Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Women's Studies

First Advisor

Jennifer Patico

Second Advisor

Denise Donnelly

Third Advisor

Elisabeth Burgess


A 2001 national study of college women’s sexual attitudes and behaviors revealed that students have stopped dating and started “hooking up.” Previous studies focused on fraternities and their
relation to the rape culture but neglected to connect rape culture to hook up culture. This study evaluated the culture surrounding rape by interviewing seventeen college aged men about masculinity, behavior in male homosocial groups, “hooking up” and rape. It addresses
the following questions: 1-How do college men understand “hooking up” and sexual consent? 2-In what ways might men’s understanding of “hooking up” and sexual consent be related to the ongoing incidence of rape on college campuses? 3- How do men understand and adhere to rape
myths? In-depth interviews with college men in this study point to their dependence on nonverbal communication when negotiating “hookups,” with implications for their understandings of consent and perpetuation of myths concerning women's sexuality.