Friday, June 10, 2005

The Princess Kamanawanalea Diaries

Did you know that the author of the popular Princess Diaries series of novels for preteen girls boasts of being both a Catholic who has received "four of the seven sacraments" and a devout abstinence-education opponent whose mother drew illustrations for Planned Parenthood?

Meg Cabot writes in The Scotsman:

In Sixsational, the latest book in my Princess Diaries series for tween and teen readers, Princess Mia and her friends discuss, as they often do, the conditions under which they would be tempted to "do" certain young men of their acquaintance, and come to the conclusion that they would only "do" them on prom night at the Four Seasons Hotel... and only if he were wearing a condom.

It caused outrage, but I guess I didn't really learn a lesson from it since Sam, the heroine of my newest book for teens, All American Girl; Ready or Not, decides to stock up on condoms in anticipation of having sex with the First Son at Camp David over the Thanksgiving vacation. I expect I'll get mail over this too, not to mention over what happens later in the book.

The thing is, I don't really understand why parents are so upset. What is the big deal about teens who talk about having, and then actually go on to have, sex responsibly?

Please note before commenting: Cabot cites Peter Bearman's research as evidence against abstinence education, a study which I believe is severely flawed. To that end, I am using my dictatorial powers to declare Bearman's research off-limits in this discussion. Any comments that refer to it or similar anti-abstinence studies will be deleted, as they are off-topic. I'm more interested in answers to Cabot's question of "why parents are so upset." Since she asked, she deserves some cogent answers. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Updated, 11:03 a.m.: Took out"pro-abort" and rewrote the first sentence, as the article doesn't mention abortion. Apologies for the knee-jerk characterization of Planned Parenthood supporters as "pro-abort"—not that I've ever met one who didn't support legal abortion.