Judy Blume: Crucial Sex Education For Young Girls

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defending judy blume
In a time before the internet, Judy Blume was all the sex education we needed.

To CSM's credit, they do not purposefully angle at deterring anyone from the book, but these ratings do concern me. I was between the ages of 9 and 11 when I read these stories—far younger than what their ratings advise. But guess what? I didn't go out and suddenly lose my virginity—I was an honors student; I didn't do drugs and I didn't get pregnant. If anything, Blume's books rendered me more conscientious and aware of my young sexuality. I learned from Forever about birth control, Planned Parenthood, and that it was better to be in love for your first time.

And it wasn't until I read Deenie that I learned about masturbation. I remember being around the age of 10 when I discovered that it felt pretty awesome to touch myself "down there," but it also made me feel dirty and ashamed, like I was the only person in the world who had this seedy "ailment." Imagine my amazement when I discovered in Deenie that I was actually normal. Blume wrote: "Usually I take a shower and get out as fast as I can, but I liked the feeling of relaxation and I rubbed my special spot with my wash cloth until I got that special feeling." It was a revelation, and I'm glad I learned this at the age of 10, instead of being some sexually repressed 31-year-old woman who scoffs, "Oh, I never masturbate."

 

So, maybe these "ratings" have a purpose—I don't have children—but I see them as useless. What happens in Judy Blume's books is real and it is what every girl will experience one day, which is a far better lesson to learn than falling in love with a vampire.

Written by Anne Ichikawa for The Frisky

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