chapter  3
24 Pages

Gender and Sexuality in Young Adult Literature

WithR. Joseph Rodríguez

This chapter discusses that the youth lens is applied to the analysis of social constructions of gender and sexuality to maintain the status quo as shown in selected young adult (YA) literature and ways that literacy can propel readers forward as they examine their bodies. The reading interests and the violence endured that Negron described appear in many YA literature texts. Luis Negron's experience on acceptable behaviors and socially constructed norms for performing maleness, masculinity, and bravado are found in YA literature. The protagonist as a scribe is a recurring presence and theme in YA literature, with the narrative unfolding as adolescent characters name and accept their body, gender, and sexuality. The ranges of emotion that adolescent readers can experience about gender and sexuality with texts such as those presented in the chapter are testimonies of the emotive responses and connections to experience by reading YA literature.