Lisa Wade, Associate Professor

Lisa Wade

Associate Professor of Sociology
The Commons 316


Ph.D. Sociology, University of Wisconsin, 2006
M.A. Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Life Education, New York University


Lisa Wade is Associate Professor of Sociology. She is also a core faculty member in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and an affiliate of the Newcomb Institute.

Research Interests

Dr. Wade's research explores how gender and its intersections interact with social institutions to shape sexual attitudes, behaviors, discourse, and policy. Her book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, situates collegiate hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. Wade maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that privileged students tend to enjoy hookup culture the most, and considers its effects on racial and sexual minorities, students who “opt out,” and those who participate ambivalently.

Dr. Wade is also well-known for delivering conversational yet compelling translations of sociological theory and research. She is the co-author of a bestselling textbook, Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions (with Myra Marx Ferree), and an introduction to sociology text titled Terrible Magnificent Sociology (forthcoming in 2021). As a public-facing scholar, Lisa works to make her and others’ scholarship engaging to a public audience. She specializes, in other words, in being as comfortable “in the weeds” as she is “in the clouds.” In 2007, she founded Sociological Images, a website for which she earned several awards, including the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from the American Sociological Association. Today, she regularly informs journalism and writes for the general public, occasionally appearing on television and radio. You can find Lisa online at and on Twitter at @lisawade.

Selected Publications

Wade, Lisa. In Press. "In Pursuit of the Potential of Sexual Field Theory: A Research Agenda." Sexualities.

Wade, Lisa. In Press. "Doing Casual Sex: A Sexual Fields Approach to the Emotional Force of Hookup Culture." Social Problems.

Wade, Lisa. 2021. Terrible Magnificent Sociology. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Wade, Lisa. 2020. "Decanonizing the Introduction to Sociology Text." Norton Learning Blog, October 15.

Wade, Lisa. 2019. "Confronting Manhood after Trump." Pp. 19-26 in Antidemocracy in America: Truth, Power, and the Republic at Risk, edited by Eric Klinenberg, Caitlin Zaloom, and Sharon Marcos. New York: Columbia University Press.

Wade, Lisa, and Myra Marx Ferree. 2018. Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions (2nd edition). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Wade, Lisa. 2017. American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Wade, Lisa. 2017. "What’s So Cultural about Hookup Culture?" Contexts 16, 1: 66-68.

Wade, Lisa. 2016. Assigned: Life with Gender, with Doug Hartmann and Christopher Uggen (eds). New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Wade, Lisa. 2015. "Are Women Bad at Orgasms? Understanding the Gender Gap." Pp. 227-237 in Gender, Sex, and Politics: In the Streets and Between the Sheets in the 21st Century, edited by Shira Tarrant. New York: Routledge.

Wade, Lisa, with Heather Talley. 2014. "Feminist Images of Public Intellectualism: An Interview with Lisa Wade." Feminist Teacher23, 2: 158-162.

Wade, Lisa. 2013. "The New Science of Sex Difference." Sociology Compass 7, 4: 278-293.;

Wade, Lisa. 2014. "Understanding and Ending the Campus Sexual Assault Epidemic." Contexts13, 2: 18-19.

Wade, Lisa. 2012. "Learning from “Female Genital Mutilation”: Lessons from 30 Years of Academic Discourse." Ethnicities 12, 1: 26-49.

Wade, Lisa. 2012. "The Function of Balance in U.S. News Coverage of Uncontested Issues: The Case of Female Genital Cutting." Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism 13, 7: 867-883.

Wade, Lisa, and Caroline Heldman. 2012. "Hooking Up and Opting Out: What Students Learn about Sex in their First Year of College." Pp. 128-145 in Sex for Life: From Virginity to Viagra, How Sexuality Changes Throughout our Lives, edited by John DeLamater and Laura Carpenter. New York: New York University Press.

Wade, Lisa, and Gwen Sharp. 2012. "Sociological Images: Blogging as Public Sociology." Social Science Computer Review 31, 2: 221-228.

Wade, Lisa. 2011. "The Politics of Acculturation: Female Genital Cutting and the Challenge of Building Multicultural Democracies." Social Problems 58, 4: 518-537.

Wade, Lisa. 2011. "The Emancipatory Promise of the Habitus: Lindy Hop, the Body, and Social Change." Ethnography 12, 2: 224-246.

Wade, Lisa. 2011. "Journalism, Advocacy, and the Social Construction of Consensus." Media, Culture & Society 38, 8: 1166-1184.

Wade, Lisa, and Caroline Heldman. 2011. "Sexualizing Sarah Palin: The Social and Political Contexts of the Sexual Objectification of Female Candidates." Sex Roles 65, 3-4: 156-164.

Wade, Lisa, and Gwen Sharp. 2011. "Selling Sex." Pp. 163-172 in Images that Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media, edited by Lester Paul and Susan Ross. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Wade, Lisa, and Caroline Heldman. 2010. "Hook Up Culture: Setting a New Research Agenda." Sexuality Research and Social Policy 7, 4: 323.

Wade, Lisa. 2009. "Defining Gendered Oppression in U.S. Newspapers: The Strategic Value of 'Female Genital Mutilation.' " Gender & Society 23, 3: 293-314.

Wade, Lisa, Emily Kremer, and Jessica Brown. 2005 "The Incidental Orgasm: The Presence of Clitoral Knowledge and the Absence of Orgasm for Women." Women & Health 42, 1: 117-138.

Freese, Jeremy, Allen Li, and Lisa Wade. 2003. "The Potential Relevances of Biology to Social Inquiry." Annual Review of Sociology 29: 233-256.

Wade, Lisa, and John D. DeLamater. 2002. "Relationship Dissolution as a Life Stage Transition: Effects on Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors." Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, 4: 898-915.