The author of "Dirty Little Secrets" explains that the focus of her book is not to judge teen girls, but to look at the reasons why so many young teens decide to become sexually active. Her findings, if accurate, take women's liberation and equality backward by leaps and bounds.
Cohen said that in many cases sex is used by girls as a way to be accepted, be noticed, and be popular. Sex in these circumstances is not making these girls free or equal. Sometimes a double standard kicks in and they are labeled "sluts," and "whores," while the male counterparts do not suffer damage to their reputations.
This notion that some young women feel they have to provide sexual favors in order to be accepted by the young men in their world seems like a return to earlier times when women had much less power at home or in the workplace. Why would smart, attractive girls with so much equal opportunity give in to this kind of peer pressure? Are the powerful male teens in their world the kind of people worth impressing?
Even here on the rock, where we have some of the brightest and most talented young girls in the country, there are stories of parties where girls are expected to show up in lingerie. There are also stories of girls who are taken advantage of when they are too intoxicated to give consent (which can meet the definition of rape - a felony).
Those women who marched and burned their bras decades ago would be horrified at this cultural phenomenon. What are your thoughts?