Episode 2.1

“The right way to be sexual is the way that feels best to you.” Lisa Wade, an educator and author who will formally join Tulane University as an Associate Professor of sociology and gender and sexuality studies in 2021, discusses her book American Hookup and the new culture of sex on campus. Rising above “misinformation and moralizing,” this episode focuses on Lisa’s rigorous research about the evolution of dating and the context of hookups on campus–and how this can both empower and harm students.

Presented with scholarly, unbiased observations, Lisa reflects on her book’s ideas based on the journals of 101 students, all who willingly shared their experiences in hookup culture with Lisa for her research. With this information, Lisa has mapped out an “emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence.” Factors such as privilege, racial and sexual minorities, a common pattern of unfriendliness following hookups, the pressure to “opt in” when you want to “opt out,” and the context of hookups are all considered.

Listen to this episode to learn about a timely and important culture we need to discuss, as well as ways people can consider moving forward. Email Abigail at abigailkperry [AT] gmail [DOT] com to continue the conversation. 

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Want to read American Hookup for yourself? Find it on Amazon, IndieBound, or Barnes and Noble.

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?”

Interested in some other topics discussed in this podcast? Explore these resources for your own creative journey. 

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