Relationships at Notre Dame by Mia Moran
For college students transitioning from dependent minors into the primary stages of adulthood, sex and romance are formative areas in the process of self-exploration.
At first glance, the university environment may not appear to have much influence on how students navigate sex and romance — those decisions may feel personal rather than institutionally guided. But the works of sociologists who focus on how institutions influence people’s sexual and romantic behaviors prove otherwise.
The research done by multiple universities show that factors like gender, race, socioeconomic status, Greek life and alcohol use all influence how people participate in sexual and romantic relationships.
The University of Notre Dame is no exception to how its demographics and institutions influence student behavior surrounding sex and romance.
The undergraduate student body at Notre Dame is roughly 67% white and 80% Catholic, with a median family income of $191, 400 (per The New York Times) and a 52-48% men-women split. In other words, Notre Dame is largely made up of white, affluent Catholic students.
Undoubtedly, as Notre Dame is a Roman Catholic institution, religion also enters into the discourse regarding why students decide to pursue certain kinds of relationships over others.