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 30 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 LGBTQ+ friends, and women can have “friends with benefits,” thus having casual sex in ways men 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, 53% 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., Retired 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, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University and 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 30 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, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, The Ohio State University; Teaching Professor of Psychology, Director of Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, The University of the South
It is my pleasure to recommend Professor Sandra Caron’s book The Sex Lives of College Students, now in its third edition. Since it was first released, this book has made significant contributions to our knowledge and understanding of human sexuality, especially at that typically highly charged and often confusing time of life: the college years. The book is grounded in solid scientific research and written in an informative and entertaining style. This third edition expands on the first two editions, further enlightening us about college students’ sexual behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that are not frequently discussed openly. As was clear from the first two editions, Dr. Caron’s contributions to this field will have a lasting influence and is a must read for students, professors, parents, and anyone who desires a greater understanding of these topics. I highly recommend it.
–Roger R. Hock, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Mendocino College. Author of Human Sexuality, 4th Edition; Forty Studies that Changed Psychology, 8th Edition; It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship, 3rd Edition (with Meg Kennedy Dugan); and Psychology, 2nd Edition (digital text with Dr. Amy Marin)
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)
Undergraduates who take the human sexuality course want to know what their peers are doing. Dr. Caron provides the data in her Sex Lives of College Students. The book is focused on the questions students want answered, is beautifully illustrated and presented in an outstanding format- the question, the percent(s), and the change across time- all at a glance. A no nonsense revelation of the sex content students are interested in, this book gives meaning to the “science” in “Family Science.”
–David Knox, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, East Carolina University; Co-author with Susan Milstein, Human Sexuality: Making Informed Decisions (BVT, 2021)
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, Past President, AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists); AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator; Sexuality Consultant; Adjunct Professor Widener University
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 nearly 7,000 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., Founder of SexSmartFilms; Producer, Trans: The Movie
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 30 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 priorities; as well as parents, as they prepare the conversations that are necessary and relevant.
–Bill Taverner, MA, CSE, Chief Editor, American Journal of Sexuality Education; Founder, Sex Ed Lecture Series