The New York Times chats with Laura Session Stepp and looks at her book, “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both.”

The juicy bits:

  • “To critics, the book, which was published on Feb. 15, is an odd throwback — not only retro in its point of view, but also out of sync with the current climate of high-achieving girls who are usually applauded for focusing on their careers and their female friends, rather than on finding Mr. Right.

    Salon.com likened ‘Unhooked’ to a ’50s-style handbook on appropriate femininity.’ Slate magazine said it is alarmist and ‘makes sex into a bigger, scarier and more dangerous thing than it already is.’ A review in The Washington Post by Kathy Dobie, the author of ‘The Only Girl in the Car,’ said that Ms. Sessions Stepp ‘resurrects the ugly, old notion of sex as something a female gives in return for a male’s good behavior.”

  • “Ms. Sessions Stepp said she agrees that some women are able to hop out of bed the morning after a hookup, feel great about themselves and think, ‘That was cool, now I’m going off to chemistry.’ And if that is so, she said, that is fine with her.

    But, according to her research, most young women do not happily untangle themselves from the sheets and hightail it to class, she said. Instead they obsessively check their cellphones to see if Mr. One Night Only called. They feel bad about themselves and lose the opportunity to learn how to build a relationship. That they are high achieving is not the point, she said.

    Ms. Sessions Stepp said, in the quest to get ahead, women have put their hearts on hold. ‘But at what cost?’ she asks. ‘Do you want to harden your heart to the point where you don’t know how to feel when you’re ready to get into a relationship?'”

    And, of course, our favorite:

      Ms. Sessions Stepp said that she welcomes criticism, though not from people who have not read the book or who have never conducted research.

      ‘This is what I love about the bloggers,’ she said. ‘They haven’t been out there interviewing young people for 10 years. They’re talking about their own college experience. Everyone’s had some sort of sexual experience and they all think they’re experts on it.”

    Um, yeah, sorry about that.