Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne analyzed the use of profanity in 40 books on an adolescent bestsellers list. On average, teen novels contain 38 instances of profanity between the covers. That translates to almost seven instances of profanity per hour spent reading.
Coyne was intrigued not just by how much swearing happens in teen lit, but who was swearing: Those with higher social status, better looks and more money.
“From a social learning standpoint, this is really important because adolescents are more likely to imitate media characters portrayed in positive, desirable ways,” Coyne said.
Coyne’s study were published May 18 in the journal Mass Communication and Society.
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