Only Rich, White, Drunk People Are Hooking Up and Having Casual Sex In College

By 07.22.13

“Only 14 percent of students hookup more than 10 times in four years and these students are more likely than others to be white, wealthy, heterosexual, able-bodied, and conventionally attractive, according to quantitative studies of hookup behavior,” writes Slate's , putting the New York Times's recent trend story in a new context by looking at race instead of gender. Wade cites a quantitative study from Indiana University's Laura Hamilton and the University of Michigan's Elizabeth A. Armstrong, who found data that support earlier studies that “found that white students, those who drink, and students with higher parental income are more likely to hook up.”

However, it's all about looking at the college student population as a whole. Again, The Atlantic:

But when you recall that many four-year colleges are playgrounds for the rich and white, the study's results are not all that revolutionary. First, consider that white students accounted for 61 percent of all undergraduates, according to the U.S. Census. And then take into account that 80 percent of college students drink according to the National Institutes of Health report.

And then factor in the financials: A 2006 UCLA study found that the incoming class of 2005 “came from households with a parental median income of $74,000—60 percent higher than the national average of $46,326.” And ABC News reported this past May that there's a growing trend of colleges offering more financial aid to rich students in an effort to woo them — at the expense of poorer students, of course.

Back at Slate, Wade argues that college hook-up culture is really a reflection of sexual norms in life outside college: 

People with privilege—based on race, class, ability, attractiveness, sexual orientation, and, yes, gender—get to set the terms for everyone else. Their ideologies dominate our discourses, their particular set of values gets to appear universal, and everyone is subject to their behavioral norms. Students feel that a hookup culture dominates their colleges not because it is actually widely embraced, but because the people with the most power to shape campus culture like it that way.

Fair statement? Or do you think college's hook-up culture applies to everyone on campus, regardless of race or socialeconomic background? Discuss in the comments.

TAGSCollege sexhook-upshooking uphookup cultureSex

Join The Discussion

Comments are closed.