Let’s Talk Bookish – Sexual Content in YA

Good morning my lovely readers! I hope you are having a fantastic day. Welcome to Let’s Talk Bookish. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Sexual Content in YA – Is there too much sexual content in YA books?

This topic was suggested by the lovely Ruqs @ Many Things Bookish, so thank you so much! If you’d like to suggest a topic as well, head over to my contact page, or use this form to share your suggestion!

I think that yes, there is too much sexual content in YA books.

First, I think we need to define what YA is. YA books, an acronym for Young Adult books, are books aimed at teenagers between the ages of around 12 to 18 (Wikipedia). Just from this, then YES, absolutely, there is too much sexual content in YA books, especially if there are 12 year olds out there who are reading such books.

But I’ve noticed that some people have started to classify some books as Upper YA, meaning that it’s for the older kids in this age range, or basically it’s not for young kids. This helps a lot because then it’s easier to guess which books are going to be more…explicit than others.

I also think there is a difference between romance and sexual content. Romance doesn’t have to be 100% bad, and it doesn’t have to become sexual content either. It can be just that, romance.

Sexual content however, is on another whole level, and I think there should be warnings, or something that lets the reader know that this isn’t the perfectly innocent book that they plan to read. Especially for books in the YA region, which are read by young kids, and older teenagers (even adults) alike. Adults or older teenagers may not mind much, but the younger ones shouldn’t have to be exposed so early on to this kind of thing. It wouldn’t hurt to put a note at the beginning of the book warning the reader about what they’re about to experience.

And this isn’t just for protecting younger kids, it’s also for anyone who doesn’t want to read that kind of thing. I don’t want to be picking up a book looking for a heist or a mystery and then having to skip every other page because the two characters can not get their hands off each other. It makes me so mad, because it’s misleading to sell the book as something I want to read, and then fill the pages with so much stuff that I am 100% not here for.

I think an easy way to fix this is to create a different category for the younger half of the 12-18 range, and leave Young Adult for the other half. Or we could just call the more innocent books YA, and the other not so innocent ones Upper YA. I don’t know, but I think that something needs to be done about it,

This Week’s Participants:

Vicki @ Diverse Fantasy Reads | Jane @ Blogger Books

What do you think? Is there too much sexual content in YA books? Have you ever read a book and was disappointed to find out it was nothing like you expected? Should warnings be put at the beginning of the book or a new category should be created all together? Chat with me in the comments below!