Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-13-2011


Although sexual assault has long been recognized as a problem among college students, little attention has been paid to why first-year women are the most likely to be assaulted. In this article the author drew on two studies of college students to analyze peer culture and the organization of gender and sexuality within a college party scene. Within this scene, fraternity men’s masculine identities and peer status were linked to their ability to hook up with women. However, strong sexual double standards stigmatized many sexually active women, reducing their appeal as sexual partners. In contrast, men saw first-year women were seen as “fresh,” “clean,” and especially alluring. The organization of campus life at the beginning of the year also made these women particularly available.