The New Yorker is one of those lovely grownup magazines that still spells "teenager" as two words, but that doesn't mean it isn't regularly a source of great insights into youth culture. Witness this interesting piece on the perception of sex in red and blue states--particularly youthful sex. My favorite part is this:
Bearman and Brückner have also identified a peculiar dilemma: in some schools, if too many teens [make a chastity] pledge, the effort basically collapses. Pledgers apparently gather strength from the sense that they are an embattled minority; once their numbers exceed thirty per cent, and proclaimed chastity becomes the norm, that special identity is lost. With such a fragile formula, it’s hard to imagine how educators can ever get it right: once the self-proclaimed virgin clique hits the thirty-one-per-cent mark, suddenly it’s Sodom and Gomorrah.
So true. And, more importantly, so perfect for a novel.