Home Book editor Book Riot editor Danika Ellis makes the case for sex in young adult books, saying “books can be a safe way to ‘rehearse’ no-stakes sex”

Book Riot editor Danika Ellis makes the case for sex in young adult books, saying “books can be a safe way to ‘rehearse’ no-stakes sex”


Book Riot editor Danika Ellis recently made the case for depictions of sex in young adult books in a recent article for the website that claims to be “North America’s largest independent literary site.”

Source: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

In an article titled “Sex in Young Adult Books Is Age Appropriate,” Ellis makes the case for sex in young adult books, citing surveys that show “55% of American teens have had sex before the age of 18, and 29% are sexually active.”

She goes on to say that sex should be in books for young adults because “a study of European teenagers in six countries found that 59% had watched pornography and 24% watched it at least once a week”.

Ellis argues, “The information teenagers would get about sex education from the books in their libraries would be much safer and more realistic than learning from porn.”

Source: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997), Scholastic. Cover by Mary GrandPré.

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She goes on to say that reading books about sex in books for young adults “can be a safe way to ‘rehearse’ no-stakes sex,” especially for “teenagers who aren’t having sex or who aren’t having sex.” are unsure of their sexuality.

Ellis says, “Reading about sex can allow them to reflect on how they might feel in that situation and assess whether it’s something they want to pursue.

Source: Sabriel

Along with claiming it’s a way of “dressing rehearsal” for sex, she also argues that it should be included “because it’s realistic for these characters and suits the story.” It doesn’t have to be educational.

Ellis adds, “YA books don’t just exist to turn teenagers into perfect citizens. They serve to entertain, to provoke thought, and to fulfill all the other roles that books play in our lives.

Source: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Ellis then claims that there is nothing unethical with teenagers having sex and that it is not a crime. She writes: “Having sex as a teenager is not ethically wrong. It’s not a crime.”

This is a ridiculous notion considering that in the United States there are many age of consent laws. Not only are there many laws, but there are also many ethical arguments that it is wrong for teens to have sex.

Source: Six of Ravens

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For example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Sexuality is ordered to the marital love of man and woman. In marriage, the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Matrimonial bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

“Sexuality, by which the man and the woman give themselves to each other through acts proper and exclusive to the spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the most intimate being of the human person as such. It is only realized in a truly human way if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to each other until death,” he adds.

Source: The Hobbit: An Illustrated Edition of the Fantasy Classic

Ellis also tries to blunt criticism that the discussion of sex should take place between a parent and a child. She argues, “The truth is that many (most?) teenagers don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents about sex. And with the exaggerated displays of outrage we’ve seen at these board meetings from parents on the subject, how would they do it? As nice as it may seem to imagine that every student will be able to meet a trusted adult in their life and ask all the questions they have about sex, it is not realistic.

“Furthermore, while this was true for most students – although in one way or another 90% of teens felt perfectly comfortable asking their parents for advice on controlling births – that shouldn’t be the way we build our public school systems,” she adds.

Source: Eragon

Ellis then revealed that his real goal was to try to cut parents off from any discussion of sex and to use books to indoctrinate children.

She writes, “In addition to sex being an uncomfortable subject for most teens to discuss with their parents or guardians, questioning your sexual orientation or gender can be even more confusing and isolating. Books allow for this exploration without having to tell your family about etiquettes that you’re not even sure are right for you.

Source: Shadow Angel

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Finally, Ellis argues that if you disagree with her, you are racist and homophobic.

She explains, “Of course, the topic of sex in teenage books is kind of a smokescreen. 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 unlikely to go down well, so instead they insist that they are simply outraged by sexual content or profanity, and it’s a coincidence, all the books they oppose are gay and/or by authors of color.

Source: The Book Thief

YouTuber and Deus Vult and A High School Girl in the Crusades author Jon Del Arroz reacted to Ellis’ post, saying she wants to “start preparing kids for these lifestyles.” That’s their whole intention and the mask is slipping at this point.

Del Arroz would react to Ellis’ assertion that just because teenagers have sex doesn’t mean it should proliferate in young adult novels.

He says, “Just because it’s happening doesn’t mean we should be advocating or encouraging it. In fact, how we should, as a society, be discouraging so that children don’t get screwed. How about that? How about aiming for that number [55%] being less, do not aim for this number to be more.

He goes on to say, “I find this absolutely disgusting. And that’s something that our society needs to do something about. We have to shut this thing down because our kids are destroyed. Our children end up becoming depraved lunatics because they are abused at a young age and that is what is happening here.

In response to statistics on teenage boys watching pornography, the author of A High School Girl in the Crusades says, “Holy shit, that’s not a good thing. It is something that must stop. This is something that means pornography is too readily available and should be banned. That’s what I read about it.

Source: Deus Vult

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Coming to the point in the article where Ellis claims the books can be used to ‘dress rehearse’ sex, Del Arroz comments, ‘It’s disgusting. How is this article? And how does anyone allow this to be published anywhere?

“It’s so mean,” he adds. “I just can’t… I can’t imagine anyone typing that up and thinking it was a good thing.” And that other people have given permission for it to be published on their site at BookRiot.com.

Source: Deus Vult

Del Arroz then responded to Ellis’ arguments about including sex because it suits the story. He said: “No, just brainwashing these guys into this stuff every moment of every day. That’s what they want.

“They want kids to be addicted to porn. They want the kids to be addicted to sex. And in this way, they can abuse these children. Because at the end of the day, these lifestyles want children to be involved,” he continued.

Source: Deus Vult

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In conclusion, Del Arroz says, “It’s disgusting. It’s degenerate. It’s bad. And this must be stopped. That’s why we’re here to fight this stuff.

“And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the people who do this stuff to kids because they need to be shamed are put to shame,” he said.

Source: Deus Vult

What do you think of Ellis’ argument? What about Del Arroz’s answer?

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