W.W. Norton released a couple two-minute interviews in which I talk about hook up culture, part of their collection of academics talking about their research.

In the first clip, I discuss the difference between hooking up and a hook up “culture.”  In the second, I respond to the concern that there is something “wrong” with casual sex on college campuses.  There is something wrong, I argue, but it’s not unique to casual sex. Instead, the problems students face on campus — heterosexism, gender inequality, and a relentless pressure to be “hot” — don’t go away with graduation.

In that sense, for better or worse, college is a “functional training ground” for the friendships, marriages, workplace interactions, and other types relationships that students will encounter after college; social inequalities threaten the health of all of these relationships.  Instead of shaking our fingers at college students, then, we should recognize that the acute problems we see on campuses are symptoms of the ills that characterize our wider sexual culture as well.

I’m speaking about hook up culture at Harvard and Dartmouth this week. If you’re in the area, please come by and say “hello!”

  • Monday, Mar. 26th at 8:00pm: “Sex Lives and Sex Lies: Hooking Up on Campus” (Harvard University, Science Center D)
  • Wednesday, Mar. 28th at 7:30pm: “Sex Machines vs. Sex Objects: How Stereotypes Subvert Sexual Pleasure” (Harvard University, Fong Auditorium)
  • Thursday, Mar. 29th at 4:30pm: “The Promise & Perils of the Hook-Up Culture”  (Dartmouth University, Rockefeller Center “Rocky” 2)
Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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