Performing Heteronormativity: The Discourse of the College Hook up Culture and Sexuality




College Hook Up Culture, Slut Discourse, Heteronormativity, Performance, Spitting Game


This paper focuses on the college hook up culture and slut discourse. I analyze the documentary feature ‘‘Spitting Game: The College Hook Up Culture’’ that present a provocative sense of the hook up culture. Drawing from the narratives of students presented in the documentary, I argue that the college hook up culture is bounded with heteronormativity, where participants of the culture are performing gender positions available to them. I claim that the culture privileges masculinity and necessitates heteronormal performances in order for students to participate. Often ignored by the discourse of campus crime, I argue that women are true victims and they take up sexual performances only with great diffıculty as articulated with slut discourse.


Benjamin, W. (1968). Illuminations. Edited by Hannah Arendt. New York: Shocken Books Inc.

Baum, K. and Klaus, P. (2005). Violent Victimization of College Students, 1995–2002. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, (NCJ 206836).

Bopp M, Kaczynski A, Wittman P (2011). Active commuting patterns at a large, Midwestern college campus. J Am Coll Health 59(7):605–611.

Butler, J. (1989). Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. New York: Routledge.

Butler, J. (1993). Imitation and Gender Insubordination. In Henry Abelove, Michele Aina Barale and David Halperin (Eds.), The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, (pp: 307-320). London: Routledge.

Fielder, R.L., Carey, K.B., & Carey, M.P. (2013). Are hookups replacing romantic relationships? A longitudinal study of first year female college students. Journal of Adolescent Health (Adolescent Health Brief), 52(5), 657-659.

Heldman, C., & Wade, L. (2010). Hook-up culture: Setting a new research agenda. Sex Research and Social Policy, 7(4), 323-333.

Kalish, R. (2013). Masculinities and hooking up: Sexual decision-making at college. Culture, Society and Masculinities, 5(2), 147-165.

Lewis L, Farris E, Green B (1997) Campus crime and security at postsecondary education institutions. US Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics, New York.

Manning, W. D., Longmore, M. A., & Giordano, P. C. (2005). Adolescents' involvement in non-romantic sexual activity. Social Science Research, 34(2), 384-407.

McConnell, E. H. (1997). Fear of crime on campus: A study of a southern university. Journal of Security Administration, 20(2), 22-46.

Mojab, S., & Gorman, R. (2003). Women and consciousness in the “learning organization”: Emancipation or exploitation?. Adult Education Quarterly, 53(4), 228-241.

Nicholson, L. (Ed.). (1990). Feminism/Postmodernism. New York: Routledge.

Olmstead, S. B., Billen, R. M., Conrad, K. A., Pasley, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). Sex, commitment, and casual sex relationships among college men: A mixed-methods analysis. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(4), 561-571.

Olmstead, S. B., Pasley, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). Hooking up and penetrative hookups: Correlates that differentiate college men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42(4), 573-583.

Paik, A. (2010). The contexts of sexual involvement and concurrent sexual partnerships. Perspectives of Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42(1), 33-42.

Paul, E.L., & Hayes, K.A. (2002). The casualties of ‘casual’ sex: A qualitative exploration of the phenomenology of college students’ hookups. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19(5), 639-661.

Renner, K. J. (2016). Monstrous schoolgirls: Casual sex in the twenty-first-century horror film. Red Feather Journal, 7(1), 31-49.

Riley, D. (1988). Am I that name?:Feminism and the category of ‘women’ in history. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Sikand, N. (2015). Filmed ethnography or ethnographic film? Voice and positionality in ethnographic, documentary, and feminist film. Journal of Film and Video, 67(3-4), 42-56.

Sloan, J. J. (1992). The modern campus police: An analysis of their evolution, structure, and function. American Journal of Police, 11(2), 85–104.

Wade, L. (2017). American hookup: The new culture of sex on campus. WW Norton & Company.

West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (1987). Doing gender. Gender & society, 1(2), 125-151. Weedon, C. (1997). Feminist practice and poststructuralist theory (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Yücel, B. V. (2014). Kahramanın Yolculuğu. İstanbul: Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları.




How to Cite

Toprak, Z. (2020). Performing Heteronormativity: The Discourse of the College Hook up Culture and Sexuality. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 8(1), 124–140.