Erotica in the Library
David Brooks wrote in a recent New York Times Editorial (Public Hedonism and Private Restraint):
"You could get the impression that America's young people are leading lives of Caligulan hedonism. You could give credence to all those parental scare stories about oral sex parties at bar mitzvahs and junior high school dances. You could worry about hookups, friends with benefits, and the rampant spread of casual, transactional sexuality.
But it turns out you'd be wrong."
It turns out that Teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates have all declined over the last 15 years. Teens are waiting longer to have sex and are having fewer sex partners than before. All of this despite the fact that we have heard a steady drumbeat of hysteria that Sex Education, Pornography, Sexual Imagery on TV and in books are all going to cause our children to engage in recreational sex with hoards of other teens.
This is good news for libraries. As it becomes more obvious that the simple viewing of sexually oriented material does not necessarily lead to increased sexual activity, we can perhaps start improving a part of our collection that has been woefully neglected. We can, at the very least, start a conversation now that will help identify what would best meet those needs