Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What twelve-year-old girls learn

In the Daily Colonist (Victoria, B.C.) Arnie Myers reports on an interesting study of love comics like Intimate Love, My Desire, Love Scandals, Lovelorn, and dozen of other similar titles. They are read mostly by "adolescent and pre-adolescent girls." The heroine invariably falls in love at first sight "probably because of space limitations . . . The books contain crime aplenty—murder, suicide, abduction, arson, robbery, theft and various types of mayhem—but crime is always subordinated to love . . . The heroines indulge in vast amounts of waywardness, infidelity, cheating, lying and assorted kinds of trickery." One national Parent-Teacher-Association publication termed them "unsuitable for any age." Some newsdealers considered them "as bad as, or worse than, crime comics." One reported "a sale of thirty love comics to a sailor in his mid-twenties." Whatever the mentality of this lonely sailor may have been, is this how we want to bring up eleven- or twelve-year-old girls nowadays?