Duke University Graduate Karen Owen Pens Sex Life Thesis

Duke graduate Karen Owen saw her so-called thesis on sex go viral.

Oct. 8, 2010 — -- If Internet users were grading Duke University graduate Karen Owen's thesis on her active sex life, she'd likely get an 'A' for attention to detail.

Owen has become a much-discussed topic on blogs, Web sites and even morning shows after her so-called thesis, chronicling her sexual escapades during her undergraduate years at Duke, went public.

The 42-page PowerPoint presentation titled, "An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics," ranked 13 men Owen was sexually involved with during college, according to their physical attractiveness, athletic ability and talent -- in the bedroom.

The thesis was reportedly e-mailed by Owen to only a few of her close friends. But after one of those friends forwarded the document, and then that recipient did the same, the document soon went viral, first appearing on the blog Deadspin.com.

Now, Owen is an Internet legacy for her description of picking up student athletes at Durham, N.C., bars, and what happened behind closed doors.

According to the PowerPoint that was obtained by ABCNews.com in full, Owen gave bonus points to sexual partners who had an "Australian accent and/or professional surfing skills." Points were deducted for rudeness, she wrote.

Owen wrote that her project was spurred, after one of the men included in her project, texted her to ask how "he ranked on her f**k list." What followed was a detailed list of everything from memorable moments to the pros and cons of each of her conquests.

"It was over too quickly," wrote Owen of one partner, and "Good body," and "ridiculously good looking" about another.

Other hookups were harder for Owen to remember -- she actually includes alcohol, which she sometimes refers to as "oh blessed alcohol" -- for many of her between-the-sheet adventures.

Calls made to Owen's home were not answered, and she has apparently removed her page from Facebook and Twitter. But in an interview with the blog Jezebel.com, Owen expressed remorse for her actions.

"I regret it with all my heart," Owen told Jezebel. "I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that."

Duke University, for weeks silent on Owen's thesis, released a statement Thursday.

"Our foremost concern is to provide for the well-being of our students, and to respect their privacy," said Duke's Vice President for Public Affairs Michael Schoenfeld in a statement. "We've been reaching out to those who've been affected by this incident and will continue to support them."

ABC News also tried to reach out to those named in the thesis, but received no response other than one "no comment" from a student who did not want to be quoted.

Duke University Graduate Writes So-Called Thesis on Sex Life

Owen's thesis comes on the heels of a report released this summer about the nature of the booty call by South Alabama psychologist Peter K. Jonason. Jonason published a study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Sex Research, "Positioning the Booty Call Relationship on the Spectrum of Relationships: Sexual but More Emotional Than One-Night Stands."

The "booty call" is a compromise relationship, according to Jonason. For men, there's a "low-cost sexual component," and for women there's the "possibility of further commitment."

The "booty call" allows the man ongoing access to sex, although he must invest in some relationship-building with the woman, according to the study. Most relationships last about three months.

Jonason used the online tool, "Survey Monkey," to interview a total of 136 college students in two studies -- 60 percent of them women --- who were enrolled in psychology courses at the universities of Texas and New Mexico. The mean age of the participants was 19 1/2.

In today's culture, many young men and women are intimidated by dating. "The pressure involved scares people," Jonason said.

New technologies like cell phones also make "booty calls" easy and available at all times.

"Back in the 50s, if you wanted to call on someone you had to go to the house or call them on the phone," he said. "Now you don't have to worry about interacting with the girl's father."

Men seem to be the winners in this game, according to Jonason, but women are more than willing to engage.

And Owen seemed to be one of those women, writing about text messaging with one of her partners that lead to a rare "100 percent sober 'booty call.'"

"He was, for example, the only individual who I would feel perfectly at ease sending a 4 AM sext, or sending him messages such as 'Birthday Sex??' Owen wrote.

ABC News' Susan Donaldson James contributed to this report.