What Factors Influence Likelihood of College Women’s Hookups?

College hookup (HerCampus)

College hookup (HerCampus)

Much has been made of the college hook-up culture over the last decade. Women (and men) seem to be divided over whether college women should, or shouldn’t, be hooking up as much as they do. Or maybe it’s hooking up more than they do. Either way, everyone has an opinion.

But what actually influences likelihood of college women’s hookups? Luckily, there’s an answer. In 2013, the Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University surveyed 483 college freshmen women and followed up monthly with each one for eight months. The questions encompassed a wide range of behaviors that could be noteworthy:

Specific questions covered the students’ sexual behavior, hookup attitudes and intentions, self-esteem, religious beliefs, parents’ relationship status, alcohol and marijuana use, smoking, impulsivity and sensation-seeking behavior.

The study turned up two important findings. The first was that women who had hooked up prior to college were most likely to continue hooking up during college. This makes sense, as it used previous behavior patterns to predict future behavior patterns.

Another significant finding determined that marijuana usage as an accurate indicator of hookup proclivities. Researcher Robyn L. Fielder believes that this is “the first study to explore marijuana use as a predictor of hooking up.” In context of what the plant is capable of, this makes sense: Marijuana has been linked to “risky sexual behavior, impairing judgment and reducing inhibitions.”

The results were published in the “Archives of Sexual Behavior.”

Ivy League Sex Weeks: By The Numbers

Ivy League university crests

Ivy League university crests

“Russia Today” recently reported that Ivy League university Harvard would offer a class on anal sex during their upcoming annual Sex Week. This isn’t the first time the class has been offered; that back in Fall 2012. Harvard’s Sex Week focuses on providing comprehensive sex education to students with a sex-positive outlook and shedding light on aspects that might not be ordinarily covered.

Yale holds the most famous Sex Week, which began in 2002 and was coordinated at the time by students Eric Rubenstein and Jacqueline Farber. But the program has now spread to other schools.

As the program takes root at other schools, let’s take a look at other Ivy League Sex Weeks:

Brown University: 

Site: Sextion: ***Sex Week 2014 (related article)

Started: N/A

Coordinated by: Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council (SHEEC)

Most Recent Sex Week: Mar. 31-Apr. 6, 2014

Notable Classes: “Dirty Talk,” “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” (2013)

Notable Guests: sex educator Charlie Glickman, activist Katee Stewart (2013)

Awards: N/A


Columbia University:


Columbia doesn’t have a Sex Week.


Cornell University:

Site: Cornell Sex Week Facebook page

Started: 2014

Coordinated by: Sex Week committee

Most Recent Sex Week: Mar. 7-19, 2014

Frequency: N/A

Notable Classes: “Combating Stigma: A Panel Discussion on HIV/AIDS,” “Introduction to Kink (with Pictures)” (2014)

Notable Guests: feminist sex writer Susie Bright, activist Urvashi Vaid (2014)

Awards: N/A


Dartmouth College:


Dartmouth doesn’t have a Sex Week.


Harvard University: 

Site: Sex Week at Harvard

Started: 2010

Coordinated by: Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH)

Most Recent Sex Week: Nov. 2-8, 2014

Frequency: Held twice every school year, once during each fall and spring semester

Notable Classes: “Love, Sex and Faith,” “Sexing the Body in Art and Media,” “#FutureSex: How technology will change your sex life” (Fall 2013)

Notable Guests: filmmaker Therese Schechter (Spring 2013), sexologist Jill McDeavitt (Fall 2012)

Awards: N/A


Princeton University:


Awards: Despite the fact that the school doesn’t have its own Sex Week, Princeton took top honors in Trojan’s Sexual Health Report Card in 2013.


University of Pennsylvania:

Site: Upenn Sex Week | All about sex

Started: 2013

Coordinated by: N/A

Most Recent Sex Week: Apr. 2-6, 2013

Frequency: N/A

Notable Classes: Erotica writing, “Asexuality 101” (Spring 2013)

Notable Guests: Cindy Gallop, “Make Love Not Porn” (Spring 2013)

Awards: N/A


Yale University:

Site: N/A

Started: 2002

Coordinated by: Sex Week committee

Most Recent Sex Week: 2014

Frequency: Held every other year in February on the week running up to Valentine’s Day

Notable Classes: “Fornication 101 with Oh Megan!,” “BDSM and Alternative Sexualities”

Notable Guests: porn director Steven Hirsch, porn star Sasha Grey

Awards: 2004 Collegiate Network Campus Outrage Award, First Place; 2006 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, First Place and only school with a perfect score

#ThrowbackThursday: Brown University’s Sex Week 2014

Brown Sex Week 2014 Poster

Brown Sex Week 2014 Poster

WOW! I was researching for this afternoon’s blog post (it’s live in a few hours!), and stumbled on this fantastic art for Brown University’s Sex Week 2014.

Or should I say, ***Sex Week 2014. Est-ce tu aimes le sexe?

Beyoncé + sex education = Win. Every time.

Carry on.


Brown University Date Rape Drug GHB: How Common Is It?

Brown University's Robinson Hall, 2009

Brown University’s Robinson Hall, 2009

A female student at a Brown University fraternity party held on Oct. 17 has tested positive for a date-rape drug.

The student drank an alcoholic punch which contained GHB (gamma hydroxybutrate), which was found during a later test. One other student drank the punch, and those results are still pending.

The Australian Drug Foundation notes that symptoms such as drowsiness, lowered inhibitions and memory lapses become present 15-20 minutes after taking the drug, and can continue for 3-4 hours. It’s also easy to overdose since there aren’t much difference in dosage between an overdose and a safe amount.

This continues a story in which the aforementioned female student reported that she was sexually assaulted at the Phi Kappa Psi party.

How common is GHB’s use as a date-rape drug?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any hard numbers solely on GHB for colleges. A 2009 Monitoring the Future study found that .7% of eighth-graders and 1.1% of 12th-graders reported using the drug in the past year. GHB use peaked in 2000 when 1.2% of eighth-graders in 2000 and 2% of 12th-graders in 2004 reporting using it within the past year.

Drug abuse treatment website Serenity Lane reports that since there have been 15K+ overdoses and 72 deaths related to GHB. But this doesn’t tell us the age-spread, so it’s impossible to tell which, if any, age group this affected most.

Every resource I looked at listed GHB as a date-rape drug alongside rohypnol and ketamine. In fact, Brown’s own Health Services website devotes a page to GHB. It’s clear that its use is still a large issue.