Bare Market: Campus Sex Ratios and Romantic Relationships

Jeremy Uecker, University of Texas at Austin
Mark Regnerus, University of Texas at Austin

Contemporary college campuses are thought to be characterized by a “hookup culture,” wherein students engage in casual physical encounters with little thought given to further relationship obligations. Following social exchange theory and sexual economics theory, we suggest that the relative scarcity of men on college campuses may contribute to this culture by allowing men to diminish their level of commitment to relationships and lowering the “price” they have to “pay” for sex. We explore these hypotheses using a nationally-representative sample of 986 college women on 212 college campuses. Our results suggest that women on campuses where they comprise a higher proportion of the student body exhibit more negative appraisals of men on campus, hold more negative views of their relationships, go on fewer dates, are less likely to have had a boyfriend since entering college, and receive less (in the way of relationship commitment) in exchange for sex.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 5