"Others protested that some titles in the teen section could contribute to an increase in sexually transmitted disease among teens."I think my mouth literally fell open at that; the insinuation that books with a high level of sexual content will make teenagers have sex. I think this is pretty outrageous. Sex is everywhere; it's in magazines, it's in films and on TV, it's even in music! There is not really any escape from it. Yet it's the books that are going to cause teenagers to go and have sex. Let's, for the sake of argument, say there are no teenage/YA novels with sexual content in the world. Not one. In that world, would teenagers be having less sex? Of course not! They can still get their hands on adult novels, but even if they didn't exist either, I don't think books are the sole problem here! As I said, sex is everywhere.
I'm not a teenager, but I was only a few years ago. If I had read the books I have been reading for this month back then, they wouldn't have made me want to go out and have sex, they would have just strengthened the views I already had; to be careful, to make the right choices, to be responsible, to wait. I'm not saying that this is what all the books are saying, this is their message, or that this is what all teens should be doing, I'm just saying these were, and are, my views on sex. The books deal with sex so well, and so maturely, even when the situations the characters are in don't seem that great (e.g. Good Girls, Screwed), or are ones I'd never be in (e.g. The Second Virginity of Suzy Green), there's always something positive to take from them.
So to say books can cause an increase in pregnancy, abortion, STIs, or sexual activity in general I think is utter rubbish.
What do you think? Can YA books with sexual content encourage sexual activity? Could they lead to an increase in STIs, teenage pregnancy, and abortions for teens? Am I actually talking rubbish, or do you agree with me?