Students Flock to 'Hooking Up on Campus' Event

Courtesy of Lisa Wade

Harvard’s first annual Sex Week, now in full swing, drew a crowd of enthusiastic students to Science Center last night for "Hooking Up on Campus," a talk by sociologist and cultural critic Dr. Lisa Wade.

Wade, who is a Professor of Sociology at Occidental College in California, drew upon both her own research and previous studies to paint a grim picture of what she calls, "the cultural dominance of hooking up."

In her talk, Wade pointed out that she does not think college students are having too much sex. In fact, she said, our parents’ generation was actually more sexually active than ours is—a remark which elicited a flurry of groans from the audience.

Wade argued that today's culture of casual hook ups actually prevents many college students from having enjoyable sex. While some of the students Wade surveyed described casual sex as liberating, many others seemed to find it lacking. "They wanted to be not in love," Wade said, "but in like." However, she went on to explain, hook up culture can result in sex that is devoid of communication and compassion.

Wade's talk seemed to ring true with students, many of whom stuck around for a raffle of sex toys and t-shirts. "I was a little shocked by how what [Dr. Wade] said was very true of what I’ve experienced here," said  Bay B. McCulloch '12. "It was quite enlightening to hear that this inability to express emotions about sex is something other people are experiencing, too."

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