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Patton, who has two sons, one a Princeton graduate and the other a current student. Patton was derided for wanting to return to the days of the “Mrs.
degree,” though a few female writers, noting how hard it can be for women to find mates in their 30s, suggested that she might have a point. Patton just landed a book deal with a division of Simon & Schuster.) As lengthy interviews over the school year with more than 60 women at Penn indicated, the discussion is playing out in the lives of a generation of women facing both broader opportunities and greater pressures than perhaps any before, both of which helped shape their views on sex and relationships in college.
In this context, some women, like A., seized the opportunity to have sex without relationships, preferring “hookup buddies” (regular sexual partners with little emotional commitment) to boyfriends.
Others longed for boyfriends and deeper attachment.
They spoke over the course of the academic year, often repeatedly and at length.
The idea of lugging a relationship through all those transitions was hard for many to imagine.
Almost universally, the women said they did not plan to marry until their late 20s or early 30s.
Some women described a dangerous edge to the hookup culture, of sexual assaults and degrading encounters enabled by drinking and distinguished by a lack of emotional connection.
The women interviewed came from all corners of Penn’s population.
But others, like Susan Patton, the Princeton alumna and mother who in March wrote a letter to The Daily Princetonian urging female undergraduates not to squander the chance to hunt for a husband on campus, say that de-emphasizing relationships in college works against women.