It is super interesting that the movie is more about the bet than the actual sex; it actually ends up being very touching! ...Camp is also the place where being a virgin (and therefore being innocent) isn’t desired. When we contrast that with Ferris’s mother’s laissez-faire attitude towards sex (as kind of a loose woman archetype), camp emerges as a place for experimentation and a shake-up of established rules and morals regarding girls’ sexuality and how it influences their reputations.
In Little Darlings we see how the competitive aspect of camp life can be both self-affirming and destructive. What struck me the most when watching it now was how innocent it actually is. Despite the sexual bet that the plot revolves around – in which two girls compete to see who will be the first to lose their virginity – the film avoids exploitation of its characters to serve the premise, opting instead to focus on how the bet affects each of them.
Perhaps the best movie set at a summer camp that's not a slasher flick, Ronald F. Maxwell's Little Darlings stood out in 1980 for its rare frank depiction of budding female sexuality. Though nearly impossible to see today, the film still stands strong, with its insightful script (that could only have been written by women!) and likeable, believable cast.