April 04, 2006

They Should Put Them On Sad Country Songs, Too

Naomi Wolf is quoted in this Newsday piece on racy teen lit, calling for warning or rating labels for YA books.

(via Bookslut.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at April 4, 2006 05:46 PM | TrackBack

As a parent, I'm not against rating types of media so that parents can have another tool. But I'm afraid that too many parents don't take an active enough role in the lives of their children. I worry that these ratings give too many parents an excuse to be that much less active in parenting.
Because a rating suggests something is appropriate for 14-18 year olds doesn't mean that all children between those ages are ready for it, nor does it mean that all children under that age are not ready for it.
I also think it's a little dismaying that we can't confront and discuss sex in a sensible fashion in this country. We have one side that won't even discuss sex without vilifying it. On the other extreme we have people saying that kids are all having sex, so why the hell worry.
That's what's missing is an honest discussion of sex whereby we honestly educate our children about sex and give them as many tools as possible, as much information as possible, with total honesty, so that when they have to make decisions on their own, they are not remembering the sex ed they got from YA lit or The OC. That's my personal concern with the seeming boom in sexy literature for kids is that too many kids are getting dishonest and conflicting information which makes it impossible for them to make educated decisions.
In thinking about some of these books, are they really literature in an artisitc sense, or are they just good marketing decisions?

Posted by: sam at April 4, 2006 07:06 PM

The kids are alright and parenting doesn't matter that much.

Posted by: josh at April 4, 2006 09:23 PM

I don't like the idea at all. For one thing no one really knows what ratings mean. I highly doubt that the average parent goes to the ratings board's website or finds a pamphelt detailing what "offenses" cause what rating. So really they aren't any more informed about the book than they were before except in knowing that someone out there felt the book wasn't appropriate for a certain age group. The average teen lit book would take a parent an hour or so to read, and even less to skim objectively. That way the parent can choose books based on what he or she is comfortable with their kid reading instead of what some board of people think is appropriate. I think all the ratings and warnings and v-chips and such are ruining the relationship parents have with their kids by breaking a need for communication.

Anyhow, I'm not a parent and should probably keep my mouth shut, but I'm not so good at that.

Posted by: Manda at April 6, 2006 08:46 AM