The people I know don't swear that much, but of course I only know some people, and they're not representative of the whole of the Netherlands (generally, they're higher educated, and I do think that some of the lesser well educated people, and/or lower/poorer classes, swear more (in NL)).
Personally I don't like it when books (whether they're YA or adult) have a lot of swearing or sex in it. Implied sex is fine (for an adult book), but I'd prefer not to know exact details unless it's really necessary for a specific plot twist or something. I believe sex is something special between a couple and don't think intimate details of it should be known to others.
Swearing I think is often unnecessary. I'm okay with it if it serves a story point, otherwise I don't want to see excessive swearing. Saying the f-word once is okay, but saying it every other sentence makes reading the book a slog.
In regards to children, I do think we should try and give them sexual education in schools. I'd prefer it if books included this subject, rather than just being about sex and lust. I think it's an important subject, if sex happens between teenagers they should include this subject, ie. say that they used protection or something (in adult books you sometimes see them discussing it or the female character talking about birth control pills). I know it's not romantic but I think it's important. So I think it's okay if there is sex or the discussion of it, as long as the subject is dealt with respect, in a mature way (if there's a rape case then it needs to be talked about in a mature way). Teenagers need to respect the other person and take good precautions.
Gladly we don't have a lot of teenage mothers in the Netherlands, but I hear that in the US it can be a real problem (according to the Dr Phil Show). I think the parents and schools should educate the children well, so that they learn to wait for that special someone (or at least, not randomly do it with someone you don't think you care about) and then use protection.
In short, I don't like to see much swearing in books (definitely not in YA and children's books) and if there is sex in it it should be handled in a mature way (the main characters should also not be too young). I might be in the minority though as I tend to be more sensitive about these things than most people. I'm very bothered by seeing any type of nudity on TV, for example.
Edited by Athena, 03 October 2013 - 09:15 AM.