the wake of Friday’s Supreme Court decision gutting federal abortion rights protections.

Translated, that means that Madeline may swear off men because she might not be able to procure an abortion after they engaged in casual coitus. According to Insider, she’s not the only one – many members of Gen Z (those born after 1996) are “rethinking their relationship to sex, intimacy, and hookup culture.” Their responses are a gut-wrenching look at the sexual culture young people inhabit today.

One 17-year-old in Texas reported having nightmares of getting pregnant and not being able to get an abortion; others reported a “constant fear” of pregnancy. Those interviewed used terms like “angry,” “upset,” “disgust,” and “dread” to describe their reaction to the possibility of pro-life laws. Their generation, according to respondents, “is one of the most open about sex and hookup culture” and that it is simply part of their lifestyles. In short, many of them simply cannot imagine a world without abortion. As Insider put it:

[E]ver since the draft decision was leaked, Adelynn said she’s had to entirely rethink whether or not she wants to start having sex, telling Insider that she’s terrified to make a choice that could leave her with an unwanted child. Catherine D. on the other hand was already participating in hookup culture before the Supreme Court decision dropped.


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