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Sexual Revolution and Awkward Sexual Attractions
"Not Banned in Boston"
In this magazine feature for The Sign, a Catholic periodical, Cormier praises the efforts of priest Monsignor Russell Novello to bolster sex education in the Boston archdiocese. The sex education program he has developed with regional gynecologists focuses on educating parents and teens so that sex education can continue in the home and encompass more than anatomical and medical concerns. Dr. Lynch, one of the gynecologists, laments the ubiquity of sexual messaging in popular culture and mentions the rising attention to homosexuality in comics. Cormier reports on how teens of the 1960s are not shy about frank conversations about sex while their parents are less comfortable with the topic. The article closes with a discussion of the need for moral education as part of sex education, and the controversy around public school sex education programs which might overlook moral concerns.
Stray scratch paper
A single page of typewritten notes is overwritten with pencil notes that show time duration and what appear to be flight numbers and times. Cormier bemoans the immorality of our times and specifically mentions abortion.
"The Tenderness" The Sign
This story recounts the efforts of thirteen-year-old Phillip as he tries to impress his piano teacher, Sister Angela, on whom he has a crush, and win a spot in the orchestra for the Christmas recital.
"The Price of Truth" The Sign
This story in The Sign tells how 11-year-old Jerome takes up painting in an effort to impress his teacher, Sister Marie-Thérèse, on whom he has a crush, whose later departure from the convent serves as the story's subplot. The story takes place in Frenchtown, the fictional setting for several of Cormier's stories.
"The Moustache" Scholastic VOICE
Cormier's often reprinted story "The Moustache" presents a seventeen-year-old protagonist, Mike, whose mustache provokes a case of mistaken identity. When he visits his grandmother in a nursing home, she mistakes him for her long-deceased husband because of the family resemblance and her dementia. The "reappearance" of her husband offers her the opportunity to apologize for accusing him of infidelity. While Mike plays along, the revelation of this truth, and the experience rattles him.
The Toybreakers draft material
Ten stray pages of draft material from Cormier's unpublished novel Toybreakers, show Cormier's handwritten edits. The content includes one sexually explicit conversation between Mr. Caller and Susan; a scene of Harriette home alone contemplating torturing Mr. Caller; Mr. Caller leaving money for Susan to find; and, a scene in which Harriette is trying to convince Susan to continue speaking with Mr. Caller. Cormier types notes to himself of how to revise the scene between Harriette and Susan to play up Susan's desperation.
The Toybreakers outline
This single-page typed and marked outline of Toybreakers shows aspects of Cormier's authorial process including his customary global overview of a work in progress. This artifact shows the overview of Part 1, the only section of the book that exists in the archive. Cormier's handwritten notes indicate that the second half of the outline needs to be rewritten. He appears to be questioning the logical progression of Susan and Harriet's motives and actions.
The Strange Science of Sexual Attraction. In this Huffington Post blog article, by Caroline Gregoire (2015 Feb. 14), the author surveys science on how and why people find each other attractive, or not.
Why the Sexual Revolution Needed a Sexual Revolutionary. In this article in The Atlantic by J. Albert Mohler, Jr. (2012 Aug. 23), the author takes a look at the idea of cultural change and specifically around significant shifts in acceptable sexual behavior -- and in particular, of the so-called sexual revolution of the 1960s.
Sex Education in Schools Needs an Upgrade. In this article by James Paterson in neaToday (2018 May 31), the author reviews the history of sex education in the U.S. and references research and various programs to make a case for an inclusive, age appropriate, and scientifically helpful program for youth.