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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for...Jailbait

Controversial Song of the Day:  "Hot For Teacher" by Van Halen

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.



Taken from shutterstock.com
Jailbait. Yeah, we hate the term, too. But the fact is, teenagers are engaging in rather adult relationships with...well, adults. Cut on the TV and you'll see the latest scandal involving a well-respected professional fraternizing with someone much, MUCH younger than them. When I was in high school (which seems like forever ago), I had classmates complaining that they couldn't bring their boyfriend/girlfriend to prom--because said boyfriend/girlfriend was IN THEIR TWENTIES!
 
So, just like most other real issues, when these taboo relationships are mentioned in YA novels, a couple of feathers get ruffled. Here are some YA novels that feature teen-adult pairings:
*Please note that the list above features relationships that are both predatory and consensual.

How do you all feel about these taboo pairings? Were you ever uncomfortable about reading about these types of relationships?

6 comments:

Alicia Gregoire said...

What's interesting is that as I get older, the more skeeved out I get by teens dating twenty year olds. (The relationship between Lola and the musician boyfriend actually turned me off from the story.) And when this dips into reality? Super disturbing.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've never understood the mentality a lot of teen girls seem to have, "Ooh, he's OLDER and he likes ME, I must be SOOO mature!" Odds are that the guys don't see the girls as wise and mature beyond their years, but just want to take advantage of some naïve teen girl. I love how so many girls in those age-disparate relationships insist THEY'RE the special, mature exceptions and that their love will last because it's built on something serious. You can't all be the exceptions!

One of the statutory rape relationships I've written in my own writing is a girl in junior high with her teacher, whom she believes is 21. The reader knows all along, and many characters long suspect, that he's lying about his religion, national origin, native language, etc., and it later comes out he's a complete pervert and controlling jerk, and that he was also much older than he claims and was also lying about his name. Things go extremely badly when she finds out (after she's alienated all of her friends with this live-in May-December relationship), and there are many lingering consequences for many years because of this, even after her older brothers take revenge on him for his final act of abuse against her.

Katy said...

I was wondering what topic you girls would come up with for J. Oddly enough, three of the books on your list are among my favorite contemporaries (LOLA, STOLEN, and BOY TOY). But yeah... Like Alicia said, the older I get, them more age-gap romances disturb me. They do make for very compelling stories, though!

Joyce Lansky said...

Adults do not need to date teens.

Are you familiar with the appropriate dating formula? Take your age, divide by two and add seven. This is the youngest person you should date.

For example:
16÷2 = 8; 8+7=15
A sixteen year old should not date anyone younger than fifteen.

50÷2=25; 25+7=32
If you're fifty, do not date anyone younger than 32. The gap increases with age. However, if you are twenty,the rules are a bit different.

20÷2=10; 10+7=17

DON'T GO UNDER 18.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Catch My Words
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

Jessica Love said...

Jailbait is one thing, but teacher/student jailbait is something I can't handle reading about. :-\ Skeeves me out like nothing else.

Trisha said...

I went to high school with a girl who was dating a 30 year old. THAT creeped me out back then. Another fellow 16 year old in school talked about how she lusted after Sean Connery. That creeped me out too. ;)