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American Hookup

The New Culture of Sex on Campus

Lisa Wade (Author, Occidental College)

Overview | Formats

A revelatory account of the new culture of sex that has come to dominate the American college experience.

The hookup is now part of college life. Yet the drunken encounter we always hear about tells only a fraction of the story. Rising above misinformation and moralizing, Lisa Wade offers the definitive account of this new sexual culture and demonstrates that the truth is both more heartening and more harrowing than we thought.

Offering invaluable insights for parents, educators, and students, Wade situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. Using new research, she maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that the most privileged students tend to like hookup culture the most, and she considers its effects on racial and sexual minorities, students who “opt out,” and those who participate ambivalently.

Accessible and open-minded, compassionate and brutally honest, American Hookup explains where we are and how we got here, asking not “How do we go back?” but “Where do we go from here?”

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • January 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-28509-3
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 304 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverAmerican Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus


Endorsements & Reviews

“Wade provides constructive strategies to address how campus sex practices can be humanized, and undertaken with greater respect and empathy. ” — Alli Joseph, Salon

“A myth-busting, eye-popping, and important work of social research. Lisa Wade spent years observing hookup culture on college campuses across the United States and analyzing all the good data available. The result is the best book about sex on campus, bar none.” — Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Modern Romance

“Lisa Wade pulls back the curtain on campus culture and reveals the tableau of racial, class, and gender inequality on which the not-really-so-pervasive phenomenon of student hookups is playing out. If you want to understand what is happening on campus today, this book is not only excellent; it’s necessary.” — Michael Kimmel, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University and author of Guyland

“An extraordinary window into today’s hookup culture among young people. In its pages, you will find incredible insights tying together the history of college campuses, human brain development, and cultural shifts on gender norms to explain how young people conduct their sexual relationships. Working with young people myself, I see what Lisa Wade describes every day. This is an extraordinary and important book.” — Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

“In this fascinating book, Wade shines the bright light of sociology and feminism onto American college sexual culture, exploring both its positive and its bleakest aspects. An intelligent, sympathetic, and unflinching analysis of hookup culture, interweaved with intimate narratives from those living in it.” — Cordelia Fine, author of Delusions of Gender

“An urgently needed and well-researched front-line report on ‘hookup culture.’ … Are young women taking on a traditional ‘male’ view of sex? Is commercialism monopolizing their—and our—imaginations? Is hooking up a way of shutting down—and discrediting—genuine emotional connections? If so, why?… This book is a welcome wake-up call to the nation. Read it and pass the word.” — Arlie Hochschild, author of The Time Bind

“[P]rovides an engaging, thought-provoking, and accessible examination of current social behaviors.” — Booklist, starred review

“An eye-opening, conversation-starting examination of sex on the American college campus.” — Kirkus Reviews

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