Sex in teen literature has been getting a lot of buzz lately. This great article by Mindy Rhiger points out the enormous range in sex inclusive books for adolescents these days and emphasizes that it's not all "fantasy and smut" as claimed by one mom in NBC correspondent Janet Shamlian's article. Rhiger also brings up an equally important point of interest: parental involvement. If parents care enough to find out what their kids are reading, then they create an opportunity to discuss the delicate issues brought up in the reading material.
I'm going to suggest that parents should be parallel reading with their kids, or even better, get to know the teen lit market and read ahead of their teens. Then the parents are in a position to influence what lands on their kids' literary plate and discuss it with them as well. I know parents are busy, but it's a matter of priorities and commitment, isn't it? Books are a perfect way of talking about the issues that matter most in life. Besides, reading current teen literature will make your life richer as well.