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The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy Hardcover – April 2, 2013

3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Atlantic
"[An] important, wise, and brave new book...The short book, written in the style of an informative and impassioned pamphlet, is painfully accurate in its assessment of the idiocy that passes for sexuality in the dormitory. Freitas' argument is well-researched and well-grounded, and she is sharp enough to condemn hookup culture on sexual grounds, rather than ethical grounds.... Her indictment couldn't be stronger.... Freitas's work is important because it offers a third way toward sexual independence and autonomy in an America caught between Puritanism and pornography. Rather than morally condemning college students for promiscuity or telling them to treat romance with the detached analysis of the headhunter, she is promising them that better sex—more fun, excitement, and intensity—is available."

Wall Street Journal
"Illuminating.... Using extensive survey research and dozens of interviews with young men and women on college campuses across the country, Ms. Freitas explodes the myth of the 'harmless hookup.'... Freitas’s book is a timely and alarming wake-up call to students, college administrators and parents, and she presents a compelling argument against the hookup culture.”

Boston Globe
“[A] straight-forward, well-researched, and eye-opening book…. This compelling testimony from young people around the country provides ample evidence for why this campus lifestyle should not be ignored.”

Christianity Today
“Freitas provides compelling evidence that far too many young adults live lives of quiet desperation—sexually and socially...The End of Sex paints a vivid portrait of hookup culture…There is much in The End of Sex to applaud.”

Toronto Star
“The book is informative, non-judgmental and a must-read for parents and for their university-aged kids although once you become immersed in it you’ll be screaming (as I was), ‘Oh spirit, show me no more.’ But keep reading and start figuring out a new conversation with the kids — or they may never know ‘what love’s got to do with it.'"

Publishers Weekly
“[A] scathing and reasoned attack on the casual-sex culture at American universities…. [Freitas] encourages mindfulness and an open dialogue about what students want to get out of sex, and her remedies (which include temporary periods of abstinence and a return to the traditional date) should provide, if not solutions, at least inspiration for parents and college staff in talking to students about how to have better relationships, and better sex.”

Lauren Sandler, author of Righteous and One and Only
“You may think you know about hookup culture, but unless you have read Freitas’s clear, compassionate, and complete study, you have no idea. Instead of gleaning the state of intimacy of an entire generation from a few subjects, Freitas surveys and interviews thousands of students, and the vast scope of the pervasive hookup culture she discovers is stunning. I recommend this book to men and women alike, students and professors, parents and kids—anyone with a personal or social interest in physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, and the widening chasm in between. Whether you spar with Freitas’s conclusions, or feel liberated by them, The End of Sex is simply indispensable.”

About the Author

Donna Freitas is the author of Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America’s College Campuses, and she has lectured at more than seventy-five colleges and universities around the country on hookup culture and how college students today find meaning (or don’t) during the college experience. She lives in Brooklyn.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465002153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465002153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Indy Reviewer VINE VOICE on April 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The main point of Donna Freitas' "The End of Sex" is entirely reasonable: that the hookup culture on some campuses isn't particularly healthy for college students. In the process of trying to support this, though, Freitas runs into some major problems, butchering the methodology of her survey and providing an overall analysis that is both flawed and and impractical. 2 stars, as credit needs to be given to the author for at least doing some serious thinking and passionate writing about this phenomenon.

Freitas' conclusion about the hookup culture - that it "silences, shames, isolates, and disempowers students, quashing their ethics, desires, and differences, their need for respect and connection, and their need to be treated with bodily dignity, to express emotion, and the experience of pleasure" - is going to alienate some readers even before they crack open her book. Even if readers don't agree, though, there is an objective argument to be made about the consequences for this generation once they begin attempting to settle down and form long term relationships without the benefit of learning from the dating mistakes everyone makes in their teens and twenties. Not surprisingly, the most compelling portion of the book comes when Freitas discusses Kerry Cronin's work on the challenges and benefits of actually getting students to try dating rather than hooking up, since Ms. Cronin is one of the few people who've taken practical steps to address this gap.

Unfortunately, that is one of the few highlights.

First, the methodology for many of her arguments is simply atrocious.
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Perhaps it is because this is a subject I know a fair amount about, having written a book (Binge: Campus Life in an Age of Disconnection and Excess) a decade ago that devoted some space to the twin topics of hooking up and sexual assault on campuses, but I was not surprised by this book's findings. That college students engage in frequent and often indiscriminate sex with peers they often barely know and then find the experience and the process unsatisfying is pretty much the same today as it was then. What is marginally different today, about which Donna Freitas surprisingly does not offer much analysis, is the sense of alarm about the campus sexual assault "crisis" and its link back to the hook-up culture. How institutions are supposed to deal with the significant number of sexual assault cases in which young women find themselves in situations that start out as consensual but somewhere, somehow morph into non-consensual events and what is a fair way to adjudicate them are topics she doesn't really tackle; yet they cry out for solutions. Her ultimate advice--that we as a society work to discourage the hook-up culture and return to a more traditional dating and courtship model--makes a lot of sense, but how we get there from here is no less elusive.
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I am going to be a first year student at college in a few weeks, and this book opened my eyes on what I kind of already knew. But the way the information is presented is thought provoking and interesting. Coming from a college students view this is a mandatory read...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Donna Freitas documents in this book her research over many years about the sexual behavior of college students.
Soulless, primitive, unfulfilling hookup sex seems to be the norm. What she describes sounds like hell. The social pressure to enter this sexual hell seems to overwhelm almost everyone.
I do not care about Freita's religious believes and do not share them. What I highly appreciate is her fact-oriented description of the college student's sexual behavior, based on hundreds (1,500?) of interviews. I know from the testimony of close relatives, girls at college, that the author's description of the "cultural" college atmosphere and sexual mechanics - drunk males using intoxicated females as instruments for masturbation - are accurate.
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Although as a devout Catholic I disagree with some of Freitas' assumptions & prescriptions, her book is a must read for anyone trying to help young people to get out of the hook-up culture, which is truly horrifying. The book is very useful for getting a sense of what's actually going on, what many kids think about what's going on, and how trapped many feel. Also fascinating was the chapter that spoke of the assignment at BC to "go on a date" and the requirements. Highly recommended for all teachers of high schoolers, parents, etc.
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One of the most frustrating things I see with these kind of books is they have a single idea which could have been written in a 2,000 word essay but the author takes it
to a full book. Perhaps it is because they need the dough. Do not waste your time with this book. The idea is pretty clear---people are having hookups, they later learn
these are not fulfilling relationships. This hurts women more than men, but it hurts both. There--you have it. Now you can skip wasting your time on this book.
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