We recreated Stephanie Amada's research proposal for "Hooking Up: A Sexy Encounter With Choice" because, well, why not

A proposed research proposal for my upcoming dissertation on collegiate hookup culture

January 20, 2015 / by / 4 Comments

Michigan State University assistant professor Stephanie Amada is making waves with her new book on college hookup culture. Following in Professor Amada’s footsteps, here’s the research proposal for my own upcoming dissertation on the wide world of hooking up on university campuses. 


This paper provides a thorough sociological examination of hookup culture within undergraduate campus life. My analysis demystifies the social construct of hookup culture by following an empirical form of inquiry into the phenomenon of casual sexual encounters among college age adults, resulting in a comprehensive personal investigation and exploration of the subject. Direct experiential engagement and immersion with multiple sources within the hookup community will guide my behavioral study into determining just what exactly hookup culture is all about.

My voyage of personal discovery has led me to to discover that the world of collegiate hookup culture is murkier than I initially thought, and that in fact some college students do hookup, some do not, and some are exceptionally willing to do just about anything with a visiting lecturer. In the end, my findings conclude that only you and select committee members of the Institutional Review Board can be the true decision-maker when it comes to deciding whether or not hooking up with other college students is the right expression of your sexuality.


This case study will require qualitative and quantitative research as an embedded member of the college hook up community. My research will bring me into extensive, sweaty, occasionally sloppy, and rarely fulfilling contact with a wide array of subjects to ensure that my behavioral analysis surveys a proper breadth and depth of entanglement with the inhabitants of the college hookup realm.

Deep engagement with a number of primary subjects, especially members of the Omega Epsilon fraternity and several intriguing seniors within the engineering department, will lend a fresh perspective to my account of the hookup world. Due to research constraints and a significant lack of personal interests or connection on any sort of physical or intellectual level, however, I will not extend my study’s population to English majors, that asshole Ken Eubanks, or several fucking geeds who I think we could all agree collectively have less game than post-Blade Wesley Snipes.

Research Questions

Four pervasive questions guide my research on undergraduate hookup culture:

-What is the proper definition of “hooking up?” If Jenny said that she and Mike “hooked up” last Saturday, then does that mean that they did it? Or did they just make out a little bit on the dance floor? And why would Mike hook up with her in the first place? Wasn’t he hooking up with Amanda from chemistry?

-Is hooking up right for me? I think Mike is super cute and he just gets me, but would hooking up ruin our friendship? Can I just hook up with him and not have to take things further? Will Jenny get mad that I hooked up with Mike like right after after he hooked up with her?

-How can I stay safe while hooking up? What are proper precautions to take in order to make positive choices that are both mentally and physically healthy? Did Mike really pull out on time? And what exactly is “spermicide” anyways? How much can I really trust a guy who majors in accounting?

-Did Mike give me crabs?


My research will unsettle countervailing theories regarding youth hookup culture with my own on-the-ground interpersonal perspective on the who, what, when, where, why, and how of casual sexual encounters among undergraduates. It will provide an eye-opening sociological account of the vague hookup world, and cause readers to critically re-evaluate our relationship between the ivory tower of academic study and their undergraduate subjects of inquiry. In short, I hope to let university students and non-tenure track employees know that they truly do have a choice when it comes to deciding whether or not to participate in campus hookup culture.