In The Sex Lives of College Students, Dr. Sandy Caron provides an important glimpse into the sexual lives and attitudes of college students, both today and as compared with 25 years ago. Her analysis is spot on, as she reflects on findings in light of children and youth being raised in a society that, as Dr. Caron says, is both “sex saturated and sex silent”
We “don’t talk about it” at home, school, house of worship, or in the doctor’s office. So young people are guided by sexually explicit media, i.e. pornography, as the education about what sex looks like. More students are faking orgasms, nearly all, like the porn stars, shave all their pubic hair, and the double standard still lives on. At the same time, today’s students are more tolerant, e.g. of LGBT friends, and females can have “friends with benefits,” thus having casual sex in ways males have historically done.
Of particular note for this sexual scholar trained by the late Dr. Sol Gordon, who championed parents as the first and in many ways more important sex educators of their children, 54% had asked their mother a question or two, while 75% had never asked their father any questions about sex.
We can do better to prepare young people for their adult lives as sexual beings. Dr. Caron’s highly accessible “viewbook” tells us what is, which may well help with needed education about sexual health, relationships, and pleasure.
–Betsy Crane, Ph.D. Professor, Center for Human Sexuality Studies
How do college students experience and express their sexualities? Has this changed over time? Here we find painless statistics, no boring numbers! New generations of college students, seeking to personally solve the mysteries of sex and sexuality, will find their answers here in a colorful, compelling, easy-to-comprehend format. Their parents will be interested, too. As a sexuality researcher myself, I have great appreciation for the information Dr. Sandy Caron has compiled and how she has presented it.
–Carol Rinkleib Ellison, Ph.D., AASECT certified sexuality educator and therapist, and author of Women’s Sexualities. Generations of Women Share Intimate Secrets of Sexual Self Acceptance.
In an age when rampant misinformation about sex permeates the airwaves, television screens, and movie houses of America, Sandy Caron pulls us back into reality– one filled not with pompous sexual ‘achievement,’ but with sexual insecurities, gender inequities, contradiction, paradox, and clear places to celebrate and to worry, especially for supposed advances in women’s sexual liberation. An enjoyable, accessible read that will delight anyone wanting a clear look at undergraduate sexuality across time.”
–Breanne Fahs, PhD
Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University
Author of Performing Sex and The Moral Panics of Sexuality
The Sex Lives of College Students provides a snapshot of young adult sexual behavior over the past 25 years as well as an analysis of trends over that same time period. The outstanding graphic design of the book makes for very easy information processing. It is a quick read, yet provides a great deal of useful, scientifically-based information in a more comprehensive way than many longer and more detailed resources on sexual behavior and attitudes.
–Terri D. Fisher, PhD Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean
The Ohio State University at Mansfield
Sandra Caron’s excellent new book, The Sex Lives of College Students, is a significant and essential addition to our understanding of human sexuality. This is solid, scientific research presented in a compelling and enjoyable format. The Sex Lives of College Students entertains while expanding our insights into young adults’ sexual behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, today and over the past 25 years. Dr. Caron’s contribution to the field is sure to have a lasting influence for decades to come. This book is a must-read for educators; researchers; current and prospective college students; and parents.
–Roger R. Hock, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
For decades, we’ve been stuck with fact-free magazine polls, misguided myths, non-representative psychology studies, and just plain wild guesses about what college students actually do sexually. Now we finally know, thanks to years of hard work by Dr. Sandra Caron. Based on reliable data from thousands of students, her new book The Sex Lives of College Students tells us what they do, what they think they do, why they think they do it, and how they like it. This is a funny, serious, insightful, surprising, and ultimately reassuring book. It’s easy to read, hard to put down, and a wonderful conversation-starter between mates, parents and adolescents, or people just starting a relationship. I’ve admired Sandy’s teaching for years. Now I admire her writing as well.
–Marty Klein, Ph.D., Sex therapist and author of Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex, and How to Get It (HarperCollins)
Has anything related to sex behavior changed in the past 25 years? The quick answer most would give is “of course”! How do we know? And has it changed in a sexually healthy way? The Sex Lives of College Students provides a unique look over time of what many of us wonder, given the media presentation of values and images. ‘Sex Lives’ is a HUGE “goldmine” in a very small package. Wonderful visuals, and presentation of data. Yes… ”data” that is fun to read and can be used with adults and youth alike to stimulate important conversations.
–Konstance McCaffree, Ph.D., CSE, CFLE
President, AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists)
AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator
Adjunct Professor Widener University
Facts about sex can launch life-changing discussions. The Sex Lives of College Students highlights hundreds of issues we’re all curious about—from safe sex, oral sex, and sexual self-esteem, to orgasms, faking orgasms, and much more. The lively Q-A format offers upbeat, updated information to help students debunk myths and half-truths, and pave their way to becoming savvy, confident lovers and partners.
–Gina Ogden, Ph.D., LMFT, author: Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy and The Return of Desire.
The Sex Lives of College Students is a sexual health bible. Imagine having a window with a view of the sexual attitudes and behavior of 5,606 students. Some of the most unspoken sexual health issues are presented clearly for all to see and process. If our goal is to have young people understand their own sexuality and make healthy sexual decisions this is a must read for high school and college students and their parents.
–Mark Schoen, Ph.D.
The Sex Lives of College Students is a uniquely impressive and intriguing bird’s eye view into the world of young people. Dr. Caron’s findings – gathered from more than 25 years of research – will not only inform the work of college professors teaching human sexuality, but also serves as a blueprint for secondary education teachers and public health policy makers as they prepare their teaching and intervention priorities, as well as parents, as they prepare the conversations that are necessary and relevant.
–Bill Taverner, MA, CSE
Executive Director, The Center for Sex Education
Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Sexuality Education
Dr. Caron’s book will allow conversations about who is doing what with whom – and telling whom — and thinking what — to be based on Maine college student data instead of pundits’ imaginations. Hallelujah. Facts are a rare breath of fresh air when it comes to sex. Now let’s have a few people in the South and West and big cities replicate this heroic effort — if only!
–Leonore Tiefer, Ph.D,
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
Founder, The New View Campaign