Straight Talk: Girls’ talk of boys not new

By: Lauren Forcella
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Dear Straight Talk: My 15-year-old daughter is a sophomore at a large coed Christian high school. Recently, I transported 12 girls to their junior varsity volleyball game. Then, I drove for a field trip and had all freshman girls in the van. On both trips, the girls talked nonstop (I mean, NONSTOP) about “hot guys.” I was initially excited to be a fly on the wall and listen to girls this age, but after a few hours of this endless who’s-hot, who’s-flirting-with-who banter, I was completely brain dead. Is this conversation the norm? Or is this group an aberration? And how does a girl fit in if she wants to talk about something else? One girl clearly felt left out. — Shell-shocked in Akron, OH Emily, 16, Sacramento: Teenage girls are diverse, therefore, in big groups boys are the topic of choice because a hot guy is a hot guy. There’s no arguing that! I have different friends for different conversations. With one friend, I can’t remember discussing anything but guys. Another friend and I talk about community service; another, horses; another, school stuff; another, movies. But we all love boys! Having a boyfriend doesn’t change that, you can still admire beauty. In a group of giggly girls, a girl needs to at least fake interest in guys to fit in. Nicole, 19, Arcata: Guys talk about girls, girls talk about guys; that’s how it’s been, that’s how it will be. I went through this stage around 15, too. It’s when feelings become sexual and talking about boys is what you do before you act on those urges. Your daughter is growing up. Diana, 15, Folsom: Most girls talk about boys — yes, nonstop! My friends and I are quite guilty of this, but we just got into high school and there are new boys to look at and talk about. It will wear off as we get older. Shelby, 17, Auburn: My girlfriends and I do the same thing, and to tell the truth, we include who hates who, and who is being stupid. I admit it’s shallow, but that’s high school. Betsy, 20, Durham NH: Fifteen is the age when girls talk about boys the most; it’s when boys and girls really start to notice each other and many girls haven’t experienced a real boyfriend yet. It dies down the further you go into high school. Now that I’m in college and have a steady relationship, boy talk is almost non-existent (although I notice that my roommate, who doesn’t have a boyfriend, has more interest in the topic). Elise, 17, Fair Oaks: My friends and I definitely talk about boys but not the whole time. On an overnight or other social gathering, we talk about our lives, food, college applications, the future, whatever comes to mind. Sawyer, 17, Fair Oaks: It’s definitely weird. Not that my friends and I don’t talk nonstop, but the conversation doesn’t remain on one topic or person. Maybe guys get bored quicker. Rachel, 17, Fair Oaks: It’s definitely not all we talk about. Yet it’s hard to talk about diverse topics in large groups, so conversation usually falls to boys. Some sit out, but the enthusiasm and giddiness is something most girls enjoy. Seriously, weren’t you a teen once? Girls love boys!! Dear Shell-shocked: Yes, seriously?! And didn’t you read Jane Austen or Emily Brontë? Mothers may forget (and boys will never relate), but obsessing over “hot guys” is primal and ancient, hard-wired over thousands of years when marrying was a girl’s most important decision, both to determine her own fate, and to ensure the genetic success of her offspring. The popularity of “Twilight”, today’s teen heartthrob book, (it’s no “Pride & Prejudice” or “Wuthering Heights” — you will be in a coma by the fourth book), should assure you this behavior is normal. Write to Straight Talk at or PO Box 963, Fair Oaks CA 95628.