This has gotten better in recent years but it's still got a long way to go. I still read books that completely skip the sex or they don't even attempt sex or even talk about it at all. Not to mention that I have not read more than 6-8 YA books that even attempts sex with LGBT+ characters.
So before I go further, I am not saying that every YA needs to be dirty and full of sex. No, no, no. I just think the publishers need to be aware that their audience of teens do in fact have sex. Not all teens of course, there were ones like me that weren't or there are asexuals. So not everyone is. But when I was growing up at age 15, more of my friends were having sex than those that weren't.
So to not even bring up sex in YA is not true to life. Even if the the characters were to decide they aren't ready for sex, that's cool. They should still talk about it though. It's a natural part of life.
Does this mean every single book should go into the full description and just lay it on the reader? No. Not at all. But if the characters decide to do it. Don't fade to black! You can do it tastefully. Like JLA has sex in her books and they are tastefully done. Not too much but you know what's happening. It's more realistic.
Also what I hate is how we can throw in all this violence but heaven forbid they have some sexy times. I remember when you could not cuss in YA books and it was silly then because my friends were cursing more than any adults I knew. It's still that way, teens curse more when they come into my store more than any adult. So at least that has been fixed.
So yes, sex is a natural part of life and I would rather teens or even my daughter when she gets older, read a little sex scene or read characters talking about it than to be ashamed of it. Or to think it's awful and vile like I grew up thinking (my childhood religion guys...). I also want to know why it's okay for teens to read about someone dying or to read something like The Hunger Games then maybe a couple who is in love, showing their love for each other.
So what are your thoughts? Let me know below and have a great day!