“Wow, hard to imagine a society where being 12 and having sex is OK. Even with risks taken away” is a recent reader comment on Wattpad for my sci fi story THE MOTHER SIEGE.
First, let me set straight this sci fi story record: Two teens in 2049 who have just turned 13 decide to have sex for the first time the night before they expect to die or be killed. And in theory there are no risks of pregnancy or STDs in this dystopian society.
Now that I have explained this, I can discuss what is really important:
The fact that much sci fi fiction, including THE MOTHER SIEGE, is actually a medium for authors to discuss their concerns with society today or what may happen to society in the future.
Sexual “prompts” are persuasive in society today. Even toddlers buckled into their car safety seats can look out the car windows and see explicit or implicit sexual situations writ very large on billboards.
The more time children and young teens watch videos on YouTube, continue to watch commercials on TV, and listen to online music the more these young people will be exposed to sexual stimuli.
THE MOTHER SIEGE in its young teen sex subplot is raising the question of whether this future outcome — I do believe eventually sex will be risk free from pregnancy and STDs — needs to be considered and perhaps mitigated before it is upon us.
Why do I think this future scenario may need to be mitigated?
Because I think that for many young teens their maturity level is not yet developed enough to deal with the emotional challenges of sex. In fact, the mother protagonist of THE MOTHER SIEGE does worry about this. And I hope that THE MOTHER SIEGE can in some small part encourage this discussion.
On the question of genetics
A very important topic in THE MOTHER SIEGE is the question of genetic screening. Amy Dockser Marcus says in her September 28, 2015, Wall Street Journal article “How One Family Faced Difficult Decisions About DNA Sequencing”:
Studies are under way looking at the possibility that someday, everyone will get sequenced at birth.
Will this mean that — if parents do not like the genetic factors of their newborn child — they can choose to have that child quietly “disposed of”?
Yes, this is a very extreme possible scenario — and I am absolutely NOT suggesting this — but I do think that society needs to consider these types of questions before, for example, gene sequencing is routinely done at birth.
I have written about genetic screening before — most recently in ”Sex Selection in Real Life and Fiction.” (Click here to read this post.) Genetic screening is a very serious topic that should be carefully considered now rather than later.
Finally, in response to the reader who left the comment on Wattpad about young teens having sex, I am very glad the issue was brought up. This is exactly the kind of questions I hope to encourage discussions about with THE MOTHER SIEGE and its in-progress prequel THE UPHEAVAL set 20 years earlier in 2029 at the moment the world changed.
© 2015 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY, as well as newly written books not yet published. She can be reached at email@example.com