Online College Social Life Survey

The Online College Social Life Survey was designed by Paula England and collected between Autumn 2005-Spring 2011 at twenty-one four-year colleges and universities in the United States. This page includes the questionnaire, data, an online codebook, and a list of articles which make use of these data. Contact England for questions about the survey and questionnaire, or Jonathan Bearak for questions about the codebook and source code. Researchers who wish to use OCSLS data should check with their University IRB before using it to see what they require. Often, school IRBs will assign research using the data exempt status given that it is anonymous secondary data.


See this page for a copy of the questionnaire.

Data & Codebook

To download these data, see the data index. Choose from “text”, “R”, and “Stata” formats, from the links in the first row of the table (the row labeled “Datafiles.”). If hookups, dates, or relationships, are your unit of analysis, download the “hookups”, “dates”, or “romances” file. To analyze events within students, “append” or “rbind” these files, in Stata or R, respectively. To analyze students, download the “students” file. All of the events files have the student-level questions. The students file also contains all the event-level questions, but prefixed, “hookup..”, “date..”, or “romance..”. Variable names are shorter in Stata; see the “names” file, or the variable pages in the codebook, for the abbreviated variable names.

Browse the codebook by category, with a list of variables and their descriptions:

To construct these data and this codebook from scratch, download and execute this program in R:


Articles Which Make Use of OCSLS

Allison, Rachel & Barbara J. Risman. 2013. “A Double Standard for ‘Hooking Up:’ How Far Have We Come Toward Equality?” Social Science Research 42: 1191-1206.
Allison, Rachel & Margaret Ralston. 2018. “Opportune Romance: How College Campuses Shape Students' Hookups, Dates, and Relationships?” Sociological Quarterly DOI 10.1080/00380253.2018.1479200.
Armstrong, Elizabeth, Paula England, & Allison C.K. Fogarty. 2012. “Accounting for Women's Orgasm and Sexual Enjoyment in College Hookups and Relationships.” American Sociological Review 77: 435-462.
Bearak, Jonathan. 2014. “Casual Contraception in Casual Sex: Life-Cycle Change in Undergraduates Sexual Behavior in Hookups.” Social Forces 93: 483-513.
Brown, Eliza & Paula England. 2015. “College men having sex with men: Are they exclusively tops or bottoms? (no)” Contexts Blog.
Cranney, Stephen. 2015. “Dangerous Colleges: Associations Between School-Level Factors and the Risk of Sexual Victimization of Female Students.” Journal of Violence and Gender 3(2): 100-106.
Cranney, Stephen. 2014. “The Relationship Between Sexual Victimization and Year in School in U.S. Colleges: Investigating the Parameters of the Red Zone.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence Published Online.
England, Paula & Jonathan Bearak. 2014. “The sexual double standard and gender differences in attitudes toward casual sex among U.S. university students.” Demographic Research 30: 1327-1338.
Ford, Jessie & Paula England. 2014. “Hookups, sex, and relationships at college.” Contexts Blog.
Ford, Jessie & Paula England. 2015. “What percent of college women are sexually assaulted in college?” Contexts Blog.
Ford, Jessie & Paula England. 2015. “Women's queer sexuality in college.” Contexts Blog.
Ford, Jessie, Paula England & Jonathan Bearak. 2015. “The American College Hookup Scene: Findings from the Online College Social Life Survey.” Interactive Presentation published in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology Published Online.
Ford, Jessie & Jose Soto-Marquez. 2016. “Sexual Assault Victimization Among Straight, Gay/Lesbian and Bisexual College Students.” Journal of Violence and Gender 3(2):107-115.
Kuperberg, Arielle, & Joseph E. Padgett. 2015. “Dating and Hooking Up in College: Meeting Contexts, Sex, and Variation by Gender, Partner's Gender, and Class Standing.” Journal of Sex Research 52: 517-531.
Kuperberg, Arielle, & Joseph E. Padgett. 2016. “The Role of Culture in Explaining College Student's Selection into Hookups, Dates and Long-term Relationships.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 33: 1070-1096.
Kuperberg, Arielle, & Joseph E. Padgett. 2017. “Partner meeting contexts and risky behavior in college students' other-sex and same-sex hookups.” Journal of Sex Research 54: 55-72.
Kuperberg, Arielle & Alicia M. Walker. 2018. “Heterosexual College Students Who Hookup with Same-Sex Partners” Archives of Sexual Behavior 1-17.
Mishel, Emma & Paula England. 2018. “What is the sexual life cycle of those who ever have a same-sex partner?” Contexts Blog.
Pham, Janelle M. 2019. “Institutional, Subcultural, and Individual Determinants of Same-Sex Sexual Contact Among College Women” Journal of Sex Research.
Rupp, Leslie J., Verta Taylor, Shiri Regev-Messalem, Alison Fogarty & Paula England. 2013. “Queer Women in the Hookup Scene: Beyond the Closet?” Gender & Society 28: 212-235.
Wang, Kristine, Jessie Ford, & Paula England. 2017. “What does studying college sex tell us about immigrant assimilation?” Contexts Blog.
Wu, Sammy, Emma Mishel, Paula England & Kristine Wang. 2018. “Do immigrants have more conservative sexual attitudes than other college students?” Contexts Blog.