Her sisters' reactions betray their difficulty relating to their home country's culture. Though they fully understand the consequences of manipulating the system of chaperones to expose Sofia's indiscretion and sexual activity, they refuse to accept Sofia's submission to Dominican sexual double standards. The sisters are also troubled by the possibility of Sofia's subordination to a male sexual partner through an unintended pregnancy. They betray Sofia's trust only in order to force upon her a more American cynicism toward romance and a more pragmatic attitude toward sex.

Their mother's reaction to Sofia's scandal reflects the difficulty all the sisters face in negotiating the space between the two cultures. While attending American boarding schools they experiment with American vices like marijuana, yet in the Dominican Republic they learn about illicit and unprotected sexual scandals. They disappoint their mother in both places because they do not behave as good Dominican girls ought to. This confirms her fear that they have lost their connection to the culture, and that she has failed in her effort to instill in them the values she grew up with.