There's been much debate about the topic of sex in young adult novels. How much is too much? Should there be any mention of it at all? Etc, etc.
I have my own feelings on the subject, but that isn't the point of this post.
However, it got me to thinking of a somewhat mentioned concept that, perhaps, we should be treating teenage females differently than adults with their fiction content.
By this, I mean, there's a notion that young adult stories should be mindful of setting a "good example" for young women. And I kinda think that's crap.
Don't get me wrong. I have no interest in writing (or reading) YA stories that completely debase or distort a young woman's sense of self worth, or glorify things that have no business being glorified . . . but at the same time, why the reluctance to believe teen girls can distinguish the difference between fiction and real life?
Is it really setting such unrealistic expectations for them to read a story about a girl who gives her virginity to a boy who genuinely loves her, with the hope of Happily Ever After? Considering so many are the product of divorced/single parents, it's a good chance they understand odds of finding forever love with their high school sweetheart are extremely slim.
The same way I realize there just aren't that many straight, drop-dead gorgeous, ex-military playboys who are willing to cease their womanizing ways to settle down and raise a family with me. . . yet, I like reading those stories anyway.
Maybe, I don't have quite the same protective streak because I'm not a mom. It just seems I remember shaping more of my life decisions and expectations, back then, based on the experiences I learned through my real life friends. So I tend to think the content of stories doesn't matter quite as much as some might think.
Since fiction is nothing if not subjective, I'm curious to hear where you all stand. Whether you're a YA writer. A parent of a teenager. Or both.