Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sex and Violence

When Monty Python's Flying Circus debuted on the BBC, the cast was told that they couldn't have "too much sex and violence" in the show.

So, the second episode is named "Sex and Violence." Really.  You can look it up.

As for sex, violence, and language, where's the line in YA lit these days? I've noticed a lot more of both in recent series. Does it get more violent than Hunger Games? I'm pretty sure that line has been blurred, or even erased, at least here in the U.S.

But we Americans have always been a violent lot. Ya wanna make something of it?
*sound of a shotgun cartridge clicking into place*

But I digress.

More YA books seem to have sex scenes (although still very toned down compared to adult lit), and the language has gotten more blue recently.

So, what do you think about the sex, violence, and language in YA these days? Is this a good trend? Does it make YA lit reflect teen's reality, or is it introducing excessive harshness to kids who should be given more wholesome examples?

6 comments:

Kendra said...

I think there are a lot of people out there who enjoy YA novels because they are less violent, vulgar, and have less explicit sex than adult novels, while keeping the integrity of the story intact. I personally love YA novels. As for the sex, violence and language, I don't think it is necessarily a trend in what we are seeing, but a natural progression in the way teenagers are today. Unfortunately with all the media out there, and the fact they can access almost anything at any time, a little bit of bad language, violence, and sex will probably not phase them at all. Which, IMO, is a sad thing to behold. Kids today grow up much too fast, and the way books are written reflect that. As for being mentally mature enough to be reading things like this, as much as I want to say that is the parent's call, usually kids will get books out that their parents are unaware of. One good thing about YA novels, even with these issues, is that they usually show the consequences of their actions, so it might actually be helpful in helping the reader to see the outcome, and give them something to think about.

Carole Anne Carr said...

I write for the 10's 11's and admittedly in England, however, I find that there are many children of this age and slightly older who are still untouched by sex and violence despite the media's best efforts. I read my historical novel to such children a few days ago and when I read 'belly' instead of 'stomach' there was a sharp intake of breath from the some of the girls, as though I'd said a 'swear word'. Interesting.

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

I can tell an intense story without the profanity, and I can imply stuff about sex without getting explicit. I also make sure that there are ALWAYS consequences (see the cover of the third Ganzfield book).

However, I usually make the violence graphic because I want it to register; I want it to be awful. And I want it to change the people who've been hurt--and those who've done the hurting. I'm all about consequences for violence, though (see the cover of the FOURTH Ganzfield book).

lsmurphy.com said...

Sex just for the sake of having it in a book is not worth it. Usually it detracts from the novel. I read a YA novel recently that had a lot of sex in it that didn't need to be there. It felt like it was more for shock value than anything else. Having said that, if sex is a natural evolution of the character's journey, it's not a big deal.
The same goes for violence and profanity. If it doesn't help the story, get rid of it.
But that's just my opinion. :)

Vicki said...

I definitely prefer the less-graphic depictions of sex in YA. There are some books which really play up the idea that "we are in love, we must have sex!!!" and, frankly, I don't agree with them. Nor do I think that idea should be broadcast or encouraged. In many cases, the characters are acting purely on lust, not love, which is what the situation is being framed as. On the one hand, I understand it's a reality for a lot of teens, but on the other I don't feel like it's necessary to their story.

Violence and language are less taboo in my book. I, for one, knew pretty raunchy language as early as middle school, and it was pretty normal to hear it in the halls by high school. Americans have become pretty desensitized to violence as well, so so long as it's included for a reason, I'm usually fine with it.

Keisha Azzalea said...


I say many thanks to Mr. admin website I read this, because in this website I know a lot of information information that I did not know before his

Obat Benjolan Di Leher
Pengobtan Diabetes Herbal
Obat Syaraf Kejepit
Cara Mengobati Penyakit
Obat Alami Untuk Ibu Hamil Yang Aman
Obat Diabetes Melitus
Obat Tradisional Tumor Parotis
Obat Kanker Rahim Herbal
Obat Wasir Untuk Ibu Hamil
Obat Tumor Bibir Atau Mulut Yang Alami