Thursday, April 28, 2011

A to Z Challenge: X-rated

This is something I've been wondering about for a bit, but I thought I'd leave it to you to give your opinion.


Should sex be included in YA?


Why or why not?


I'm seriously interested on hearing your opinions, because I'm split down the middle.

19 comments:

Trisha said...

I don't think it SHOULD or shouldn't, but I think it's okay if it is. Know what I mean? Like, I wouldn't want it to be really graphic or to be the focus of the book or anything. But if it's in there I'm okay with that. It's reality after all.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

I don't think it should be. But I think we live in a culture where it's 'cool' for sixteen year olds to be having regular sex. Fact is, many of the dangers and diseases associate with having numerous partners throughout your life isn't properly highlighted in the media. It's actually quite crazy that so many young people think that their worthless or stupid if they havent' had sex by the age of twenty. Very sad.

Think it would be great if someone who enjoys writing for the YA market was able to highlight the dangers so that youngsters are better educated on ALL the facts.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

I don't think "blow-by-blow" details should be included, as we're not writing porn, but sex (and having it or not) is part of a teens life.

Em-Musing said...

I think the innocence of thinking/worrying about it can be useful, but like Samantha said, no blow-by-blows. (OH? Were you being punny, Sam?)

Laura Marcella said...

I'm looking at the word "should" and I don't think it should be, but it COULD be included in YA. If it pertains to the story and the characters then it works. But if authors are throwing in sex just because they think that's the only way teens will read, than they are grossly underestimating the intelligence and maturity of many teenagers.

Joyce Lansky said...

I think the fact that they are labeled YA pretty much gives it free range for whatever. If it's mild, it doesn't bother me, but something overly graphic doesn't need to be in these books . . . but it will be.

Joyce
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

Steph Schmidt said...

Originally I didn't care if sex was in YA so long as it brought something to the plot. Lately though, it's been feeling gratuitous and there for the sake of being risqué. Sex is not risque in YA now that, at least according to YA, teens are having sex everywhere and all the time. I feel for the kids who, for their own reasons, aren't having sex that they can't escape this peer pressure in literature to maintain their choice.

Rachel Morgan said...

Hmm... I think that it's up to the writer, but that it shouldn't be graphic/expicit. I PERSONALLY don't want to put any sex in my YA writing because I don't believe that sex outside of marriage is right - and none of my YA characters are married! (duh) But I'm aware that many people DON'T agree with that.

Stephanie said...

I have the same title for today! :) But my post is very different!!

I'm not sure how I feel about your topic though. I can't shelter my kids from the world and sex is a fact of life. I plan on having a very open relationship with them and hopefully we can discuss sex and the right and wrong reasons to do it. It's my job as a parent to guide them to make the right decisions, regardless of what they read or see in movies and on tv.

Marjorie said...

I'm actually not sure about this one. Having sex is a big deal and perhaps it could be painted as such. But I don't think it should be smutty.

Myne Whitman said...

It depends on what angle the writer wants to write from. YA are already dealing with sex as an issue in real life so why not their books?

BTW, I used the same x word, guess there's only so many x-words. :)

Book Owl said...

Well, recently I realized that most people would rather their children watch/read violence and death in action books and movies and stuff than even mild sex stuff which confuses me, because shouldn't death, killing and all that be worse than sex? I say that it all depends on the story if it should be in there or not. And I agree that it shouldn't be overly explicit.

Kimberly said...

I think it depends on the story being told.

Sheila said...

As a Mom to a 13 year old girl, I don't want a lot of smut in a YA book. I don't mind the topic being brought up and thinking things through. It is a fact of life, but I would rather the teen characters are not having sex all throughout the book.

erica and christy said...

(Samantha made me laugh, btw)

Do teens have sex? Yes. Have teens always had sex? Yes. Heck, my parents got married two weeks after high school graduation.

If it makes sense to your story line, hook 'em up. (yeah, no blow-by-blow, please) :)
erica

Wanton Redhead Writing said...

If the sex would occur naturally, then yes it should be although I agree details are not appropriate. However; when it's omitted, as in the Twilight saga until marriage it's not realistic. I write YA also and I don't go looking for sex for natural inclinations for it are necessary.

Melissa Kline said...

Hi Misha! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Great topic! I think sex is fine for YA if it is done with taste. I like Wanton Redhead's comment! :)

~Melissa
Reflections on Writing

Karen Peterson said...

This has been such a hot topic in certain circles lately.

Personally, I'm not in favor of it, especially when things get very explicit. I don't like it even in adult novels. But I also believe that you should write what feels natural for your characters and if that means a tasteful sex scene in a YA novel, then you should go with your instincts.

Misha said...

Hi ladies and gents! I think you all have valid points to issue. I agree that a blow by blow account (heeheehee) shouldn't be in. Also, the point that Book Owl raised about sex vs violence is another one to ponder.

I mean, I find it a lot less tricky to decide whether or not a violent scene goes in than whether or not a sex scene does. Why is that? Perhaps because movies and our pop culture sees it as suitable (if not integral) part of a story?