Queer Women in the Hookup Scene: Beyond the Closet?

Leila J. Rupp, Verta Taylor, Shiri Regev-Messalem, Alison Fogarty, Paula England

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The college hookup scene is a profoundly gendered and heteronormative sexual field. Yet the party and bar scene that gives rise to hookups also fosters the practice of women kissing other women in public, generally to the enjoyment of male onlookers, and sometimes facilitates threesomes involving same-sex sexual behavior between women. In this article, we argue that the hookup scene serves as an opportunity structure to explore same-sex attractions and, at least for some women, to later verify bisexual, lesbian, or queer sexual identities. Based on quantitative and qualitative data and combining queer theory and identity theory, we offer a new interpretation of women's same-sex practices in the hookup culture. Our analysis contributes to gender theory by demonstrating the utility of identity theory for understanding how non-normative gender and sexual identities are negotiated within heteronormatively structured fields.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)212-235
    Number of pages24
    JournalGender and Society
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 2014


    • bisexuality
    • hooking up
    • queer women
    • sexual fluidity
    • sexual identity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'Queer Women in the Hookup Scene: Beyond the Closet?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this