ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Becoming an adult in an age of “hookup” culture.

AA037041It can often seem as though we’re obsessed with the idea of a “hook-up culture”. Meaning that news outlets would have us believe that young people no longer date, court, or marry before the age of 25- that they simple bed hop from one sexual partner to another. Most people in that age demographic would probably tell you that isn’t true, at least not entirely. “Hook-up Culture” is real, and it can be dangerous, but it’s also a sign of young people taking charge of their sexuality, and a testament to how many are doing so safely. Yes, the median age for marriage has gone up a bit (as have the average number of sexual partners) in the last couple of decades, but that does not necessarily mean young people are opposed to mating for life. It just as often means that we’re choosing our partners carefully, on the basis of several different aspects of compatibility- one of which is sexual chemistry.

So how is one to navigate world simultaneously obsessed with both “hookup culture” and marriage? What many mean when they say “hookup culture” is a lack of respect for monogamy and sexual responsibility, which is not what many young people are feeling or experiencing. It can mean a safe, meaningful part of growing up, so long as we are practicing safe sex- both in terms of contraceptives and physical safety. Remember that safe sex goes beyond condom use- it also means letting a friend know where you are and when you think you’ll return. It means clearly expressing your intentions and boundaries to your partner, and never using manipulation to achieve a goal, sexual or otherwise. It means getting to know yourself and what you are comfortable with. These things aren’t the opposite of a life of monogamy, marriage, or family. In fact they very well may lead directly to it.