You may or may not have seen the article in US News last week about whether or not Young Adult books should have some sort of rating system on them. This discussion is largely centred around a study that was done revealing that much fiction intended for a youth audience contains profanity to various degrees. Some concerned consumers (and probably parents) are worried that their children could be consuming inappropriate language without their knowledge and that, short of pre-reading every single book that ends up in their kids’ hands, they have no way of monitoring the content. The opposing camp says that this sort of rating system proposal smacks of censorship.
I’ve been thinking about this issue. Now, granted, I’m not a parent. It’s quite possible I’d feel differently if I were (though I doubt it). I get that parents worry about what their kids are consuming in today’s world – particularly from the media. A lot of those concerns are valid and very justified. But profanity in a book? Have you even SEEN a movie lately? Unless you hide them under a rock, your kids are going to be exposed to much worse than a few “F-bombs,” as they put it. At least in this context they’re learning how to spell their swear words properly. But maybe I’m biased by the fact that I grew up in a household that didn’t sugar-coat much.