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The treatment of gay and lesbian fiction for young adults in selected prominent reviewing media

Paulette M. Rothbauer (Paulette M. Rothbauer is a PhD Student (prothbau@julian.uwo.ca) in the Graduate Program of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.)
Lynne E.F. McKechnie (Lynne E.F. McKechnie is an Assistant Professor (mckechnie@julian.uwo.ca), both in the Graduate Program of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 1 March 2000

Abstract

Content analysis was used to determine how a sample of 32 gay and lesbian novels for young adults were treated in 158 reviews from five prominent reviewing journals. Findings indicate that most reviews (84.8 percent) were favourable, many (79.7 percent) contained clear reference to the homosexual content, and there were few differences between the individual reviewing journals. Some reviews contained cautions and warnings about the gay and lesbian content, some denied or downplayed it, some justified the content if it was used to teach a lesson, and most described these stories as “problem” novels. Analysis also showed that gay and lesbian fiction is now regarded as a distinct genre of young adult literature. While librarians wishing to identify gay and lesbian fiction for collection development will be able to do so through the reviewing media, ambivalence about this literature and the young adults it represents was also evident in the reviews.

Keywords

Citation

Rothbauer, P.M. and McKechnie, L.E.F. (2000), "The treatment of gay and lesbian fiction for young adults in selected prominent reviewing media", Collection Building, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 5-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/01604950010310848

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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