Here’s some kind-of-nice news. You know the nearly endless series of books on hookup-culture on college campuses? They aren’t the whole story by a long shot.
The most recent federal survey on marriage and family (the Center for Disease Control’s National Survey of Family Growth), showed that for women married since 2000, while only 5% were virgins at marriage, another 22% had slept with just one man in their lifetime, their future husband. (And no surprise, the 5% who entered marriage as virgins had the lowest rates of divorce and the highest rates of church attendance, followed by the 22%).
So the grand total of 27% isn’t mind-blowingly good, but it’s a lot better than we have been led to expect by stories of college women and men picking up sex partners weekly at alcohol-fueled parties with themes like “Pimps and Hos.”
Books like Donna Freitas’ The End of Sex, Kathleen Bogle’s Hookup: Dating, Sex and Relationships on Campus, and the newer one by Peggy Orenstein, Girls and Sex: Navigating The Complicated New Landscape – highlight some of the more out-of-control sexual behaviors on campus. But the reality is more nuanced.
Only 18% of women in the current federal survey had 10 or more partners. Twenty-seven percent had 0-1, thirty-nine percent 0-2, and fifty percent 0-3.
Not at all ideal, but great material for reminding yourself or a friend or your daughter, that women aren’t wholesale buying what a hypersexualized culture is selling.