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These women said they saw building their résumés, not finding boyfriends (never mind husbands), as their main job at Penn.They envisioned their 20s as a period of unencumbered striving, when they might work at a bank in Hong Kong one year, then go to business school, then move to a corporate job in New York.
Instead, she’ll talk about “cost-benefit” analyses and the “low risk and low investment costs” of hooking up.Others preferred holing up in the library or hanging out with the theater crowd.They came from all over the country, and as far away as China and Africa.Instead, she enjoyed casual sex on her terms — often late at night, after a few drinks, and never at her place, she noted, because then she would have to wash the sheets.Nationally, women now outnumber men in college enrollment by 4 to 3 and outperform them in graduation rates and advanced degrees.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 were found in a wide variety of ways, from chance encounters in coffee shops to introductions from friends.
Because they believed that talking publicly about sex could come back to haunt them — by damaging their reputations at Penn, their families’ opinions of them or their professional future — the women spoke on the condition that their full names would not be revealed.
Typical of elite universities today, Penn is filled with driven young women, many of whom aspire to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, bankers or corporate executives like Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg or Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.
Keenly attuned to what might give them a competitive edge, especially in a time of unsure job prospects and a shaky economy, many of them approach college as a race to acquire credentials: top grades, leadership positions in student organizations, sought-after internships.
Some had gone to elite private high schools; others were on full scholarship.