Tracy Clark-Flory has trouble finding it:
By the time they turn 19, 70 percent of teens will have had sex. More than half of American teens 15 to 19 years old have had oral sex. As Pam B. Cole, author of "Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century," has written, "Sexuality is a huge part of adolescence and drives a great deal of adolescent behavior, any realistic novel about adolescent development that does not include sexuality is incomplete." Popular YA novels will reflect the world that teens are living in, and that world is undoubtedly imperfect. I wish I had found books as a teen that fully celebrated healthy sexuality — but, well, I also wish I lived in a culture without massive sex guilt. (I suppose there's the sci-fi/fantasy aisle for that.) But I doubt that unease over the sexiness of the genre has to do with the way sex is presented, as opposed to the fact that it is presented at all.