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I was talking recently to a woman friend whose daughter had come to her in a state of distress. She was in her second term at university, and had been sleeping with a boy who had — openly, and to her knowledge — been sleeping with several other girls at the same time. What he was doing was auditioning them all before deciding which to ‘go out’ with. The daughter was upset, not so much by the system — though she half-perceived its injustice — as by the fact that she hadn’t been the one finally chosen.

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