Super thanks to Rebecca Pardo for inviting me to be part of a segment on hook up culture for MTV News! She and her team did such a wonderful job of editing and illustrating the interview. I’m so tickled to be on MTV and excited to share it here!
The gist? College students are having sex, but not as much as you might think. And most of them are kind of disappointed about the whole thing. All in three minutes!
For a longer and decidedly less MTV-y approach to this topic, feel free to watch a 40-minute version of the talk taped at Franklin and Marshall College (slideshow and transcript if you’d rather read).Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Anonymous — September 28, 2011
As a college student, I think your analysis is......probably very limited to a certain population of college students, and I'm uncomfortable with your sweeping generalizations. The idea of "ruining someone's reputation" especially I find quite exaggerated.It's very hard for someone to have a consistent reputation on a college campus that isn't unusually small. I suppose that might be valid at Occidental, which is smaller than a good number of high schools (barely larger than my high school, which was on the smaller side), but I have serious issues believing this is true for colleges with more than 5,000 students or so. I don't like being lumped in with people who, honestly, I find are probably in a more "high school part 2" setting than an "out-in-the-world with boundaries" setting. While it's possible to get a "bad reputation" in larger or commuter colleges (community or 4-year), it's not a constant fear, at least campus wide. Sure, girls in sororities on my campus might worry about being the "slut" in their house, if that house is only 100 girls, if they want to escape any reputation applied to them, it's hardly difficult with tens of thousands of other people at their disposal. Also, as far as sexism and heterosexism.....a college campus is probably the BEST place to be if you're outside of the norm, honestly. Does this mean that sexism and heterosexism don't exist? No, they exist plenty, but this is absolutely 100% NOT something limited to college campuses, and in my experience, is somewhat less prevalent than it is in, oh, IDK, EVERY other place in the world, for the most part. This probably also depends on campus (a larger student body, or a small but liberal student body, is not going to be the same as a small moderate or conservative student body).
The clips used are also pretty confusing. I've seen the educational videos that they're from, and they're pretty much exclusively slut-shaming, anti-woman (or at least, anti women's sexuality), and abstinence-at-all-costs.
Anonymous — September 28, 2011
this doesn't just happen in college.. I've had men in their forties battle with the same issues surrounding sexuality. I think our relationships are getting more complex and we're assuming we know more about them than we really do. A lot of people are walking away from relationships with people unsure of what happened. I don't think it's the media I just think we over/under estimate what kinds of .. arrangements .. we can handle.
Aeon Blue — September 29, 2011
Congratulations on the interview! You come across as an informed, intelligent, down-to-earth person.
I recommend that people read (or watch) the longer interview, because it's more interesting - and horrifying - than the MTV clip.
T. Ryan Arnold — September 29, 2011
Just watched teh video from Franklin and Marshall College. I didn't know you were an undergrad at UCSB. So was I. Been reading soci images for several years now and never knew you were a fellow gaucho.
Cocojams Jambalayah — September 29, 2011
I agree with Tusconian's comments that this analysis is too general and I wonder if it mostly (if not totally) refers to certain populations of White students on small, mostly White campuses.
Given Tusconian's comments above, I was curious about the demographics of Occidental College and found this information on a page of their website:http://www.oxy.edu/x2356.xml
2,102 students from 42 states, the District of Columbia and 26 foreign countries
57 percent women, 43 percent men
5.6 percent Black or African American
16.2 percent Asian
14.1 percent Hispanics of any race
1.8 percent Native American or Alaska Native
0.6 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
56.7 percent Caucasian
2.5 percent race and ethnicity unknown
2.6 percent international
I would classify this as a small college, given that my high school graduating class (more than four decades ago) was 900 students, and the entire population of my high school was about 4,000 students (Atlantic City, New Jersey-then and now only has one public high school). The college that I attended & graduated from had about half that number of matriculating students. And way back then whether a woman was known as a slut depended on which clique a person hung out in. As an African American student in that almost entirely White college, I didn't know which White females were considered sluts or not. (None of the Black women students there were considered sluts.)
However, as I mentioned, my college experiences are quite long ago. Yet, this "hook up" description doesn't seem to that which I heard about from African American women I know who are MUCH younger than me. Granted I may have received an amended version from some of these women, but still...
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