|By Chris Sardegna|
Sex In YA, Part 1: Taboos
This week's topic is taboos.
What is taboo in the field of sex and love in young adult fiction?
There was a time, of course, when sex itself was a taboo in teen literature, but that is no longer the case. With books like Judy Blume's Forever . . . paving the way, teen literature now features a variety of books with sexual themes, both fade-to-black scenes and semi-detailed love scenes are out there. Sure, there are still boundaries to be pushed, but sex in YA is no longer a taboo.
But what about other sexual acts? Well, those aren't very taboo anymore, either. Oral sex, for example, has made its appearance in YA. From John Green's Looking for Alaska to Jenny Downham's Before I Die and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely, one can see that both boys and girls can be seen on the receiving end of oral sex in YA. What's more, in Before I Die for instance, the act is portrayed as incredibly meaningful and loving.
My first thought when dealing with the topic of YA taboos was incest. But is that even a taboo these days? Recently, the novel Forbidden by Tabitha Sazuma earned some attention when it sold in the US. The book is about a brother and sister who fall in love. I haven't read this one yet, but you better believe I am eager to see how the topic is handled. Either way, does this mean even incest isn't a taboo?
If that's the case, then what is taboo in YA romance? Or is anything off limits? SHOULD anything be off limits? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the taboos of sex and love in YA! Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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