Free Essay

Censorship for Teenagers

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Kathy123
Words 1601
Pages 7
Censorship for Teenagers

Kathryn Criswell

Western Governors University

I. Censorship for Teenagers

a. Is censorship dangerous to the development of our children? Censorship is a concern for parents, schools, librarians, and school administrators. Public education is vital to the future of society. Students must be allowed to develop the spirit of independent intellectual thinking and be exposed to a variety of conflicting ideas, images and viewpoints, in return giving them the knowledge to make the best choices in life (Reichman, 2001). b. Should parents censor what books their children read? Research suggests that censorship can have a negative impact on teenagers because the topics teenagers are facing today are the very ones that parents are trying to shelter them from. c. Main points: i. Censorship limits teenager’s ability to understand societal issues. ii. Censorship limits the knowledge teenagers have to make up their own minds and discuss their thoughts and opinions openly. II. According to the American Library Association, the following books are the 10 most challenged books of 2011. The graph represents the reasons why they are challenged. 1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa 3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins 4. My Mom’s Having a Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler 5. The Absolutely True diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie 6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley 8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones 9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar 10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

a. These thirteen reasons that parents feel are inappropriate for teenagers to read about are many of the issues that young people are faced with in today’s society. Many parents worry about their children reading literature about sensitive topics such as sex, violence, religion, language, and racism. This leads to censorship of literature in high school which hurts their children more in the long run. Censorship can stunt children’s ability to understand societal issues and the information to make decisions rationally and logically (Reichman, 2001). Reading about these issues encourages them to think about them more in-depth. Books can lead to increased awareness of the world and things that could happen in everyday life. Based on a survey in 2004, young people should have the freedom to read and consider a wider range of ideas and have access to a variety of resources to help them develop critical thinking skills (McNicol, 2006). Young people need to be able to choose freely from a range of viewpoints on debated subjects (McNicol, 2006). Censorship can lead to a narrow worldview with holes in the cultural and international education of our children and provides no framework for them to understand other religions, cultures and beliefs ( b. In a focus group of varying teenagers, a question was asked about the power of books; several commented that reading could enlighten your thoughts on a subject and may change your opinion (McNicol, 2006). The question was also asked about the value of books with difficult issues and many felt that being censored has a negative impact because it does not aid advancement in life and prevents one from developing, both educationally and socially (McNicol,2006). Reading educates people about the difficult issues they may encounter in life and how best to deal with those issues. Young children who grow up without education about sex will have no knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases and birth control, other than what they learn from their friends ([->0]). A parent wants to keep controversial subjects in the forefront of their child’s development. One would rather their children feel comfortable approaching their parents when they want answers or feel they are able to discuss their opinions about varying issues in life. III. Conclusion a. Should parents censor what their children read? Parents need to be aware of what their children are reading and offer guidance to any questions they may have. They need to be aware of the negative impact of censorship, as it limits young people in their ability to understand societal issues and the knowledge to make up their own minds. Teenagers need to get to a point in life where they have the confidence and knowledge to make decisions on their own. Research suggests students want the right to decide what books they read but would value parental guidance and the freedom to discuss these books openly with their parents (McNicol, 2006). b. The impact of censorship is detrimental to the growth and development of today’s youth. They need to be made aware and experience the difficult issues they may be faced with in today’s world. The time for this is while they are being nurtured and guided by their parents. They should feel free to discuss issues with their parents and not be turned away or made to feel they are too young to deal with these issues. This is the time they need to be able to learn about these issues and become prepared to face them in life. Parents need to prepare their children for life and awareness of the world as it exists. Every book will not be appropriate for every reader; the ability to read, speak, think, and express ourselves freely are American core values (Kennedy, 2012). At some point in life, our children will have to make choices and allowing them the vast knowledge that reading provides will help them make the best decisions in life.

Visual Aid Script
My visual aid reveals the thirteen reasons why specific books were the top ten challenged books in 2011. I converted this information into a bar graph. The information given listed the top ten challenged books of 2011, the author, and the reason cited for the challenges (ALA, 2012). All ten of the books had multiple reasons listed for controversy. I decided to further divide this information according to the most frequently cited reason to the least. This information shows the various reasons parents find the books unsuitable for their children. I find the reasons interesting and have trouble understanding the logic behind parents wanting to ban this information from their teenagers. These reasons are issues that arise in everyday life. Books that deal with societal issues help teenagers learn and evolve to formulate their own opinions in life. Based on the research provided, it reveals the fact those teenagers need to be aware of these issues and have the knowledge to make informative decisions.
Visual Aid Description
I believe that revealing the reasons books are challenged allows us to understand why it is important not to censor these controversial issues but instead openly discuss with our teenagers. I choose a bar graph to provide a visual presentation of data in a clear concise manner. I used Microsoft office SmartArt to develop my visual aid. It helps show the main reasons books are challenged and in doing this allows the audience to understand that these reasons are readily dealt with by many teenagers each day. Parents need to be able to support children as they develop into adulthood and freely discuss challenged issues with them. If parents continue to shelter their children from controversial issues they will be unable to deal with them appropriately later in life.
Audience Questions and Answers
1. What is censorship?
Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain groups or individuals find controversial. Censors try to impose their views about what is truthful and appropriate (ALA, 2012). Censorship infringes on intellectual freedom, which is the right to seek and receive information from all points of view.

2. How do parents’ guide their children where books are concerned?
Parents need to be aware of reality and what their children are facing into society (ALA, 2012). Parents need to read the books their children read and be prepared to answer questions about what some people feel are offensive issues. Parents need to keep communication open and strive to their teenagers feel comfortable discussing even the most controversial subjects with them.

3. What can I do to fight censorship?
Stay informed and aware of what is happening in your state, school, and city councils. Attend local school and library board meetings (ALA, 2012).

4. How do teenagers feel about censorship?
A number of teenagers felt that a book should be judged on whether it tells a good story rather than its content being potentially offensive. They saw value in books about controversial issues because they could learn from these matters and how to deal with them (McNico,2006). Most disagree with censorship but not with guidance. They want to be able to make up their own minds and become more independent.

ALA, American Library Association. (2012) Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2011 retrieved from
Kennedy, Elizabeth. (2012) Censorship and Banned Children’s Books and Books for Teens. Retrieved from Source American Library Association.
Life script Connect Contributor (2007) Censorship in Schools And The Effects On Our Children. Retrieved from
McNicol, Sarah. (2006) Teenagers, Reading and Censorship, teenager’s views of censorship in libraries. Retrieved from
Reichman, Henry (2001) Censorship and Selection Issues and Answers for Schools, 3rd edition, copyright by American Library Association.

[->0] -

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Censorship Is Justified

...Censorship is sometimes justified Whether censorship is justified is always a controversial issue that attracts great public attention, and views of different people might vary greatly. As far as I am concerned, I tend to think that the censorship in China is somehow justified otherwise how can China developed so rapidly for the recent years. I know there are many voices against the censorship of our country, but let’s think from another way, how can we build our welfare and prosperity culture without certain kinds of proper censorship in china? Censorship is the best justified method to make sure everyone's rights. In a society which is made up by variety of people, there must be some law that everyone follows to make the society in order. Justification means everyone is treated the same; anyone who obeys the law will have their rights equally; anyone who offends the law will be punished or circumscribed. Justification doesn't mean that, as someone thinks, everyone can do whatever you want to do because that will make the society happens to be in chaos. In today's modern society, censorship is everywhere in all sorts of media, TV, Internet, etc. It is necessary for government to use censorship to prevent illegal or harmful information which is now contaminating the minds of many people, especially those teenagers like me. As one of the teenagers myself, I am sure that all of us can be easily addicted to these materials. These will do great harm to both our mental...

Words: 631 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Chinese Censorship is a Contradicting Problem In the contemporary society, with internet expansion the world is extending to be an Information Age. Due to the expansion, a large amount of sensitive information that governments disagree with is widely and rapidly spread. In order to control the dramatic increase of this sensitive information censorship occurs. According to a report, censorship is defined as “…one of the tools used by governments to filter out unwanted information and to prevent the spread through the World Wide Web”. (Antonio Lupetti) In many countries around the world, government censors restrict access to certain kinds of material for their citizens such as movies with sexual content, news with political ideas, and violent video games. Based on the latest data, censorship is a phenomenon of staggering proportions that affects over 25% of the global population. China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people and 360 million active users of the Internet is by far the nation in which the censors’ activity affects the highest number of citizens (China). It is well known among the Chinese that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all blocked in China because there is too much sensitive information on them. It is clear that since censorship has begun in China, it has hindered China from developing, updating information and limited the freedom of speech. Censorship has been used in China for centuries. According to the Baidu Encyclopedia which is a very......

Words: 1711 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Censorship Benefits Society Nowadays access to pornography is much easier than many years ago, and that makes pornography more harmful to society. But there are many questions and concerns about this issue that makes it even more controversial than many people think. Also, there are different views on this issue, but in my opinion censorship of pornography is very important to our society and to our children. Therefore some censorship and restrictions are necessary in pornography, and because of that the first amendment should have some limits on free speech in order to keep the society healthy, stop degrading women, and protect the future generations from overexposure to the pornography which may cause mental and emotional problems and behavioral effects in many children and adults in the United States. There are a lot of arguments that pornography harms public morality and in a very interesting way Michael Craven in his article “Pornography Should Be Censored” argues that everyone has different religious beliefs but those who are thinking more logically that the pornography harms and it could be recognized as something bad and evil. Therefore it is everyone’s responsibility to stop harming the society and reduce the harm that is caused by many men and women that don’t think about our society. In Cravens article it is clear that by censoring pornography, everybody will benefit, and something like pornography that many families sees as something bad and evil for their......

Words: 1308 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...Research Paper: Censorship On March 4th 2009, Mary was walking into her living room when she saw her 8 year old daughter was watching tv. Then all of a sudden an extremely explicit sex scene had come up. Her daughter laid in shock as she had never seen something like that before.( Censorship is the process of examining books, movies, tv shows, etc and suppressing unacceptable parts. Censorship is a must in this society in order to censor intense racism, pornographic material, and much more from innocent mids such as mary's daughter. Censorship is extremely vital in order to create a safe and peaceful atmosphere within our society. Censorship is basically an official who observes any and all books, film, music, etc for the purpose of suppressing or censor controversial or inappropriate content. As for the status quo on censorship, the officials who control censorship are the FCC and they are given all the power from the government in order to censor all explicit content. And explicit content can be very dangerous to young children with their innocent and gullible minds. Children can be heavily influenced by their surrounding world and with the whole world in the hands of technology, it would be so much easier to view and attempt extremely violent stunts. “Ten-year-old Ryan Gooding has always been an inquisitive and experimental kid, but that's all changed now...Gooding was conducting a little experiment known as the “Flaming Bottle” when something went...

Words: 1244 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

How to Protect Our Kids from Viewing Inappropriate Materials

...Abstract Internet censorship is a control or suppression of publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. The Internet has become a “member” of almost every single family on our planet. It’s not just an ordinary member, but a very important one, especially too someone who spends a lot of time using the Internet. The Internet is a very useful tool that is used for everything such as advertisement, communication, shopping, researching and also for educational purpose. On the Internet, there’re some websites that needs to be censored in order to protect our children from viewing inappropriate websites that promote drug usage, violence and pornography. Parents and school officials are the first ones who need to begin the process of censoring out those inappropriate websites. The Internet is an easy way to access all sorts of information. Because the Internet has become so popular in such a short period of time, the opportunity to censor it has passed by almost as quickly as the public discovered its usefulness to our everyday lives. The Internet has some bad source of information that’s not helpful to our kids. Parents and schools officials are the ones who should start the process of censoring those websites that our kids view each and every day of their lives. Because they are ones who know what sorts of information on the Internet that is best for our kids. So that’s why, Internet censorship should be enacted to prevent teenagers from viewing inappropriate......

Words: 1338 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Critique of Ben Hunt

...Critique of Essay 4 by Ben Hunt After reading the submitted draft essay by Ben Hunt I had a fair sense of his views on censorship. Hunt believes that censoring televised violent or obscene programming, such as teenagers killing teenagers and pornography, should be the job of the parents and not the government. He continues that all of the negativity is just an overreaction on the public’s part. However, even though the topic is very interesting, the writer does not offer enough material to form an opinion at this point. Hunt begins by stating certain events cause heightened reactions from the public, such as Janet Jackson’s performance during the Super Bowl game half time a few years ago. He points out that everyone reacts differently to violence, but to censor everyone is not really the solution, he would argue. Moreover, Hunt argues that it is the parents’ job to censor what their teenagers experience in life. For example, monitoring what they view on television, listen to as music and experience overall on a daily basis. During the introduction of the second paragraph, Hunt describes the effects of incidents mentioned earlier. These incidents tend to quickly get the “…FCC and conservative interest groups” involved in the issue. Moreover, Hunt said it best by saying, “It seems that groups such as these feel an obligation to defend against what they feel disrupts pure American value.” (Hunt 1) Hunt contends that everyone should have the right to watch, listen and......

Words: 512 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Internet Censorship

...The Internet censorship in China which is controversial is protested by the netizens by the subtle and sarcastic internet meme. With technological development, the Internet is becoming a free and convenient place for sharing views and information instantaneously due to its virtual nature. However, the freedom of Internet may consequently contribute to the antithesis of social norms and copyright so Internet censorship has been proposed for censoring the Internet. The debate of implementing it has been characterized as either machine politics, to attract the support of staunch anti-pornography, or an extension into cyberspace of the ongoing battle between libertarianism and social conservation. This essay will discuss both the advantages and the disadvantages of censoring the Internet in Hong Kong before giving reasons for the position of disagreement. Social filtering prevents the exposure of information that is antithetical to morals. In different aspects, including the gambling sites, pornographic sites and sites promoting criminal activity, can the authority block to the targeted people. Many studies reveal that the mass media gives more considerable effects than others on themselves (Lee, 2005). Helgadóttir (2014) criticizes that the first emergence of the pornographic information to children in Iceland is when they are eleven. There are a great amount of pornographic material which are being easily accessible on the Internet so wrong perception of sex may be......

Words: 1001 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Fahrenheit 451

...them out. Books in Montag society is forbidden to read and if caught reading the book would be set on fire. Instead of reading, that society watches large amounts of television as big as the wall and listens to the radio attached to their ears. It was not normal for pedestraisn to talk and have meaningful conversations until Montag met a teenager name Clarisse. Clarisse was a strange girl that opened up Montag thoughts. She asked him about his work and what made him become a fireman. One question that really got him to think was the statement “Are you happy”(Bradbury 10). Montag believed that Clarisse was odd. She wasn’t like the norm of the society. She read books, walked the city like a pedestrain and, had meaningful conversations. After that encounter with Clarisse a number of events started to happen to him; his wife Mildred tried to commit sucide with perscription pills, a woman that hid books in her home decides to burn a live with her books, and Clarisse is killed in a car accident., With all these tragic events occuring, Montag tries to find a solution to this epidemic. The society has become controlled from power, a since of censorship. Bradbury has shown his viewpoint of society through this novel. Through this attempt, Bradbury got Readers views for Fahrenheit 451 qnd the meaning that goes with it. Reader-response critcism can be an opinion or thought of what the reader thinks or feels about a text or book. According to Owl Perdue it states ”......

Words: 654 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Battered women SEE ALSO Wife Abuse Abused women Conjugal abuse Birth control Birth control; Contraception Birth control; Contraception Black Reparations Movement Reparations; Slavery--Law and legislation Reparations Body language Body language; Gesture; Nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication Bullying Bullying Bullying; Cyberbullying Business ethics Business ethics; Corporations - Corrupt practices Business ethics; Business enterprises, Corrupt practices Capital punishment (Death Penalty) Capital punishment; Death row Capital punishment Cancer Cancer--Prevention SEE ALSO types of cancer, such asBreast--Cancer Neoplasms--Prevention and Control;Cancer Treatment Censorship SEE ALSO Freedom of the Press Censorship; Prohibited books Censorship; USA Patriot Act 2001-US AND Civil liberties; Filtering software;Banned books Child abuse SEE ALSO Domestic violence Abused children; Child abuse Child abuse Child custody/support Custody of children Child custody Children of alcoholics Children of alcoholics; Alcoholics--Family relationships Children of alcoholics Cloning...

Words: 1762 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

A Darkly Tragic Novel: the Chocolate War

...Michael Jiang February 10, 2014 A Darkly Tragic Novel: The Chocolate War Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War gives readers a dark tale that leaves them on the edge of their seats. Ever since its debut in 1974, it has angered and shocked parents, transfixed students, and has been banned in many schools throughout the nation. Robert Cormier was born on January 17, 1925 in Leominster, Maryland and died on November 2, 2000 due to complications from a blood clot in Boston, Maryland. Cormier was the son of Lucien Joseph, a factory worker, and Irma Margaret Cormier; and attended Fitchburg State College, he graduated in 1944. He married Constance B. Senay on November 6, 1948 and had 4 children. Young Adult Banned Books tells us that Cormier was acclaimed for “his powerful and disturbing novels for young adult readers” (Young, 8). He has written many novels for young adults including the sequel to The Chocolate War (Beyond the Chocolate War, 1985). Cormier wrote The Chocolate War based on a true life experience “in which his son was the only person in his class to refuse to sell chocolates for a high school fund raiser” (Young, 9). The Chocolate War was published by Pantheon in New York, New York in 1974. The Chocolate War tells the story of “a young boy's struggle against the conformity imposed on him by the restrictive atmosphere of an all-male Catholic prep school as well as by the demands of the Vigils, a secret group that the school does not officially condone but...

Words: 2701 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Forever: an Overly Sexual Abomination or Coming of Age Novel?

...Anisa Ellis-Smith Ms. Rochman English 12 January 2, 2013 Forever: An Overly Sexual Abomination or Coming of Age Novel? The first amendment of the Constitution has given every American citizen the right practice freedom of speech. Yet and still, it seems that literary censorship, which is “the act of changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good,” (Merriam-Webster, 2012) has been more prevalent in the past 100 years than ever before. People all around the country have been affected by the parameters of censorship. Author Judy Blume once said when asked her opinion about it the topic, “It’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” (NMSU Library, n.d.). Blume, herself, is no stranger to censorship. Several of her writings have made ALA’s list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books. Her 1975 novel Forever was both challenged and banned in over 10 different states because of its descriptively sexual content, disobedience to parents, “lack of moral tone,” and use of profanity (Censorship & Judy Blume, n.d.). Forever is the story of two high school seniors, Katherine and Michael, and their journey throughout their relationship. The teens meet at a party and fall in love from there. Eventually, Katherine loses her virginity to Michael and they promise......

Words: 1438 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Government Censorship Justifiable?

...aware of the Faculty policy relating to academic misconduct ( I certify that this work is my own, complies with the relevant guidelines, and uses an approved form of referencing throughout. I acknowledge that the work may be electronically scanned for detection of plagiarism. I have taken a backup copy / computer copy / photocopy of this assessment prior to submission.” Signed Date : June 1st 2013 ------------------------------------------------- Marker’s Comments: PROMT #7: Is media censorship by the government justifiable? BY: RAUL FRANCISCO BAUTISTA DATE: JUNE 1ST 2013 TUTOR: KEVIN CHIAT UNIT: COMM1001 WORD COUNT: 1537 Media censorship by a government is justifiable to a certain extent. To understand the extent to which censorship is justifiable one must understand that media censorship refers to the supervision of knowledge and information examined and controlled by an entity, particularly a government....

Words: 2041 - Pages: 9

Free Essay


...allowed on television in the 1950’s. In 1951 Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz a married couple in real life developed a Sitcom called ‘I Love Lucy’; they were not allowed to sleep in the same bed but you could smoke on television something the network censors frown upon in this day and age. Another Television land couple Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke were featured in 1961 the Dick Van Dyke show aired on CBS and the married couple had twin beds, the network did not want a man and women in the same bed due to censor concern. If we fast forward to 2014, how things have changed. Men and women can now sleep in the same bed but television censorship has become very lax. Primetime TV will air men in the bed nude or topless with 2 women. Illegal drugs are accepted and treated as if it is a rite of passage for the teenagers and young adults. Censorship may be harder on obscene behaviors on television but that leaves in door open for information that children don’t need to be exposed to. Children are no difference from the 1950 then they are today, why should they be subjected to all the garbage of the world before they are ready. Having young children has really opened my eyes to Social Media and how young people are influenced by it. Teenager’s lives are centered on what the newest celebrity is doing. I only hope we can put a stop to it at some...

Words: 299 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Music Censorship

...|Music Censorship | |Final Draft | | | | | | | |Emilee Westerfield | | | |University Composition and Communication II/COM156 | | | |11.18.2012 | | ...

Words: 2028 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Internet Censorship

...Jennifer Caballero Position Essay 17 October 2014 Anita Slusser Helping or Hurting Imagine a song comes on the radio that talks about how terrible life is on the streets. It’s worded in a way that makes you imagine yourself as a person whose home is pavement. You’re looked at as something repulsive taking up space. Constant ridicule and discrimination make it impossible for you to call anyone a friend, let alone trust another person. You are completely alone, watching other couples and friends laugh and walk by while you stand there hoping they notice you but wishing they wouldn’t because you’re an embarrassment to yourself. Yet, this song contains curse words and explicit language that are frowned upon. Now think of this. The same song comes on the radio the next day with all of the swear words bleeped out and some of the language altered for “easy” listening. Does the song still have the same meaning? Should the song have been censored for listeners? No. It takes away the honesty and feeling that makes the song so powerful. Much of censoring does which is why I’m opposed to internet censoring. Censoring is when an audio creation, book, movie or a written piece is officially examined and the parts that are considered unacceptable are censored, or in other words hidden or taken out. Usually when a person thinks of censoring they think of protection. Society as whole is being kept safe because sex scenes in movies, curse words in songs and books are being taken out...

Words: 1049 - Pages: 5