Profanity in Teen Novels: Characters Who Curse Are Often the Most Desirable

In a recent analysis of best-selling teen novels, researchers from Brigham Young University report that young readers encounter about seven instances of profanity per hour — and those characters with the dirtiest mouths are often the richest, most popular and best-looking. As with so many things, surmise the researchers, parents are probably in the dark about the trash their kids are reading.

Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne and her colleagues analyzed profanity use in 40 teen novels on the New York Times’ best-seller list of children’s books published in 2008. All the books reviewed targeted children age 9 or older. >


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