A fascinating article from the New York Times' Caitlyn Flanagan on teen girls and romance:
One of the manifold ways our culture fails girls is in its refusal to honor or even acknowledge their deep interest in romance. A girl’s world is drenched in romance, and the process by which she negotiates that deep emotional need with the countervailing force of sexuality — with all its power, pleasure and danger — is the great work of female adolescence. But our present moment is terrible for anyone who is thoughtful or private or introspective, and thus terrible for girls. The impossible music, the normalization of hard-core pornography, the explicitly sexual nature of even supposedly “family friendly” entertainment — everything about modern life mocks the romantic impulse.
One of the last places where girls can encounter the romantic stories they crave is in novels, an art form perfect for anyone who wants to spend time alone with her dreams and her imaginings.
[Emphasis added by me]