There can be no two opinions that books, movies, television and internet have a profound, or significant, influence on children and teenagers. And so it's only natural that most kids and teens emulate their favorite fictional or screen characters.
Unfortunately, profanity and gratuitous swearing in TV shows and movies have been on the rise, and there are statistics to support this fact. But what has long been overlooked is the extent of vulgarity in books meant for teenagers and kids? A first-of-its kind research by Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne who examined profanity in the realm of books aimed at teens has an answer.
According to Coyne, a content analysis of profanity in 40 bestselling teen novels, has revealed that on average, there are 38 instances of profanity between the covers in the books. That translates to almost seven instances of profanity per hour spent reading. There was at least one foul word in 35 of the 40 books, which equates to 88 percent, a number which is far higher than 34 percent found in video games rated T (Teen), says the researcher. What's more, in one of the books, there were 500 instances of swearing.
Aside from finding the rate of profanity in teen literature, the research has also revealed that it is the rich, beautiful and popular characters that are having filthy foul words hanging around their mouth all the time in teen books. Just imagine if kids were to imitate the foul-mouthed fictional characters!
Considering the fact that adolescent novels have no content warning unlike other type of media, it is important that parents also should know what their children are reading.
by RTT Staff Writer
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