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Sex In A Prep School


I digested Restless Virgins the last couple of days. The book is a pretty quick read, mostly because it's pretty lightweight, seemingly more interested in titillation than enlightenment. It follows a small group of students at a Boston-area private school, whose population is roughly 50% boarding and 50% day, and chronicles a social climate in which partying and casual sex are routine. In fact, the year the co-authors describe culminated in a high-profile sex scandal that landed Milton Academy loads of unpleasant publicity.

Now, I'm not a Pollyanna when it comes to such topics; I recognize that these things are a part of teenage life, even at prestigious New England academies like the ones I have worked in for over twenty years now. But it seems to me this book is skewed in that it focuses on a very narrow cohort of Milton's student population and glosses over the differences between the lives of boarders and those of day students. Simply put, students at elite prep schools are painted in far too broad a brush in a work like this. It's too easy to conclude that children of privilege--and those schoolmates who aspire to be like them--live soap opera lives. My experience has been that reality for most kids in places like this is quite different. But you couldn't tell if Restless Virgins was your only window into this world.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 28, 2007 11:32 PM.

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