No Sex Please, We’re Teenagers

26 August 2016 | WORD Christchurch Festival

What a time to be a teenager. An award-winning New Zealand novel, Into the River, which depicts the reality of teen sex, faces outcry and a temporary ban, yet there is infinite access to often unrealistic and misogynistic online pornography. YA novelists Ted Dawe and Karen Healey, and sexual therapist Frances Young, with chair Mandy Hager, discuss what young adults can handle and gain from sex in literature. Do books with sexual themes promote empathy and provide a safe space for teens to explore dangerous situations? Or are we sending our kids straight to hell?

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