In groups of social animals, the most important relationships aside from mother and child are those that form between newly sexually-mature (aka "adolescent") females. Males will come and males will go, but those bonds will form the glue that holds the group together for decades. Humans are not immune to these relationships as history and countless female-buddy books and movies have shown.
But what happens to these adolescent bonding experiences in an era where homosexuality or bisexuality is nothing to fear? Historically, adolescent lesbian experiences have been more common and more tolerated than most modern people would believe, only coming under fire in the early 20th Century. From the looks of this article such tolerance may once again be returning, and with more openness than ever before.
This alleged friend of the interviewees found the article to be exaggerated for publicity, and I have little trouble believing him (scroll down to gerbilfromhell.) Such behavior wasn't unknown in college in the 80s, where many people I and my future husband knew were part of a "cuddle puddle" I called "As the Sheets Turn."
Conservative essayists have been deriding this article as proof we're all going to Hell in a handbasket, but I've yet to see a logical argument for that position. Gerbilfromhell and many others have looked at it and said, "So what's the big deal about someone being queer or bi?" That's a valid point, but it's not what draws my attention. My question is, "What does this say about the power of adolescent female relationships? Will these bonds continue or wither, and what forms will they take in the future?"
The town we live in is the opposite of the New York in this article. New York is rich, urban and "metrosexual". Our town is poor, rural and rabidly heterosexual. A "cuddle puddle" would never be allowed to express itself in public. But my husband was commenting the other day that there has been a major change in how sexual relationships are started among the students. Now it's often not the boy or the girl who initiates the sexual experimentation, but the female friends of the boy and the girl who encourage both parties to have sex with each other. That's a profound shift and I have no idea where it will lead, but it's going to be interesting to see how it develops.