Twilight: A negative influence on teens or just harmless fun?
- September 15, 2010 10:19 AM |
- By POV
Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson play Bella and Edward in the Twilight movie series. (Summit Entertainment/The Associated Press)
Some academics believe teen-oriented vampire series like Twilight could be altering the brains of young people in a way that's not completely understood.
Researchers, authors and professors came together in Cambridge, England, earlier this month for a conference to discuss how young-adult books and movies affect teenagers' minds, MSNBC reports.
Studies indicate that the teenage brain processes information differently than a more mature brain, said Karen Coats, a professor of English at Illinois State University who incorporates neuroscience into her research. Teenagers are more likely to respond to situations more emotionally and can be more susceptible to influence from peers and media.
Maria Nikolajeva, a literature professor at Cambridge, wonders whether the popular Twilight series, which revolves around the character Bella Swan, a teenager who falls in love with a vampire named Edward, could have a negative effect on the impressionable minds of teenagers.
Some critics have argued that the Twilight books depict Bella as meek and willing to do anything for her vampire boyfriend.
"If you look very, very clearly at what kind of values the Twilight books propagate, these are very conservative values that do not in any way endorse independent thinking or personal development or a woman's position as an independent creature," Nikolajeva said. "That's quite depressing."
Do you think media have a lasting impact on teenage brains? Do you think teen-oriented vampire series like Twilight are a negative influence or just harmless fun? Let us know.
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