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American Hookup

paperback∗ see praise
∗ listen to an interview at NPR
∗ sample an excerpt at TIME or The Guardian
∗ read reviews and listen to interviews
∗ view more author essays on hookup culture
∗ browse sample syllabi
∗ download the discussion guide
∗ watch a student documentary
∗ read what students think
Rising above misinformation and moralizing, Lisa Wade offers the definitive account of the new sexual culture on campus.

American Hookup situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. With new research, Wade maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that privileged students tend to enjoy it the most, and 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?”

Still relevant, says Taylor Schott, a student at the University of Michigan in 2021: “…surprisingly exact… the book thrums with truth.”


Available everywhere:

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Selected praise for American Hookup:

“…the culture surrounding the hookup… is retro, hetero, blotto and — at moments — worryingly psycho.”

– New York Times

“…emotional sensitivity and impressive narrative flare…”


“…put her on your revolution reading list.”


“…extraordinary and important…”

Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes

“…weird and disturbing.”

Fabuis Maximus

“…the best book about sex on campus, bar none.”

Eric Klinenberg, author of Modern Romance

“I was thoroughly enthralled…”

Harvard Educational Review

“…fresh and real—fascinating front-line reporting.”

– Institute for Family Studies

“…an urgently needed and well-researched front-line report…”

Arlie Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land

“…will take your breath away.”

– Center for Public Theology

“…intelligent, sympathetic, and unflinching…”

Cordelia Fine, author of Delusions of Gender

“Beautifully written, timely, and ever so important…”

Huffington Post

“…a must read…”

Barbara Risman, author of Where the Millennials Will Take Us

“…she didn’t use the word ‘diddling’ even once!”

– Grandpa

Full list of reviews:

Radio, podcast, television, livestream, and text interviews:


Articles and interviews about hookup culture by the author:

  • Scarleteen – Hookup Culture and the Impact of COVID-19
  • Guardian – Sex on campus isn’t what you think
  • Time – The birth of college party culture
  • Salon – Rape on campus: Athletes, status, and the sexual assault crisis
  • Time – Why colleges should get rid of fraternities for good
  • Contexts – What’s so cultural about hookup culture?
  • Everyday Sociology – Sociology and the culture of sex on campus
  • Scholars Strategy Network – The Rise of Hookup Culture
  • Slate – Hookup culture: For the white and wealthy
  • Female First (UK) – What College Students Say about the Hookup Culture
  • Los Angeles Times – The hookup culture bogeyman


Other media coverage:


Student voices:


Sample syllabi for use in college classes:





From Mimi Schippers, PhD, Tulane University (Sociology of Sexualities):

Consistently, students say that this book is, by far, the most interesting and relevant text in the course. Because Wade presents novel and complex ideas in accessible and straightforward writing, students have no problem reading the book in one week and getting a tremendous amount out of doing so. I teach it toward the end of the semester because the book covers many already discussed topics such as the socio-historical trajectories in the meaning of sex, sexual cultures, gendered, raced, and classed sexuality, mononormativity, heteronormativity, and envisioning and enacting alternative sexual cultures.




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