Book Riot editor Danika Ellis recently advocated for depictions of sex in young adult books in a recent article for the website that claims to be “the largest independent literary site in North America.”
In an article titled “Sex In Young Adult Books Is Age Appropriate,” Ellis advocates for sex in young adult books by citing surveys that show “55% of American teenagers have had sex by the time they’re 18, and 29% are sexually active.”
She goes on to claim sex should be in young adult books because “a study of European teens across six countries found 59% had watched porn, and 24% watch porn at least once a week.”
Ellis argues, “The information teens would get about sex education from the books in their libraries would be much more safe and realistic than learning from porn.”
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She then goes on to claim that reading about sex in young adult books “can be a safe way to ‘dress rehearse’ sex with no stakes” especially for “teens who aren’t having sex, or are unsure about their sexuality.”
Ellis contends, “Reading about sex can allow them to think about how they might feel in that situation, and gauge whether it’s something they want to pursue.”
Aside from claiming it’s a way to “dress rehearse” sex, she also argues it should be included “because it’s realistic for those characters and suits the story. It doesn’t have to be educational.”
Ellis adds, “YA books don’t just exist to mold teens into perfect citizens. They’re for entertainment, to provoke thought, and to play all the other myriad parts books do in our lives.”
Ellis then claims there is nothing unethical with teenagers having sex and it’s not a crime. She writes, “Having sex as a teenager isn’t ethically wrong. It’s not a crime.”
It’s a ludicrous notion given in the United States there are numerous laws on the age of consent. Not only are there numerous laws, but there are also numerous ethical arguments that it is wrong for teens to be having sex.
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As an example, The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.”
“‘Sexuality, by means of which man an d woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death,'” it adds.
Ellis also tries to blunt criticism that discussion about sex should be between a parent and child. She argues, “The truth is, many (most?) teenagers do not feel comfortable talking to their parents about sex. And with the over-the-top displays of outrage we’ve seen in these board meetings from parents on the topic, how would they? As nice as it is to imagine that every student will be able to walk up to a trusted adult in their life and ask any questions on their mind about sex, it’s not realistic.”
“Besides, even if that was true for most students — even if, somehow, 90% of teens felt perfectly comfortable asking their parents for birth control tips — that shouldn’t be how we build our public school systems,” she adds.
Ellis then revealed that her true goal is to attempt to cut parents out of any discussion about sex and to use books to indoctrinate children.
She writes, “In addition to the fact that sex is an uncomfortable topic for most teens to broach with their parents or guardians, questioning your sexual orientation or gender can be even more confusing and isolating. Books allow for that exploration without having to talk to your family about labels that you’re not even sure fit you.”
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Finally, Ellis argues that if you disagree with her you are a racist and a homophobe
She explains, “Of course, the topic of sex in teen books is in some ways a smoke screen. Book banners know that saying they want to ban a book because it has queer content or because it has a Black main character is likely not going to be received well, so instead they insist they’re just outraged about the sexual content or profanity, and that’s it’s a coincidence all the books they object to are queer and/or by authors of color.”
YouTuber and Deus Vult and A High School Girl in the Crusades author Jon Del Arroz reacted to Ellis’ article claiming she wants “start to groom the children in these lifestyles. This is their entire intention and the mask is slipping at this point.”
Del Arroz would react to Ellis’ claim that because teenagers are having sex doesn’t mean it should be proliferated into young adult novels.
He states, “Just because it happens, doesn’t mean we should be advocating it or encouraging it. In fact, as we should, as a society, be discouraging so that the children don’t get screwed up. How about that? How about we should aim for this number [55%] being less, not aim for this number being more.”
He goes on to state, “I find this to be absolutely disgusting. And it’s something that our society needs to do something about. We need to shut this stuff down because our children are getting destroyed. Our children are ending up just depraved lunatics because they are getting abused at young ages and that’s what’s happening here.”
In response to the statistics about teenagers watching pornography, the A High School Girl in the Crusades author states, “Holy crap, this is not a good thing. This is something that needs to stop. This is something that means that pornography is too readily available and it needs to be banned. That’s what I’m reading out of this.”
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Getting to the point of the article where Ellis claims books can be used to “dress rehearse” sex, Del Arroz comments, “This is disgusting. How is this article up? And how does somebody allow this to get published anywhere?”
“This is so nasty,” he adds. “I just can’t…I can’t fathom that somebody typed this and thought this was a good thing. And that other people allowed it to be published on their site on BookRiot.com.”
Del Arroz next responded to Ellis’ arguments about including sex because it suits the story. He stated, “No, just brainwash these kinds into this stuff every moment of every day. That’s what they want.”
“They want the kids addicted to porn. They want the kids addicted to sex. And that way they can abuse these children. Because at the end of the day, these lifestyles want children involved,” he continued.
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In conclusion, Del Arroz states, “It’s disgusting. It’s degenerate. It’s evil. And this needs to be stopped. This is why we’re here to fight this kind of stuff.”
“And I am going to do everything I can to make sure that shame is brought back to people who do this kind of stuff to children because they need to be shamed,” he stated.
What do you make of Ellis’ argument? What about Del Arroz’s response?
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