Lots of eight-year-old girls have boyfriends. Nine-year-olds go on dates and attend coed sleepovers. Ten- and-eleven-year-olds go steady. By age twelve, lots of kids are “doing it.” Drugs, sex, and gangs lurk in the shadows of many middle-school playgrounds. Even in schoolyards where they have not penetrated, they are the subject of tween curiosity and debate.

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