Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


Sex in literature; Young adult literature; Women--Sexual behavior--Bibliography; Sex instruction for girls;


Many young adults females are sexually active, but the sex education provided for young adults in the United States is vastly unequal. All adolescents should have access to materials, including young adult books, that portray sex and sexuality in positive and accurate ways, and librarians are in need of literary analyses on this topic to help them select books with positive and accurate depictions. The purpose of this study is to analyze the contents of a sample of young adult fiction books that portray female sexuality to identify positive and accurate depictions of female sexuality and sex. This study utilized a qualitative content analysis method, which allowed the researcher to examine 12 books that contain sexual themes published between 2011­2016 with a female main character to look for themes. Female sex and sexuality is portrayed in a mixture of both positive and negative ways in the sample of books examined here. This researcher analyzed several different characteristics relating to female sex and sexuality. Some books sent positive messages about sex and sexuality to readers through certain characteristics and negative messages in others. Seven out of the twelve books in the study are recommended for inclusion in a young adult library collection based on the positive and accurate sex and sexuality themes they display.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Joan Bessman Taylor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (86 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download