Malorie Blackman, the newly-appointed children’s laureate and writer of teenage fiction, said youngsters ought to read about sex within the safe confines of a book rather than through “innuendo and porn”.
She told the Telegraph giving children challenging themes would allow them to process it within a “safe” context rather than turning to damaging and “brutalising” images.
Blackman, author of Pig Heart Boy, Noble Conflict and the Naughts and Crosses series, said it was important to remember teenagers would get their information “from somewhere”.
“The thing about it is that if you have books for teenagers, you present these ideas within a kind of safe setting,” she said.
“I was reading an article three weeks ago where this teenage girl was saying everything her boyfriend knew about sex he knew from porn. He was brutalising her, because that’s what he thought sex was about from watching online.
“It made me angry and it made me sad. I thought well, this is exactly why we need not just sex education in schools but also books that tackle the subject of relationships and your first time.
“Otherwise teens and young adults will get their information from somewhere and in this case it was getting it from porn.
“I would rather my daughter read about a loving sexual relationship in a book – whether it works or whether it doesn’t – but in that context, than getting her information from innuendo and from porn and the rest of it.”