Study Guide

Carrie Sexuality

By Stephen King


Most creatures on earth are sexual in nature. Birds do it. Bees do it. Reticulated amoebas do it. Humans are no different. Once people hit puberty, they've got a lot of sex on the brain. And some people, like Margaret White, have difficulty separating the biological imperatives of sex from the cardinal sin of lust. And so when Carrie hits puberty, Margaret loses it. But Margaret isn't the only who who's got complicated feelings about sex in Carrie; almost every character in this book is conflicted about sex in some way. Sadly, unlike in True Blood, this mix of sex and violence is a lot more repulsive than it is titillating.

Questions About Sexuality

  1. Why is Margaret White so afraid of her own sexuality? Why is she afraid of her daughter's sexuality?
  2. How does Carrie explore her sexuality?
  3. Compare and contrast Sue Snell's attitudes toward sex with Chris Hargensen's. What are we to conclude about women and sex in this book?
  4. Do men view sex differently from women in Carrie? If so, how?

Chew on This

Margaret is so concerned about the sins of sexuality that she thinks she can wish Carrie's puberty away. But her extreme religious views only make Carrie more curious about sex.

Sue Snell, the somewhat-good girl of the book, has loving sex with her boyfriend; Chris Hargensen, the bad girl of the book, has violent sex with her boyfriend. Both women are characterized by the type of sex they have with their boyfriends; in a sexist society, we're taught to make strong assumptions about women, based on who they have sex with and how.