Teen Literature Filled with Profanity, Foul Mouthed Characters Shown as Rich, Popular

A new study says that children books contain many profanities, up to 38 instances per book on an average.

The study also says that the foul mouthed character is more likely to popular rich and good- looking.

"From a social learning standpoint, this is really important because adolescents are more likely to imitate media characters portrayed in positive, desirable ways," study author Sarah Coyne said.

For the study, the authors analyzed some 40 books for teens and found that thirty five of them had bad language. On average there were 38 instances of swearing in a book. One book had 500 swear words. The researchers estimate that teens come across 7 instances of profane language per hour in these books.

A lot of research has been done on violence and swearing portrayed in mass media like TV, movies and video games and its effect on teenagers.

One research report published in CyberPsychology & Behavior says that one in five games for teenagers or above had an instance of profanity. The study also says that the ratings or sales did not depend on the profanity present in the games.

“FOX network programs contained more crudities than all other networks; UPN had the highest rate of such words per hour. Mild words such as "hell" and "damn" dominated, but the "seven dirty words" were heard once every 3 hours. Programs labeled TVPG aired more dirty words than those labeled TV14. Shows   with an "L" rating and programs without a content rating contained more vulgarities than other content-rated shows,” write Barbara K. Kaaye and colleagues in the journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Their study focused on offensive language on prime time television.

"Unlike almost every other type of media, there are no content warnings or any indication if there is extremely high levels of profanity in adolescent novels. Parents should talk with their children about the books they are reading,” Coyne said.

The study is published in the journal Mass Communication and Society.