Perhaps the most important lesson for a young girl is on her emerging sexuality- like death and taxes, the biological clock cares not if one is ready for it to strike. When a girl goes through puberty, suddenly making her sexually viable for adult men, not only does her body change but as does the way the world reacts to her. It becomes possible that the same man who had treated her with genuine care and empathy now has his own biologically-driven agenda- complete with duplicitous intentions. Watch a clumsy man talk confidently to a child but fumble nervously with a sexually mature woman- also with puberty comes power.
However, not every lesson can be taught. One learns to be patient only through experience- patience is a lesson that cannot be taught. While you can try to tell a little girl on the cusp of puberty that her world is about to change, drastically, and that this new world comes with its share of dangers, it may be easier for her to process this through the subconscious language of the fairy tale.
The best horror isn’t low-brow schlock; the most effective horror plays on the subconscious anxieties of its audience. Most people need some degree of delusion to get to sleep at night; denial of death, denial of change, the affirmation of safety, the affirmation of identity. Without willful ignorance a person would be overwhelmed by life.
Horror pierces that nerve within the controlled environment of fiction; where the stakes are imaginary but the emotional ride can feel real.
If a child’s greatest fear is parential adbandomnent, and a woman’s greatest fear is sexual violation by an undesirable, a man’s greatest fear is his disposability; a man is only worth as much as the value he is able to contribute- if this value dissipates, the man is rendered worthless.
The unconfident beta-male lives in a constant state of fear that he will be rendered worthless to his woman; apt for disposal and replacement. The beta-male fears the confident, experienced Alpha male. He fears a future where the attractive Alpha may take fleeting interest in his woman, and he fears a past where his woman has experienced what it’s like to be with a real man– she knows the difference and secretly snickers at the beta-male’s pathetic little cock.