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Extended Audio Sample Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both Audiobook, by Laura Sessions Stepp Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (610 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Sessions Stepp, Ellen Archer Narrator: Ellen Archer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781400173990
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An eye-opening examination of the hookup culture, seen through the personal experiences of high school-and college-age women who confront the hard lessons of dating, love, and sex.

We’re living in an increasingly sexualized world, and it’s the young—particularly young women—who must deal with the consequences. Kids are having more sexual contact than ever, and at an earlier age. They call it “hooking up.” But what is “hooking up”? According to Laura Sessions Stepp, a reporter at the Washington Post, hooking up eludes a neat definition. It can be anything from an innocent kiss to sexual.

In Unhooked, Stepp follows three groups of young women (one in high school, one each at Duke and George Washington universities). She sat with them in class, socialized with them, listened to them talk, and came away with some disturbing insights, including that hooking up carries with it no obligation on either side. Relationships and romance are seen as messy and time-consuming, and love is postponed—or worse, seen as impossible. Some young women can handle this, but many can’t, and they’re being battered—physically and emotionally—by the new dating landscape. The result is a generation of young people stymied by relationships and unsure where to turn for help.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 12/25/2013

    " loving this book.... I think every female in their 20s should read this!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/11/2013

    " A well-thought through analysis of the cultural phenomenon of "hooking up". There were a few moments of "Now back in MY day" preachy-ness, but for the most part the author did a decent job of taking up the role of observer without judgement. In my opinion, a must-read for any woman interested in navigating the current dating scene on her own terms. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leah | 11/19/2013

    " Interesting juxtaposition to the Purity Myth (and even mentioned in that book)--read them both to get the full spectrum of opinions... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonja | 11/9/2013

    " This is not an advice book. Still, as a piece of journalism, it's not bad. If you're looking for what can be done about the hookup culture, this isn't the book, but if you just want to know about the phenomenon, I'd say this is a pretty good place to start. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan Conway | 10/27/2013

    " Didn't agree with the author on at least half of her arguments (nor how she argued), but it raises some really good questions for discussion with friends "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyndie | 10/13/2013

    " This is a must read. It's sad and alarming, and it has changed the way I will talk to young women about relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lesley-ann Reed | 9/14/2013

    " Interesting book yet it made me feel sad for what all these young men and women are missing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsay | 7/25/2013

    " Would have been an interesting article. I thought it was too long; got the point halfway through and didn't finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 6/1/2013

    " This book was such a great analysis of the culture behind "hooking up." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 12/6/2012

    " I found this book totally interesting. Right up my alley as a social scientist with a health ed minor (so I could teach s*x ed). Good knowledge for moms and dads of future or current teens, especially teen girls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eli | 10/22/2012

    " Thought provoking and analytically acute, but turns painfully repetitive in its final third. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Staceydz | 9/1/2012

    " Interesting and from my point of view, accurate on how young women handle relationships today. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie | 7/19/2012

    " Had some good ideas...a bit lacking. Didn't like how she blamed feminists... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Selina | 12/8/2011

    " So far this is excellent and informative. I am still working through it, but it is incredibly disturbing to learn of the social/sexual trends of young women today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trina Orlando | 9/25/2011

    " I read this post college and couldn't believe how well it characterized my college days. Too funny... a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mscharlee | 7/14/2011

    " Good read. She made some interesting points but also some I didn't agree with, such as focusing on career early. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 3/2/2011

    " I read this to review for work and found it to be a very interesting social study. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eva | 1/17/2011

    " Rather one-dimensional, with a foregone conclusion: young women are hurting themselves boldly pretending that meaningless physical relationships are OK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 11/1/2010

    " If I could give it 2.5 stars, I would. Didn't hate it, but didn't love it, either. Was particularly relevant to me because LSS's case studies are at GW and Duke. Fabulous book for discussion, but should not be considered an accurate depiction of trends in college females. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonja | 10/18/2010

    " This is not an advice book. Still, as a piece of journalism, it's not bad. If you're looking for what can be done about the hookup culture, this isn't the book, but if you just want to know about the phenomenon, I'd say this is a pretty good place to start. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 9/14/2010

    " Given that I recently graduated from college and observed the hookup culture myself, I could have just read the "what does it mean" chapter and gotten the point. Otherwise, well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 8/28/2010

    " An open minded overview of the culture, this book has a lot to say about the relationships young women have with casual sex. It would have been nice to see how the hookup culture effects those outside the heteronormative upper middle class group explored in thus book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April | 7/27/2010

    " Read more than half. I got the point! It was a little draggy and repetitive, but an interesting (if scary) study. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Whitney | 7/27/2010

    " While more then a little depressing, this book was should be a necessary read for any mother, daughter, or father. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trina | 7/23/2010

    " I read this post college and couldn't believe how well it characterized my college days. Too funny... a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/14/2010

    " Great Book. The case studies and discussions the author had with the young women in this book really make you think about your thoughts on love and relationships. Good information for yourself or anyone with a daughter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sea Urchin | 5/16/2010

    " I absolutely loved this book! Read it a few years ago but I learnt so much from it. a must read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 3/11/2010

    " recommended by Josh and Rivka.

    Sort of an eye-opener, sort of alarmist, maybe a good reminder of how important real relationships (as opposed to just sex) can be in a person's life. It was most interesting to me that my teenagers were so interested in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 1/14/2010

    " some good ideas but unfortunately severely lacking in research. very good writer but the book would be more substantial if she could back up her hypotheses with more than case studies which she used to make broad sweeping generalizations. "

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About the Author

Laura Sessions Stepp is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, currently at the Washington Post. She is a former visiting scholar at the National Academy of Sciences, and she chairs the board of directors of the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families, based at the University of Maryland. Laura is the author of Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence.

About the Narrator

Ellen Archer is an award-winning narrator, actress, and singer with a degree in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters. She has narrated numerous audiobooks and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration.