I think it is. I set the book in North Carolina in a small town, where it’s very realistic that abstinence-only education would happen.
I crowdsourced the worst things people saw in their own sex education classes. There’s a scene in my book where the teacher has a bunch of glasses of water and one of them has blue dye in it.
She mixes the glasses together, to stimulate sex as being the exchange of bodily fluids, and she shows that if the blue was an STI now everybody has it.
That is a demonstration people really use. In my book, the main character Lacey borrows a condom from a friend and says: ‘well look, if I put this condom over the cup then it doesn’t happen.’
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the chewing gum analogy? Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted as a teenager, was raised Mormon, very religious, and they had told her that if you have sex before marriage you’re like a chewed piece of gum and nobody is going to want to chew on you now.
She was raped by her captor and so she had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she’s not a chewed piece of gum. She’s empowered to talk about that now, but that is the kind of thing that does happen in the US.