Hookup culture dominates the lives of college students today. Most students spend hours agonizing over their hopes for Friday night and, later, dissecting the evenings’ successes or failures, often wishing that the social contract of the hookup would allow them to ask for more out of sexual intimacy. The pressure to participate comes from all directions — from peers, the media, and even parents. But how do these expectations affect students themselves? And why aren’t’t parents and universities helping students make better-informed decisions about sex and relationships?
In The End of Sex, Donna Freitas draws on her own extensive research to reveal what young men and women really want when it comes to sex and romance. Surveying thousands of college students and conducting extensive one-on-one interviews at religious, secular public, and secular private schools, Freitas discovered that many students — men and women alike — are deeply unhappy with hookup culture. Meaningless hookups have led them to associate sexuality with ambivalence, boredom, isolation, and loneliness, yet they tend to accept hooking up as an unavoidable part of college life. Freitas argues that, until students realize that there are many avenues that lead to sex and long-term relationships, the vast majority will continue to miss out on the romance, intimacy, and satisfying sex they deserve.
An honest, sympathetic portrait of the challenges of young adulthood, The End of Sex will strike a chord with undergraduates, parents, and faculty members who feel that students deserve more than an endless cycle of boozy one night stands. Freitas offers a refreshing take on this charged topic — and a solution that depends not on premarital abstinence or unfettered sexuality, but rather a healthy path between the two.
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