“Girls and Sex” by Peggy Orenstein reports double standard

Peggy Orenstein has written about US girls for decades. She interviewed over 70 girls ages 15 to 20 for her book Girls and Sex (2017). Many told her they wanted to lose their virginity before going to college and often their first experience of intercourse in “hook-up culture” was alcohol-fueled with a boy who wasn’t a close friend. The girls said that being a slut and a prude are both negatives. However, incidence of teen intercourse is down while engaging in alternatives like oral sex has increased at younger ages. Many of the oral sex encounters are one-way in that the girl services the boy without reciprocation. Girls taught supposed to be sexy to please boys, without emphasis on their own pleasure. College women were likely to tell Orenstein they were satisfied if their partner was happy. Orenstein found that US fathers tend to not discuss sex with their daughters (except at “purity balls” where girls in white are escorted by their tux-wearing fathers as they pledge abstinence until marriage), while their mothers emphasize being safe, and responsible. In contrast Dutch mothers emphasize girls’ rights to assert their desires and limits in mutual sexual pleasure.

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