Are Teen Vampire Books too X-rated?
Some people think so and they want something done about it. According to an article published by Fox News, a study of young adult books was conducted and it was discovered that these books were a little racier than parents would like.
Researchers reported in the Journal of Sex Research that books aimed at 12 and 13-year-olds were no less sexy than books aimed at readers ages 14 and up. On top of this, the sex was rarely presented in a healthy light, meaning that safe sex (contraceptives) and the consequences were almost never mentioned, said study researcher Sarah Coyne, a psychologist at Brigham Young University.
“I would never argue for censorship,” Coyne told LiveScience. “But I do think we’re missing something here.”
Coyne and her colleagues checked out the top 40 books for young adults from a 2008 list of best-sellers published by The New York Times (many of which are vampire books). What they found was that many of the books the researchers examined were free of age-inappropriate sexual content, Coyne said. The “Harry Potter” books, for example, are fairly free of sex. Of the 55% of books that did have sexual content, Coyne estimated that only a half-dozen or so had explicit or implicit references to sexual intercourse.
The “Gossip Girl” books and a vampire series “The Anna Strong Chronicles” were two series that were particularly focused on sex, Coyne said.
While I agree that some young adult books do push it a bit and shouldn’t be read by younger and less-mature readers, I fail to see what the Anna Strong books have to do with anything, seeing how those books are for adults. I mean, the main character is in her thirties so it’s pretty clear that they aren’t meant for the kiddies. Also, next to the article is a picture of Twilight, yeah, why? I am guessing the person who constructed this article has never read the books, because Twilight is not sexually inappropriate, they wait until marriage for goodness sakes and the scene isn’t even described.
But those minor issues aside, Coyne did make a point to say that “A lot of the books were just great. But other books had quite a bit, some quite graphic sexual content. Some that I was actually really surprised that it was aimed at an adolescent audience.”
Coyne then added that the goal is not to censor books or discourage reading. However, she feels parents should be aware that you can’t always judge a teen book by its cover. In some cases, she said, the content of a book aimed at a 12-year-old would earn it an R rating if it were a movie.
“What I would love is more information on the back of the book about its content,” Coyne said. “That just empowers parents.”
So, it sounds like she wants a rating system on books, similar to what you find on video games and movies.
Read the entire article HERE (I highly suggest checking it out).
Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this. There have been a few times where I have read a young adult book and was like, “Whoa! Did the author really just write that in a book meant for 14-year-olds!” So I do understand the need for a ratings system, but at the same time, I’m not some uber-prude looking to control young readers. I know damn well that I wasn’t reading “age-appropriate” books when I was a teen, I first read Anne Rice at 14, and it had no negative affect on me and I am sure the same goes for most teens now. Also, I know how badly authors are struggling as it is, will a rating system hurt or help them? I really don’t know. Who is to say what is appropriate and what isn’t?
What do you guys think? Can you imagine a ratings system on the back of your favorite vampire books?
Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).