Twilight A Doorway for Conversations on Teen Sex

A while back I brought up a TIME article in which the author noted how Stephenie Meyer's novels are to quote, because I love the quote, "squeaky, geeky clean on the surface, but right below it, they are absolutely, deliciously filthy." At the time, I agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiment but over the last few weeks I've considered the statement and come to the conclusion that it's not completely accurate.

Sucked into a book. Photo care of khaybe on Flickr.

Fact is that the books are pretty squeaky clean. There's talk of kissing to the point of not being able to breathe and the topic of sex does come up, often tied with the subject of marriage. The filthy bit doesn't come from anything Meyer's says but rather from what she leaves out. I'm no longer 14 and innocent (I was sheltered OK?) so I can't imagine what goes through a 14 year old's head when she reads some of the steamier moments but I sure know what goes through my mind. That's the filthy bit - though it's also not all that filthy, Edward is 100+ years old.

Earlier today I was reading an interesting article over at Newsweek which took my second thought a little further. Reporter Susan Elgin talked to a few mothers and rather unsurprisingly found that a few of them saw the books as a doorway to speak to their daughters about sex. In a society where teen sex seems to be rampant, Meyer's books bring up the issue in a way that allows parents a dialog that doesn't include having to disswade their pre-teen and teen daughters from the actions being taken by their literary heroes. Bella and Edward aren't having sex and whenever it does come up, the question of marriage looms in the backdrop. The two are always intertwined. Though as they grow older girls will likely start thinking beyond the tie of sex and marriage, it's nice to see that they have a role model that, for the time being at least, is abstaining.


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