YA Books and Cursing: There Are No Asterisks in Real Life

So I was roaming around the lovely Forever Young Adult blog (which seriously guys, is my favorite blog. Go there!) and I saw their post on this article by Brigham Young University about a study on how much cursing there is in Teen Books. These kinds of issues always give me pause because as a teenager, I probably hear an average of...what, 100 or more curse words a day? Walking down the hallway, in class, hell, even from myself (i'm a bit of a potty mouth, to be honest, but i'm working on it).

So instead I want to dissect this article and talk about it because I feel like this is something that is discussed a ton by teachers and parents and authority figures as if I have no idea what the word 'shit' means.

Bestselling authors of teen literature portray their more foul-mouthed characters as rich, attractive and popular, a new study finds.

Books about popular girls? What? Where? I can probably count the number of books I've read where the main character is rich, finds themselves attractive, and popular on..two hands? Maybe even one.

Coyne was intrigued not just by how much swearing happens in teen lit, but who was swearing: Those with higher social status, better looks and more money.
“From a social learning standpoint, this is really important because adolescents are more likely to imitate media characters portrayed in positive, desirable ways,” Coyne said.

I can't really speak for anyone but the reason I curse is because 'frick' is not going to express how i'm feeling at the moment whether it be anger, exasperation, or happiness. I don't really think there's people out there who curse because they think they'll be more popular and look better because of it but you know, I don't know everyone in the world. I do, however, know the people in my High School and this just doesn't make any sense.

I think when it comes to the "dark material" in YA, there are always going to be people who have a problem with whether it be drinking, partying, doing drugs, or anything like that. I've had people comment on reviews of books that I liked saying they didn't like that the character had some drinks at a party. I personally think it's a bit silly: I may not drink but I know plenty, plenty of people who do when they're in a party setting. And yes, I do know people who have had bad consequences from it (I happen to know someone who got alcohol poisoning) but I really doubt it was because of a book they read. In fact, I think it's much more plausible that it was their friends offering them something and not wanting to look like a lightweight. That, I can understand.

“Unlike almost every other type of media, there are no content warnings or any indication if there is extremely high levels of profanity in adolescent novels,” Coyne said. “Parents should talk with their children about the books they are reading.”

This, I actually do agree with. I don't talk to my mom about what I read much but I know that she trusts me enough to know what I am or am not ready for. And while we don't have lengthy discussions about the things I watch (but considering I watch Games of Thrones with her, she knows I know what sex is), I think it's good for teens to go to their parents and talk about things. It's better for a parent to let their kid read what they want and have a discussion about it then force the kid to go behind their back.

But what do you guys think?
Do any of you have kids? Do you let them pick out what they want?
Happy Reading!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...