Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both

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Penguin, 2007 - Family & Relationships - 288 pages
3 Reviews
An eye-opening examination of the hookup culture, seen through the personal experiences of high school-and college-age women who confront the hard lessons of dating, love, and sex.

We're living in an increasingly sexualized world, and it's the young-particularly young women-who must deal with the consequences. Kids are having more sexual contact than ever, and at an earlier age. They call it "hooking up." But what is "hooking up"? According to Laura Sessions Stepp, a reporter at The Washington Post, hooking up eludes a neat definition. It can be anything from an innocent kiss to sexual.

In Unhooked, Stepp follows three groups of young women (one in high school, one each at Duke and George Washington universities). She sat with them in class, socialized with them, listened to them talk, and came away with some disturbing insights, including that hooking up carries with it no obligation on either side. Relationships and romance are seen as messy and time-consuming, and love is postponed-or worse, seen as impossible. Some young women can handle this, but many can't, and they're being battered-physically and emotionally-by the new dating landscape. The result is a generation of young people stymied by relationships and unsure where to turn for help.

"The need to be connected intimately to others is as central to our well-being as food and shelter," Stepp writes in Unhooked. "In my view, if we don't get it right, we're probably not going to get anything else in life right."

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User Review  - BrianaHoven - LibraryThing

I read this book in 2007, a few years after my own college graduation, and I found it to be a spot-on description of the hookup culture and the confusion it creates for young women. I did not agree ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lilac_Lily01 - LibraryThing

I picked this book up from a bargain bin without giving it much thought. When I finally got around to reading it, I could barely put it down. Laura Stepp interviewed young women and got them to open ... Read full review



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About the author (2007)

Laura Sessions Stepp is a journalist who specializes in covering teenagers and the adolescent years for the Style Section of The Washington Post. Her work has appeared in such publications as Parent, Child, Working Mother, Reader's Digest, and Nieman Reports of Harvard University. She has served as a member of the U.S. Surgeon General's Healthy People 2000 Panel on Adolescence in 1998 and 1999 and chairs the board of advisers of the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland.

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