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Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Based on dozens of face-to-face interviews, Sex and the Soul explores the sexual and spiritual lives of today's college students. Donna Freitas crisscrossed the country, visiting a range of America's colleges and universities--from public to private, Catholic to evangelical--to find out what students had to say about these highly personal subjects. Their stories will not o ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published August 27th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 14th 2008)
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Rhonda Mccarty
The impetus for the research behind this book was a class which Freitas taught on dating, in which students shared stark realities with her about the hook-up culture and their feelings about it. After realizing that they had gotten caught up in this behavior, but that it was not really what they wanted, her students decided to publish a newsletter that caused other students to think more critically about it and choose differently as well. The research is a series of interviews and questionnaires ...more
Henry Le Nav
Mar 21, 2013 Henry Le Nav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at the hook up culture at secular and mainline religious colleges and the opposed purity until marriage culture of evangelical colleges. Each has its problems. The book is based on data collected in 2005 and 2006 and may be dated in some aspects, but never the less an interesting read.

While the book was detailed in what the problems are, the solutions offered seemed a bit light. There also seemed to be excessive repetition. The book could have been written tighter. Three and ha
U.n. Owen
Apr 25, 2012 U.n. Owen rated it it was ok
I really didn't like this book.

I felt the author was judgmental of the kids that did not keep their virginities until marriage. I thought that since she was doing the a study on kids that she should just tell their stories, not make them any less of a person.

It was stupid, don't waste your time.
Mary Anne
May 29, 2011 Mary Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Anne by: Deanna
My thesis advisor recommended that I check this book out (though I'm not convinced she'd read it first) because of the emphasis on college-aged students and spirituality. It's no big wonder that I like this book when I can heavily identify with the author's background/interest in pedagogy, feminism, and spirituality. In the conclusion section of the book, Freitas specifically points to teachers, parents, school administrators, and the clergy as the intended audience of this book. In a way, I'm s ...more
Bill Mech
This book is all about how college students today deal with sexuality and spirituality, how they reconcile them (or rather... don't.) It was a fascinating (and sad) research project by Donna Freitas. She surveyed roughly 1,000 college students at various types of universities about their sexual practices and their religious practices and how they dealt with the two. The main question was: "are these two areas of your life integrated, distinct, or at odds?"

The answer is - no, not integrated (exce
Nov 10, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author presents her research on religion/spirituality and romance/sex on college campuses. She discovers a difference between colleges that identify strongly with evangelical Protestant churches and other types of schools. The evangelical schools feature students who are strongly committed to their faith tradition, value chastity, and hold traditional views about marriage. However, these institutions often engage in legalism, particularly in terms of putting arbitrary constraints on the fema ...more
This book is a must read for anyone who works with college students, or for any parent or pastor who knows students in college. Freitas conducted surveys and interviews on four types of colleges: evangelical private, Catholic private, secular private, and public. Based on their responses to questions of sexuality and spirituality, she grouped the Catholic, the secular private and the public together as 'spiritual' colleges'. At these spiritual colleges most students do not think of themselves as ...more
Kathleen Turnbull
I enjoyed the author's use of statistical science for the purposes of obtaining and validating some aspects of her work. If I could take something from her work it would be the way in which she presented her information. I loved how the beginning set up the stage of her interest and pursuit of the idea of sex and how it fits in with student's spirituality. As a writer I could say her work has inspired me to go out and learn for myself what others think they know.
Allison Parker
Donna spoke during my "Spirituality and Sexuality" class in college and was able to say what all of us were thinking. Sex and religion often do not go hand in hand on America's college campuses and leaves young adults struggling with religious identity and moral crises. This book showed me what evangelical college life is like and that those living their life through religious guidance are not crazy as mainstream society often casts them.
It only took me 13 months to finish this book. I had great intentions when I heard a podcast with the author, but then other, more pressing books kept me away. It's not that the writing style or stories aren't engaging, it's just that the initial reason for deciding to read the book kept seeming less urgent. However, as a campus minister who works with college students, it was an interesting, and somewhat depressing, read.
Darien Clark
Feb 26, 2013 Darien Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the work, Freitas explores the hook-up culture so prevalent on college campuses today. She talks with students from a range of different institutions getting their raw stories and opinions on their experience. Through her interviews, she challenges the belief that college students are wholly comfortable with this culture.
Rebeccah Marrero
Dec 20, 2012 Rebeccah Marrero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love how she provides both interview excerpts and statistics, but I hate when she decides to pass judgement on what is and is not acceptable. Thankfully that's not bad throughout the entire book, but at the end it gets to a horrifying and shocking level. Skip the last, and it's a 5 star book.
Dec 15, 2009 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually a book I'm reading for work. We had a professor from BC come to talk to use about the hook-up scene on college campuses and she cited this book as one of the better books to read on the subject. The lecture was great - the book was okay. Good in parts but somewhat repetitive.
Sep 04, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this for my freshman writing seminar about sex culture and behaviors among college students, and it's a great study into what really goes on and how students feel about it. It ends with practical advice that I think more people should follow. Awesome stuff :)
Nov 17, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! I am using this book as part of a senior class group project at my college. In the exploration of gender expectations at evangelical Christian college campuses, this book clearly outlines the consistent behavior and phenomena present at schools like mine.
Jan 15, 2009 Adrienna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It had some valid points to show what our college students are engaging in sexually, that I may have overlooked. Yet, based on too much statistical information, where I wanted to reframe from...just how it is perceived on a spiritual notion.
college students are supposedly sick of the "hook up culture" on campus and want some real live lovin' complete with actual relationships that include a bit of spirituality...
as pretty good read for required reading for a class. it was actually intresting and lead me to think about some things i wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
Oct 21, 2014 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: churchy-stuff
excellent but incredibly disturbing
Hannah Notess
Jun 08, 2010 Hannah Notess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who works with college students ever or was ever a college student should read this book.
Laura Gardner
Feb 11, 2010 Laura Gardner is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
So far this point is totally on point. It's reminding me of my college experience.
Erin Henry
Dec 18, 2012 Erin Henry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It will certainly make you want to send your kids to an evangelical college.
Aug 22, 2008 Brien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relevant to my research, and still interesting!
May 03, 2010 Moll132 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
REL 110: Religion and Modern Culture
Julia Matallana
helpful case studies
Aug 28, 2008 Gpagma2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read!
Leigh McLeroy
Leigh McLeroy rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2016
Kimberly marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2016
Alex Laughlin
Alex Laughlin marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2016
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Donna was born in Rhode Island and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain.

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“To create a community where faith matters not just in theory but in reality, faith has to be a public value, not just a private one.” 1 likes
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