Some Teen Books Surprisingly X-Rated, Study Finds

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some Teen Books Surprisingly X-Rated, Study Finds

A new study finds that popular teen books can be surprisingly sexual, meaning that reading may not always be the wholesome activity that parents expect.

Researchers reported online June 8 in the Journal of Sex Research, books aimed at 12- and 13-year-olds were no less sexy than books aimed at readers ages 14 and up. In addition, sex was rarely presented in a healthy light: Contraceptives and practical consequences were almost never mentioned, said study researcher Sarah Coyne, a psychologist at Brigham Young University.

The "Gossip Girl" books and a vampire series "The Anna Strong Chronicles" were two series that were particularly focused on sex, Coyne said.

Many of the 40 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 percent of books that did have sexual content, Coyne estimated that only a half-dozen or so had explicit or implicit references to sexual intercourse. "A lot of the books were just great," Coyne said. "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."

Like TV and movies, books rarely dealt with what Brown calls the "three Cs:" contraceptives, consequences and commitment. About a third of the 56 incidences of sexual intercourse in the books took place between people not in relationships, Coyne found.

Source: Fox News