Student bodies: Does the sex ratio matter for hooking up and having sex at college?

Timothy Adkins, Paula England, Barbara J. Risman, Jessie Ford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using the Online College Social Life Survey, we examine whether the sex ratio of the student body of a college or university affects whether heterosexual students hook up, have relationships, have intercourse, or have attitudes favorable toward casual sex. The gendered dyadic power model predicts that, if men are more interested in having sex than women, as the ratio of women to men goes up, men will increasingly have the upper hand and more sex will occur. Consistent with the prediction, we find that where the ratio of women to men is higher, students of both sexes hook up more and accumulate more sexual partners, but inconsistent with it, students are no more likely to have intercourse in a given hookup where the ratio of women is higher.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)144-162
    Number of pages19
    JournalSocial Currents
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2015


    • Body and embodiment
    • Children and youth
    • Sex and gender
    • Sexualities

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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