What if, in between potions, transfiguration, and divination classes Harry Potter and the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry also got a sex ed class? Every since Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince opened last week many critics have been writing about the way the movie handles sex and sexuality.
Some people can’t believe that wizard teens, just like muggle teens, are interested in sex. Others, mostly adults it seems, are upset that the movie doesn’t show any realistic, adult sexual and romantic relationships. Some of the strangest comments are from people who think the Harry Potter cast, especially Emma Watson who plays Hermione, are too attractive to be convincing.
Luckily, over at RH Reality Check Sarah Seltzer points out that yes, women can be smart AND beautiful (and have magical powers). Is Defense Against the Dark Arts really an abstinence only education class in disguise? Would Ron and Hermione have figured out their attraction earlier if they’d gotten comprehensive sex education? Do spells and magic protect young wizards from sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy?
Ok, there are a lot of possible jokes here, but seriously – as serious as you can be about a fictional story about wizards – what if Harry, Ron , and Hermione had received accurate, respectful information about sex and sexuality that helped them deal with dating and relationships as easily as they deal with He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named? And, what if the millions of young people and adults who read the books, had received that information while reading along? The possibilities are almost as awesome as the stories themselves.
If you’re also a Twilight fan, Eric Jost has an interesting piece up on Amplify comparing Harry Potter to Twilight and asking why it’s ok to have to have lots of violence in young adult novels, but not sex.