Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Sex

By Carolyn Mackler

Sex

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things is all about the polar opposites of sex: consensual versus rape, to be precise. Virginia's having a pretty awesome time working her way around the bases with Froggy Welsh the Fourth, and her biggest sexual concern at the beginning of the book is how to let him touch her breasts without actually seeing them.

But the fun of sexual discovery comes to a screeching halt when she discovers something way more sinister: her perfect brother, Byron, has committed date rape. Suddenly, Virginia no longer sees boys as cute, but threatening, and the idea of sex goes from fun to sinister overnight. So part of Virginia's struggle in this book is making some sort of peace with who her brother is, and eventually getting her groove back when it comes to Froggy.

Questions About Sex

  1. Where did Virginia's "Fat Girl Code of Conduct" come from? If nobody taught her these rules verbatim (and we're thinking they didn't), what made her think they were rules?
  2. Why does Virginia become repulsed by the idea of Froggy touching her after Byron rapes Annie, given that Froggy has always been nice?
  3. Was what Byron did to Annie a result of his parental sex education (or lack thereof)?

Chew on This

Byron doesn't need a thorough sex ed lecture from his parents to know the basics of respecting a girl and her body.

If you're fooling around with someone after school, you have a right to talk to him in school, and Froggy knows this all along.

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