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. Working with 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?”
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Lisa Wade is a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She earned an MA in human sexuality from New York University and an MS and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin−Madison. She is the author of over two dozen research papers, book chapters, and educational essays. Aiming to reach audiences outside of academia, Dr. Wade founded the popular blog Sociological Images and appears frequently in print, radio, and television news and opinion outlets.
Table of Contents
Author's Note 9
Introduction: The New Culture of Sex 13
1 Hooking Up, a How-To 27
2 How Sex Became Fun 50
3 Sex in Drunkworld 71
4 Opting Out 92
5 Opting In 113
6 Careless and Carefree 134
7 Unequal Pleasures 158
8 Wanting to Be Wanted 180
9 Flirting with Danger 202
10 Moving On 224
Conclusion: Changing the Culture 241
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Everyone 18 years of age and older should read this book. EVERYONE. I stumbled across American Hookup while randomly searching the Web for something else. Once I saw the subject matter of the book and how it was being approached, I was intrigued. I'm still reading the book and am just amazed at the light it sheds on the games people play when it comes to the pursuit of sex. If, like me, you've never been one of the "it" people or part of the "in crowd" in college or at night clubs after college, and you've wondered why you're on the outside looking in, this book will make you feel somewhat better. The basic tenet of the book is that hookup culture is (straight) male-dominated and driven by a vocal group of people that influence everyone else to play along or be stigmatized. The book covers the roles that alcohol, peer pressure, and darker influences take. The author - a PhD in sociology - conducted a study on college students from across the United States - many of the sentiments being expressed in journals she had them submit. What's surprising about the findings you'll read about is that not everyone is thrilled about "the way things are" but they go along to get along - they play the games so as not to be ostracized. And, as it turns out, hooking up is not about love at all, but about "scoring" - a theme you'll see throughout the book. What I found especially helpful about the book is that even though I'm out of college, many of the very same pathologies the book describes still undergird club culture and anyone who's interested in getting laid, but not necessarily just for the sake of "doing it." Hookup culture, as described in the book, is mostly a debauched state of affairs in which women mostly are the patsies, (straight) men are the exploiters, and everything is a big farce. Even if you're out of school, you'll want to read this book to learn about just what's running through the heads of young adults now. It's nice to know that there's a contingent who think this "system" is silly, but they apparently are not in the majority, and no one has figured out a way to break up the game. American Hookup is a revelation. One can hope that this part of American culture - like many other aspects that have proven toxic in recent years - can be fixed.
This book will shape debates surrounding "hookup culture" for many years to come. Wade has garnered national and international attention as a public scholar for many years now. She has a knack for clearly explaining insights from sociological research to public audiences in ways that do not detract from the level of sophistication of the science. And her own work is no exception. This book may be written to be read by anyone with an interest in the topic, but it's also a brilliant research project, carefully constructed to provide new information about a pressing social issue. The book is historically grounded, empirically rich, and completely engaging throughout. I'll use this book in courses I teach on sexualities, but I'll be ordering copies for friends and family, too.