A 2012 headline in U.S. News and World Report asked, “Is It Time to Rate Young Adult Books for Mature Content?” According to the article, there was an increase in profanity in children’s books and sexual content in young adult novels. In fact, a survey that year revealed that 55% of the readers of young adult novels were adults, not teens.
A decade later, no one seems to be asking questions about graphic content in books for young people anymore. Rather, that content is being defended and promoted. Especially in fiction aimed at young adults, there is explicit content, including aggressive LGBTQ content, and themes of rape, abuse, BDSM, even incest.
There seems to be a commitment, in both literature and law, to relentlessly sexualize children in aggressive and even predatory ways. In a saner world, we would call this what it really is: abuse. In our world, sane adults must do everything we can to protect children.
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