The New York Times

In Y.A., Where Has All the Good Sex Gone?

IN THE 1970S, WRITERS LIKE JUDY BLUME DEPICTED ADOLESCENT SEX AS NATURAL AND PLEASURABLE. NOW IT’S MORE OFTEN A DANGER ZONE.

“Sybil Davison has a genius I.Q. and has been laid by at least six different guys.”

So begins Judy Blume’s “Forever,” the ur-text of “dirty” teenage books — read at countless sleepovers, banned in a thousand classrooms. Since its publication over four decades ago, it has been reliably controversial, but not because it is tawdry, or vulgar. The novel’s crime is that it depicts two ordinary teenagers, Katherine and Michael, who get to know each other and have sex — and nothing bad happens.

We are by now quite familiar with young adult works that use sex as a go-to for danger. On the Y.A. shelf of any bookstore or

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