As I rehearse, I find answers in the play. For example Bernadette O’Connell, the main character, is a very religious girl possessed of a healthy libido and an abstinence-only sex education.
“One: Necking, which is anything from the neck up, is not a sin… as long as you keep your mouth closed. Two: Petting is a mortal sin and will make you pregnant. And three: This is my tabernacle (indicating her crotch) and only my husband will have the key.”
So you have this distorted human being with all this sexual energy and no idea what to do about it, except repress it because she wouldn’t want to die and go to hell, and who has no idea about the truth or who to trust if not teachers or parents. If she knew anything at all about her sexual nature and that of boys/men, who do we think she would attract into her life?
I have a friend who teaches elementary school in Massachusetts who describes their way of dealing with bullying by teaching character building. Since the earliest grades she has spent 20 minutes at the start of every day on character building. While all bullies do not grow up to become rapists, I think all rapists are bullies. Would we all be better off by spending time building character with our kids teaching them respect, kindness, empathy, boundaries and the skills needed to navigate the changing social environment in their lives. Maybe include human sexuality as well as that of frogs in biology class. So that by the time girls are looking for love and boys are looking for sex they will have a foundation on which to make good healthy choices. It needn’t take up any more time – just replace all the bull shit with the truth.