First Advisor

Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer

Date of Publication

Spring 7-13-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Mobile apps -- Dating, Sex, Dating (Social customs), College students -- Sexual behavior, Women college students -- Attitudes, Online dating, Interpersonal communication, Tinder (Computer program)



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 76 pages)


While a growing body of literature exists examining how intersecting social identities and structural organizations shape the on-campus hookup script, research examining the impact of technology on the hookup culture has been virtually nonexistent. Addressing this gap, this study adds to a current body of literature on the hookup culture and online dating by exploring how a diverse sample of young women and non-binary, femme individuals understand and negotiate interpersonal sexual scripts through the mobile dating app Tinder. Ultimately, findings from 25 in-depth interviews reveal how Tinder has shaped the sexual scripts of young adult dating into a "hybrid hookup script." Unlike the traditional college hookup culture, which centers the hookup script on fraternity parties, sexual dancing, and drinking, the hybrid hookup script reintroduces traditional dating practices, such as formal dates, into the modern sexual scripts of young adults. Specifically, the hybrid hookup script maintains the traditional gendered expectation that men initiate conversations and dates, while incorporating the patterns of drinking and the expectation of non-relational sex central to the on-campus hookup culture. Nearly all participants engaged in the hybrid hookup script to some extent; yet, women of color were overrepresented among those who eventually opted out of Tinder altogether. In particular, experiences of sexual and racial harassment created an environment in which women of color felt racially objectified and fetishized. As a result, the majority of women of color indicated that they deleted the app and did not intend to go back. Overall, results underscore how the Tinder app may be operating to rearticulate existing hierarchies of gender and race.


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