I just read this terrific article in The Huffington Post by young adult author Chris Crutcher--"Young Adult Fiction: Let Teens Choose." He wrote something that I have often thought about and even posted on once. Unfortunately, that post offended people and out of self-preservation, I pulled it. What resonated so much with me is his comments on profanity in young adult literature:
Bad language doesn't hurt anybody. It might make a few -- mostly adults -- uneasy, but it doesn't hurt anybody. Words can hurt. Name calling hurts. Oral bullying hurts. Humiliation hurts. But bad language doesn't do shit.
YA author Catherine Ryan Hyde made a similar argument in a 2009 blog post--"$@%*!!!":
For those who would make the argument that words are powerful, and can hurt, I could not agree with you more. But, now, here's my question: Are you sure that those seven words are the hurtful ones? Are you sure there aren't far more powerful and far more damaging words that fall into the category of socially acceptable?
Check out her post for the four words she believes should never be used in polite company.
Two very powerful arguments. I encourage you to read them in their entirety.