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Noteworthy author Lisa Wade talks to students, staff, faculty and community members about her research

On March 7, nationally renowned author Lisa Wade, PhD, came to campus to discuss her book, American Hook up: the culture of sex on campus. Her visit was part of a purposeful CMU initiative coordinated by the sexual education working group, Real Talk.

“Lisa Wade’s book led to the formation of our Real Talk committee and our initiative to spearhead more sexuality programming on campus,” said Associate Professor of Psychology Nikki Jones, PhD, who chairs the committee. “We’re talking about things like consent, but also things like what is a healthy relationship and what are unhealthy signs of a relationship.”


According to Jones, often times high schools rely on the parents to have difficult conversations around sexuality and relationships and parents are relying on the schools, and what ends up happening is students come to college without ever thinking about these topics which can have lifelong impacts.

“Whether or not my book perfectly reflects what’s happening at CMU, it’s a starting point for a conversation,” said Wade. 

Wade’s book looks into hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education and dating and relationships for young adults. More than 200 students, staff, faculty and community members attended Wade’s public discussion, where she presented her research, opened up about the creation of her book and built on CMU's framework of building meaningful relationships on campus.


In addition to the public event, Wade spent the day speaking to campus counselors, Residence Life student staff, sociology majors and student-athletes. She also sat down with Jones and CMU President John Marshall to discuss the work Jones and her team are doing to continue to build a campus culture that leans into vulnerable conversations. 


Written by Staff