Friday, June 17, 2011
Violence vs Sex in YA
My post is a day late - don't hate me! But as my way of saying sorry, I bring a discussion. Please participate, even if you don't really have an opinion.
So, recently it has been plaguing me that within YA books these days, sex scenes are taboo, but violence is okay. What kind of world do we want to bring our children up in, or do you want to grow up in, where hurting someone is seen as everyday, but talking about sex or having sex or thinking about sex is bad?
There are a lot of different opinions about this. We have the thought that not every teen is thinking about or having sex. Which is a fair enough point except most teens are a bundle of pulsating hormones that means even if they're not doing it, they're most definitely wondering about it and thinking about it. Do we want teens to read about sex from pornos? To only learn about the mechanics of it in sex education? Or can they read about other people in their situation and how their first times, second times, whole sexual relationships can be?
An opposition to this would be that these books are fiction. They're made up from someone's fantasy, someone's mind. Maybe sex is romanticised. Maybe books give teen girls the impression that guys are perfect and will treat you well during your first time and will want to be with you after. They give a false sense that sex means happily ever after. But what about the books where it shows that sex isn't everything? That you should wait? Because while there are definitely books that might briefly touch upon a young couple moving to the next step and it being perfect, there are also the books that show girls choosing to have sex too early, too unprepared for it.
And yet we have violence. We have books that happily show kids dying (The Hunger Games, for example) or parents dying (Harry Potter) or even scenes where innocent strangers die or supernatural bad guys. Scenes where bodies are torn limb to limb and blood is drained and people are bitten and mauled. We describe blood and sometimes guts and most definitely wounds - both physical and mental. But when it comes to sex, we often fade to black.
So, let me ask you a question, how disappointed would you be, reading a YA book these days, if your kick-butt heroine comes up against her nemesis and just as they rush at each other, the scene fades to black, only to reopen with the heroine briefly looking back at it and only explaining her emotions throughout but giving no detail?
There is a huge difference between going overboard and writing every detail of a fictional couple's first time in bed. But there are ways to do scenes tastefully and without in depth detail. Ways to let the reader know what's happening, while giving them the chance to use their imagination. Why and how has it become okay that kids can read about violence but not sex? And whose fault is this? Why do authors shy away from writing it or editors shy away from publishing it?
What do you think?
*I would like to make it clear that I am not a sex perv, nor am I seriously offended by the fact that sex is seen as taboo in YA. I just thought it would be an interesting discussion*
A twenty-something girl who likes to experience new things. I review whatever product I've come across that I've enjoyed; books, restaurants, make up - anything! Welcome to life in London. Follow my life on snapchat - chanelley1
14th -- Jennifer Galasso
16th -- Chris Bedell
22nd -- Rosanne Rivers
- ► 2016 (68)
- ► 2015 (117)
- ► 2014 (125)
- ► 2013 (145)
- ► 2012 (200)
- Going up *Ding* with guest Bree Ogden
- *tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on?
- Lovin' The Language Blogfest
- I Am Indie. Hear Me Roar.
- Writers are a strange breed
- This book is AWESOME! This book SUCKS!
- Romance & mini review for WITH OR WITHOUT YOU
- Oh My Gosh, You Guys! Guess What???
- Violence vs Sex in YA
- Stand Out in the Slush
- Words you LOVE
- Words You Hate
- Writing with constraints
- Edits, Editing, & Editors - Tuesday Twaddle with L...
- Big news and reviews!
- First Few Chapters
- ▼ June (17)