LETTER:Ms Greer and the virginal student

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The Independent Online
From Mr Chris Whiffin

Sir: Thank you Germaine Greer ("Young, free, virginal and not a dork", 27 October) for making me realise that I am not alone. In a world increasingly dominated by sex, I always feel slightly isolated in not leading a life centred around the subject. For a teenager, it is difficult to judge what role sex plays in adult lives, but our culture seems to propagate the image that everyone is dominated by it.

This is further amplified by television and books. Romance is central to Jane Austen's books unless you are, like Mary Bennet, a dork (which I like to believe I am not). Modern television programmes about teenagers, like Byker Grove and Hollyoaks, further exacerbate this image.

Although I am not an identikit of the student in Germaine Greer's article, there are a number of similarities. I spend much of my spare time with my close friends and the issue of sex, especially as we grow further away from puberty, is not central, although it is occasionally mentioned. Some of my friends are interested in the opposite sex; but, as her article suggests, they want stable relationships, not the one-off gratifications that seem to dominate much of society, Others, though, are not concerned with sexual conquests at present, but marriage as a future possibility is not ruled out.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Whiffin

Heavitree, Devon

28 October