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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.

They belonged to sororities (or would never dream of it), reported for the school newspaper, sang or danced in performance groups, played sports.

Until recently, those who studied the rise of hookup culture had generally assumed that it was driven by men, and that women were reluctant participants, more interested in romance than in casual sexual encounters.

Some had gone to elite private high schools; others were on full scholarship.

They came from diverse racial backgrounds, and several were first-generation immigrants.

At 11 on a weeknight earlier this year, her work finished, a slim, pretty junior at the University of Pennsylvania did what she often does when she has a little free time. Their relationship, she noted, is not about the meeting of two souls.

She texted her regular hookup — the guy she is sleeping with but not dating. “We don’t really like each other in person, sober,” she said, adding that “we literally can’t sit down and have coffee.” Ask her why she hasn’t had a relationship at Penn, and she won’t complain about the death of courtship or men who won’t commit.

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