Hooking Up

Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus

225 pages

January, 2008

ISBN: 9780814799697



Also available in


Kathleen A. Bogle is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She is the author of Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus.

All books by Kathleen A. Bogle

Listen to her NPR Interview

The Sociology of "Hooking Up": Author Interview on Inside Higher Ed

Newsweek: Campus Sexperts

Hookup culture creates unfamiliar environment - to parents, at least

Hooking Up: What Educators Need to Know - An op-ed on CHE by the author

It happens every weekend: In a haze of hormones and alcohol, groups of male and female college students meet at a frat party, a bar, or hanging out in a dorm room, and then hook up for an evening of sex first, questions later. As casually as the sexual encounter begins, so it often ends with no strings attached; after all, it was “just a hook up.” While a hook up might mean anything from kissing to oral sex to going all the way, the lack of commitment is paramount.

Hooking Up is an intimate look at how and why college students get together, what hooking up means to them, and why it has replaced dating on college campuses. In surprisingly frank interviews, students reveal the circumstances that have led to the rise of the booty call and the death of dinner-and-a-movie. Whether it is an expression of postfeminist independence or a form of youthful rebellion, hooking up has become the only game in town on many campuses.

In Hooking Up, Kathleen A. Bogle argues that college life itself promotes casual relationships among students on campus. The book sheds light on everything from the differences in what young men and women want from a hook up to why freshmen girls are more likely to hook up than their upper-class sisters and the effects this period has on the sexual and romantic relationships of both men and women after college. Importantly, she shows us that the standards for young men and women are not as different as they used to be, as women talk about “friends with benefits” and “one and done” hook ups.

Breaking through many misconceptions about casual sex on college campuses, Hooking Up is the first book to understand the new sexual culture on its own terms, with vivid real-life stories of young men and women as they navigate the newest sexual revolution.


  • "Remarkable because while it avoids the alarmist tone of the dominant discourse it does not turn a blind eye to the gendered inequality and sexual double standards that characterize hook-up culture, nor does it ignore the individual-level effects those structured inequalities have on women, men and the relationships they form during and after college."

    Sexuality & Culture

  • “Bogle is a smart interviewer and gets her subjects to reveal intimate and often embarrassing details without being moralizing. This evenhanded, sympathetic book on a topic that has received far too much sensational and shoddy coverage is an important addition to the contemporary literature on youth and sexuality.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Bogle’s prose engages the reader, and her positive rapport with her interviewees provides confidences typically reserved for best friends. A useful resource for college students who want to know what hooking up means to their classmates, Bogle's book is also relevant for parents trying to figure out why their darn kids are running around the bases backward.”

    The Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Hooking Up is a welcome, empirical addition that informs all readers of the collegiate state of affairs—sexual and otherwise. It will be of particular interest to scholars in the fields of gender, sexuality, family, relationships, and higher education.”

    —Rachel Kalish, Gender & Society

  • “This work is an excellent reflection on the continuing double standards for men and women and the consideration of gender norms in our ‘post-feminist’ culture will be appreciated by gender studies scholars as well as by researchers and practitioners interested in late adolescent and emerging adult sexuality. Hooking Up also serves as a valuable reference for those who seek to understand (and decode) the sexual terminology and encounters of youth and young adults.”

    Journal of Youth and Adolescence

  • ”A major strength of the book is the use of interviews of college students and alumni. The qualitative approach allows readers to get a glimpse of the experiences and observations of the respondents in their own words. Bogle debunks the media’s notion of hooking up and offers a definition of what “hooking up” means to respondents. A must read for undergraduate students, faculty and staff, and parents. Summing up: Highly recommended.“