Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying

Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying

by Mark Regnerus, Jeremy Uecker
     
 

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The period of young adulthood, from ages 18 to 23, is popularly considered the most sexualized in life. But is it true? What do we really know about the sexual lives of young people today?

Premarital Sex in America combines illuminating personal stories and comprehensive research surveys to provide the fullest portrait of heterosexuality among young adults ever

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Overview

The period of young adulthood, from ages 18 to 23, is popularly considered the most sexualized in life. But is it true? What do we really know about the sexual lives of young people today?

Premarital Sex in America combines illuminating personal stories and comprehensive research surveys to provide the fullest portrait of heterosexuality among young adults ever produced. Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker draw upon a wealth of survey data as well as scores of in-depth interviews with young adults from around the country, both in and out of college. Digging underneath stereotypes and unexamined assumptions, the authors offer compelling—and often surprising—answers to such questions as: How do the emotional aspects of sexual relations differ between young men and women? What role do political orientations play in their sexual relations? How have online dating and social networking sites affected the relationships of emerging adults? Why are young people today waiting so much longer to marry? How prevalent are nontraditional forms of sex, and what do people think of them? To better understand what drives the sexual behaviors of emerging adults, Regnerus and Uecker pay special attention to two important concepts: sexual scripts, the unwritten and often unconscious rules that guide sexual behavior and attitudes; and sexual economics, a theory which suggests that the relative scarcity of men on college campuses contributes to the "hookup" culture by allowing men to diminish their level of commitment and thereby lower the "price" they have to "pay" for sex.

For anyone wishing to understand how sexual relations between young adults have changed and are changing, Premarital Sex in America will serve as a touchstone for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marriage provides a fascinating and highly readable glimpse into the complicated sex lives of heterosexual young adults in the contemporary United States... Sociologists Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker provide one of the most detailed and thought-provoking analyses to date of the ways that single men and women ages 18-23 pursue and negotiate sexual relationships..." —American Journal of Sociology

"A fascinating book." —Austin American Statesman

"Regnerus and Uecker have not set out to construct a new sexual ethics, and anyone who does so in public tends to take a beating. But this book, which offers a wide-ranging guide to where we are now, could occasion some thinking about where we want to be." —The New Republic

"Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker's Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think About Marrying draws from statistical analysis of several surveys and qualitative interviews." —Contemporary Sociology

"The book... studies a fairly narrow age range (18-23 years)... however, this age group has fascinated scholars and the public due to their ever-changing mindset and behaviors regarding sex. Thus, the book is geared toward those interested in understanding the complex topic of sexuality among those at the beginning of young adulthood. While many Mormon youth often abstain from premarital sexual activity, Premarital Sex in America offers an inside look into the large culture that LDS youth will encounter. With this scope and complex topic in mind, the authors have certainly succeeded in providing a well-documented look at the sexual lives of young adults." —BYU Studies Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199743285
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/10/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
481,107
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Regnerus is Associate Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies and Research Associate, Population Research Center, at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers (OUP, 2009).

Jeremy Uecker is a postdoctoral fellow with the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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