Friday, November 7, 2008

"Suddenly it’s Sodom and Gomorrah"

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.

1 comment:

Maggie Stiefvater said...

If only I could write it in some format that involved supernatural fiends. . .