These covers have been used as an example in this post, as well as this one, so what the hell--I'll use them as an example, too. (Yes, I realize these posts are months old.)
I simply do not see an issue with these covers.
Chain Reaction--they're fully clothed. They're kissing, but in my mind, it hasn't crossed over into inappropriateville. When did water transform from a necessity, into a sexualized no no?
Invincible Summer--I've read it. I know this novel is so much more than sex. It is not the central theme, but the cover is relevant. But let's assume it wasn't, for just a moment. Let's say these boys weren't on a beach, there was no girl, and there was no sex, but for some strange reason the publishers used this cover because um, "sex sells". Is a girl laying on the beach in a bikini really a sexual thing? Do you cover the eyes of your children when you see a woman, or a TEEN in a bikini on the beach?
Teenagers kiss. They lay on the beach. In bikinis. They curse. They're gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual. These are realities.
We'll all form our own opinions about these issues. We're all entitled to those opinions. That isn't the point of my post. Not really. I respect Vicky's opinion, even if I disagree with it. But these posts, as well as other things these past few days, have given the me the urge to bitch a little bit.
Somewhere along the way, we've all decided it's society that should be blamed for the actions of our children. Like somehow it is no longer our place to instill morals on them. No. It is not society's place to sugarcoat realities because I think my kids' eyes are too sensitive for it. It isn't your place, a publisher's place, a television producer's place, my own mother's place. It is MY job to talk to my children. It is my job to put them on the right path. It is my job to pay attention to what they're doing (that includes wandering into an age inappropriate section in the book store), and communicate with them about things that I disapprove of. Are they going to be tempted with sex? Of course they are. Sex is a part of growing up. Even if they aren't physically having sex, they're thinking about it. Blindfolding them isn't going to prevent that. It isn't about erasing the temptation. It's about teaching them to fight the temptation, until the time is right. Books like Invincible Summer accomplish that goal.
Someone else deciding what is inappropriate for my kids? Fuck that. (Yes, FUCK that. Now try to get my four year old to say "fuck" and see the reaction you get. She knows better, because I taught her to know better, and that's all I can do for now.)
Stop trying to shift the responsibility off our shoulders. I am a parent. It is my responsibility.