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Jessica Stephens (not her real name), a San Francisco mother of four, has heard the term "hooking up" among her teenage sons' friends, but she's just not sure what it means. "It used to mean getting together at a party and would include some form of petting and sexual activity," says Lynn Ponton, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers: Revealing the Secret World of Adolescent Boys and Girls.
" Teens use the expression hooking up (or "messing around" or "friends with benefits") to describe everything from kissing to having oral sex or intercourse. Hooking up isn't a new phenomenon -- it's been around for at least 50 years.
She groups them into “abstainers,” “dabblers,” “strivers,” and “enthusiasts.” Both the media and the students themselves overestimate how much sex is happening on campus, and this leaves those who aren’t having sex (intentionally or not) feeling left out.
The price of the perception, Wade notes, is high: the entrenchment of gender stereotypes, insistent heterocentrism, punishing competition among women for male approval, and the prevalence of sexual violence.
Teens in serious relationships may find social and emotional support in their sex partners, reducing their anxiety and stress levels in life and in school."This should give some comfort to parents who may be concerned that their teenage son or daughter is dating," said sociologist Peggy Giordano of Bowling Green State University, who had no role in the research.
Teen sex is "not going to derail their educational trajectories," she said.
Upon successful completion of the test (a score of 75 percent or higher), you can print your CE certificate immediately.
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Wade includes firsthand accounts from her research subjects (her students from the two American liberal arts colleges where she’s taught), who report in fresh and candid language on their experiences.
Rising above misinformation and moralizing, Lisa Wade offers the definitive account of this new sexual culture and demonstrates that the truth is both more heartening and more harrowing than we thought.
Offering invaluable insights for parents, educators, and students, Wade situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution.
This feature will provide you with updates on critical developments in psychology, drawn from peer-reviewed literature and written by leading psychology experts.
"CE Corner" appears in the February 2012, April, July/August and November issues of the Monitor.Working with new research, she maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence.