Benoit Denizet-Lewis' New York Times article, "Friends, Friends With Benefits and the Benefits of the Local Mall", is an in-depth look at current teen dating and sexual practices.
For all the efforts to make teenagers aware of the dangers of hookups, many of the high-school students I spoke to shrugged off the idea that hooking up is ultimately a bad thing. As they see it, if they're not going to marry for another 10 years, why not focus on other things (friendships, schoolwork, sports) in high school? And if they're not hurting anyone and not getting anyone pregnant, where is the harm in a little casual fun? The truth is, teenagers may spend less of their time hooking up than adults think they do -- for many of them, friendships have become the most important part of their social lives. Kate, Caity and Adam (the group I first met at Hooters with Jesse) often spend weekend nights hanging out together and talking about sex in ways many adults would find difficult to do themselves.
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