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  1. Sexual Abstinence in the United States: Cohort Trends in Abstaining from Sex While Never Married for U.S. Women Born 1938 to 1983

    In this data visualization, the authors document trends in abstaining from sex while never married for U.S. women born 1938–1939 to 1982–1983. Using data from the six most recent National Surveys of Family Growth, the authors’ estimates suggest that for women born in the late 1930s and early 1940s, 48 percent to 58 percent reported abstaining from sex while never married. Abstinence then declined rapidly among women born in the late 1940s through the early 1960s, leveling off at between 9 percent and 12 percent for more recent birth cohorts. Thus, for U.S.

  2. Do People in Conservative States Really Watch More Porn? A Hierarchical Analysis

    Recent studies have found that state-level religious and political conservatism is positively associated with various aggregate indicators of interest in pornography. Such studies have been limited, however, in that they either did not include data measuring actual consumption patterns and/or did not include data on individuals (risking the ecological fallacy). This study overcomes both limitations by incorporating state-level data with individual-level data and a measure of pornography consumption from a large nationally representative survey.

  3. Love Me Tinder, Love Me Sweet

    Are “hook up” apps leading to a new kind of dating culture on college campuses? Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are have a different impact on the lives of college students versus older daters. Many students are using these apps to circumvent the romantic gatekeeping that campus party culture has long dominated.

  4. “Daddies,” “Cougars,” and Their Partners Past Midlife: Gender Attitudes and Relationship and Sexual Well-Being among Older Adults in Age-Heterogenous Partnerships

    Discussion of “daddies” has exploded in popular discourse, yet there is little sociological research on age-heterogenous partnerships. This paper uses data from the 2013 Midlife in the United States survey and the 2015–2016 National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project to examine age-heterogenous partnerships at older ages (63 was the approximate average age of each sample).

  5. Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage

    Social scientists have long been interested in how cultural and structural characteristics shape individuals’ actions. We investigate this relationship by examining how macro- and micro-level religious effects shape individuals’ reports of premarital and extramarital sex. We look at how identifying with one of the major world religions—Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Judaism—and living in a nation with a Muslim culture shape the likelihood of sex outside of marriage.

  6. Comment on Barbara Risman’s review of Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy

    The habit of contesting criticisms in print is one I have never acquired, in part because I am committed to the democracy and pace of scholarly debate. Nothing attracted me more to the sociological life than the opportunity to wrestle with ideas. But that is why I feel compelled to respond to Risman’s apoplectic interpretation of Cheap Sex. The reader learns next to nothing about what is actually in the book. Her remarks display far less interest in wrestling with ideas than in ad hominem assaults and sarcastic guesses at my character, values, and motives.
  7. Reply to [Mark] Regnerus

    In this brief response to the Regnerus “Comment,” I shall ignore the personal insults and critiques of my motivation. Instead, I shall briefly respond to the claims of inaccuracies and reiterate my major themes. Despite the Regnerus claim, my review clearly analyzes the ways in which Regnerus and Wade focus on the same issue: sex outside of relationships. Their explanations for how this sexual script developed and what to do about it differ. Nowhere in my review did I suggest that exchange theory was a fallacy. I did suggest that how Regnerus applied exchange theory was fallacious.
  8. Is Recreational Sex a Social Problem? Or, What’s Wrong with Kids Today?

    Decades have passed since we liberated normative sex from the confines of heterosexual marriage. But the divorce of sexual activity from romantic relationships among young people is still the topic of much debate. Both American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, by Lisa Wade, and Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy, by Mark Regnerus, address what’s happening with sex and relationships today; and although they identify similar trends, their analyses could not be more different.
  9. Leader Messaging and Attitudes toward Sexual Violence

    Research exploring sexual assault within universities and sexual harassment within companies has largely overlooked how leadership in organizations can shape constituents’ perceptions of sexual violence. This question has become particularly relevant as organizations are increasingly tasked with measuring and communicating about sexual violence. We use two national survey experiments to test how altering an organization’s communication of information about sexual assault or harassment affects participants’ agreement that it is a high-priority issue.

  10. Accounting for Women’s Orgasm and Sexual Enjoyment in College Hookups and Relationships

    This article investigates the determinants of orgasm and sexual enjoyment in hookup and relationship sex among heterosexual college women and seeks to explain why relationship sex is better for women in terms of orgasm and sexual enjoyment. We use data from women respondents to a large online survey of undergraduates at 21 U.S. colleges and universities and from 85 in-depth interviews at two universities. We identify four general views of the sources of orgasm and sexual enjoyment—technically competent genital stimulation, partner-specific learning, commitment, and gender equality.