This has been a topic that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time. I have no clue whether this is going to be controversial or not, but either way it is something I’ve wanted to talk about and explore for a long time. The topic I’m going to be discussing today is whether sex should be taboo in YA novels?
YA books are usually written for teenagers aged 12-18, but are read by a wider variety of people. Older people still read YA books and even younger people – I remember reading YA fiction way before I was 12 because other books bored me and I wanted something new, an adventure. So is it okay for these kids to be exposed to sex at that age? The short answer to this is yes, I believe it is fine to include sex in YA books.
♡ Sex in YA books are never explicit or gross.
There are way worse things that kids watch on TV these days and sex in YA novels are never explicit. It never goes into loads of detail and it never makes things gross or awkward. In fact I think YA books (especially contemporaries) romanticizes the whole process and that’s fine by me. I think it’s better for readers to know about it and read about it even if the descriptions aren’t all that practical/realistic sometimes.
♡ They’re going to hear about is somewhere, why not books?
Books are a great teaching method and if teenager are getting interested or curious about sex, then why not let them read a book featuring sex. It might not be biologically accurate, but at least they’ll get some sort of feel for what’s going on and what it’s all about. Besides I think it might also be a great learning opportunity. If we can add more safe sex facts into YA books and loads of information about safe sex and things relating to safe sex it can help teenagers understand how to practice safer sex.
♡ Teens want to relate to the books they read.
We as readers normally want to relate to the books we read (besides sometimes Fantasy novels). We want to feel connected to the characters and we want to understand what they are going through and adding sex to a YA novel is a great way to achieve that connection. Unfortunately (or fortunately) most teenagers that read YA are sexually active, so they can instantly relate to a character that is having sex.
♡ I think it’s an important topic to explore.
Personally I think that sex shouldn’t be a taboo topic and that it should be included in all YA books! I think because books have become so diverse it’s important to add sex to all books, this will mean that no one will feel left out and that every reader will feel comfortable reading and talking about sex. If sex is present in LGBTQIA+ books it might help the reader better understand sex and make them feel more comfortable with asking questions and talking about it, the same goes for readers just reading an average contemporary novel.
Do you think sex should be included in YA books? Or would you rather it be taboo? Do you think adding sex will make teens more curious both bad or good? What are some good YA books where the sex scene was perfect? Let me know in the comments!