I went to a Catholic all-girls high school. Um...yeah.
So I heard a lot about God smiting me if I so much as let a boy's hand travel up my back while dancing. I heard about girls getting pregnant from toilet seats. I heard about the shame which would fall upon my family if I rolled my skirt at the waist so my knees would show.
At first, this constant barrage of nunsense meant sex and guilt seemed a natural combination. It didn't take long, though, for me to realize having sex did not necessarily have to result in a scenario worthy of a hand-wringing after school special. (Actually all it took was one really hot boy.) I was around seventeen when I figured this out. And I think kids today, if they even have the heaviness of this particular guilt stuck to their shoulders, figure it out much, much earlier.
So why do so many books directed at this age group still equate sex with punishment? Believe me, I'm not saying sex isn't a big deal--at any age--but I think contemporary teen fiction should reflect the realities of teen life. Cory Doctorow has a great, common sense take on this topic. Check it out here.
And, now, back to the WIP...