Saturday, November 13, 2010


Why manscape?  What motivates young men to manscape?  What do young women think?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Helen Fisher interview

Siqi Tu, one of the students in our class, found this interview with Helen Fisher. Check it out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why Guys Don't Give Oral Sex to Girls

One young woman in the course asked that I post a blog "on why guys don't like giving oral sex to girls, find it "nasty" or whatever, yet they expect the girls to give them a BJ. I would really love to hear some of the guys response to this."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dear Class,

Check out the article at the link below. It uses data from Facebook to explore when breakups are most likely to occur. Maybe love really is all about timing.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Anonymous Comments Enabled!

The site has gotten considerable traffic, over 2000 views since it started.  Nobody has, however, ventured to say anything about orgasm or hooking up.   The reason, I suspect, is because there was no anonymous comment option.  That option has now been enabled so you can leave completely anonymous remarks.

Roger Friedland, blog moderator

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Today one of our female members requested that we start a thread around a single word: orgasm.

This is the first open space to discuss issues brought up in the course.  It is a place to ask questions and relate experiences, to even bring what we have been learning into some kind of relation to the concerns that animate your lives.

Please identify yourself only by gender and age.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Reference Blog Instructions

When you have chosen your topic, you are required to post an article -- academic or popular -- on the blog for that topic.  You can also link to video clips or radio stories if you wish.  Include at least the title, the author, and the source.  Write up a brief summary of the article.  Include a link to the article.  If you want to make commentary, that's fine too.   No duplications allowed.  The reference blog for each topic will serve as a resource for all students writing their essay on that topic.

The Sexual Double Standard

Who is a Virgin and why?

Flirting: Opportunities and Constraints

Do Feminists Love Differently?

Religious Students and Sex Before Marriage

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Students,

I will hold office hours for Soc 150 on Tuesdays from 1-3 in SSMS 3013. I am here to help you, so please feel free to visit me as needed. I look forward to working with you.

Best, Jason

Friday, September 24, 2010

Password for Eres

Here is the site for ereserves for the course:

 Password: tonight

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sex, Love and God: The Syllabus

Sociology 150: Sex, Love and God
Professor Roger Friedland  (
TA : Jason Hopkins (
Fall, 2010
Tuesday-Thursdays, 8:00 – 9:15
Girvetz 1004
Office Hours: Monday 10-12, HSSB 3083
Course Blog:

Love has become problematic in American culture, a source of considerable private and public anxiety.  Love’s conditions of possibility are no longer taken for granted.  This is nowhere more evident than in America’s youth culture, where “hooking up,” an apparently new erotic formation, has emerged, at least if one believes the popular press and the stories of worried parents, particularly those with daughters.  American young people are different.  They are, for example, three times more likely than their Italian counterparts to display a cool, romantically insensate style, to say love doesn’t matter.  Sexuality is not only a personal issue, it has become a religious one, not only in this country but an object of concern for politicized religions around the world. 

This course is trans-disciplinary, drawing on historical, philosophical, sociological, evolutionary, physiological, religious and political sources and approaches.  It first examines the ways in which erotic love has been figured in the history of Western civilization and then explores the organization of high school and college sexual and romantic life against this backdrop, following the arc from Hellenism to the “hook-up.”  It then moves into the physiological and evolutionary bases of sexual desire and romantic attachment, and then ways in which these may condition the organization of the erotic lives of emerging adults.  And it closes with the ways in which the erotic has become politicized by religious movements around the world and how students’ religious beliefs shape their erotic lives.

There is a significant amount of reading for this class.   It should be read for the class in which it is listed as we will have in-class discussion of the readings.   

There is required research.  As part of this course, students will do semi-structured interviews and write up a short-research report about love, sexuality and religious life. Course readings are weighted towards the first half of the quarter to allow students to spend adequate time on their interview and write-up.  This quarter there will be five subjects to chose from: 1) the existence of a double sexual standard in the treatment of female and male sexual pleasure; 2) who is a virgin and why; 3) the opportunities and constraints on flirting; 4) whether feminists love differently and 5) how do religious individuals feel about and justify sex before marriage.  Each student is expected to write up his/her interview – no more than five double-spaced pages -- in light of the kinds of arguments and empirical associations discussed in class.  These will be part of a student’s evaluation and some of them will be discussed in class.  All students are required to take Human Subjects training, which can be accessed by going to the Human Subjects Training webpage:  Students should use my code to login: RELG-FR-RO-019.

Finally, as part of your research project, you are required to post an article – whether from scholarly sources, the popular press or the web on the topic you choose.  These should be posted by topic on the course blog.  These will provide a collective resource for everybody working on that topic. 

Your grade will be based 1/3 on your essay, 1/3 on your midterm and 1/3 on your final examination. 

Lecture and Reading Schedule:

September 23:  Moulin Rouge: Introduction

September 28:  The Historicity of Love

September 30: The Philosophy of Love
Read: Plato, The Symposium, (New York: Penguin Classics) 0140449272

October 5: High School Romance
Read: Sharon Thompson, Going all the Way: Teenage Girls’ Tales of Sex, Romance, and Pregnancy, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1996),  0809015994, pp. 1-140.

October 7: Read: Thompson, Going all the Way, 1996, pp. 141-285.

October 12:  Hooking Up.  Read: Wendy D. Manning, Peggy C. Giordano and Monica A. Longmore, “Hooking Up: The Relationship Contexts of "Nonrelationship" Sex, Journal of Adolescent Research 2006; 21 (e-reserves).
Read: Paula England and Reuben J. Thomas, “ The Decline of the Date and the Rise of the College Hook Up,” in Families in Transition, 14th Edition, 2006, edited by Arlene S. Skolnick and Jerome H. Skolnick. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (e-reseves)

October 14:  The Erotics of UCSB. 
Read: Catherine Grello,  D.P. Welsh and M.S. Harper, "No Strings Attached: The Nature of Casual Sex in College Students"  Journal of Sex Research, Volume 43, Number 3, August 2006: pp. 255-267 (e-reserves)
Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Paula England and Alison C. K. Fogarty, “Sexual Practices, Learning and Love: Accounting for Women’s Orgasm in College Hookups and Relationships,” presented at the American Sociological Association, August, 2009 (e-reserves)

October 19: Read: Kathleen A. Bogle, Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus, (New York: NYU Press, 2008), 0814799698, Pp. 1-95

October 21: Read: Bogle, Hooking Up, Pp. 96-186.

October 26: Read: Laura Hamilton and Elizabeth A. Armstrong, “Gendered Sexuality in Young Adulthood: Double Binds and Flawed Options” Gender and Society, 2009; 23; 589. (e-reserves)

October 28:  Mid-term examination

November 2: The Physiology of Love
Read: Helen Fisher, Why We Love?: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, (New York: Henry Holt and Co. 2004). 0-8050-7796-0.  Pp. 1-98.

November 4: Read: Fisher, Why We Love? Pp. 99-219.

November 9:  Religion, Love and Sex: The Heart of Politicized Religion

November 11:  No Class.  But Please Read: Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, (New York: Random House, 2003). 081297106X

November 16:  God and Your Underpants:
Read: Amy M. Burdette, Christopher G. Ellison, Terrence D. Hill, Norval D. Glenn, “Hooking Up” at College: Does Religion Make a Difference?” Journal for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2009, pp. 535-551.

November 18:  Read: Amy C. Wilkins, “Masculinity Dilemmas: Sexual and Intimacy Talk Among Christians and Goths,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2009, Vol . 34, No. 2, pp. 343-368.

November 23: Sex, Love and God

November 30: Sex, Love and God

December 2:  Review