Devon Yanvary
December, 2016

Whether we know it or not, there is a psychology behind everything we do. As humans, we do not-- cannot-- exist without thought, without reasoning. That being said, the mind, in all its complexity, can sometimes fool us. This section explores those treacherous thoughts that are, on the surface, seemingly logical. The main hypothesis of my thesis work lies within this field. I aimed to prove that banning, restricting, or limiting access to materials of a specific nature is detrimental to the developing mind and I to explore the effects of censorship on school-aged children (K - 12). The evidence presented in this section will either confirm or reject my hypothesis.

I chose this topic because I have taken many classes in or about developmental psychology and I find it to be the most interesting area of study. Children and adolescents (young adults) have amazingly adaptive and impressionable minds; it is fascinating-- and a little scary-- what influences their journey into adulthood and the ways in which their experiences manifest in their personalities. 

My main inspiration came from the term discontinuous transition, which I read about in the 10th edition of Laurence Steinberg's book Adolescence. This is a method of child rearing is particularly popular in Western and / or industrialized civilizations, and introduces teenagers to milestones / rites of passage at different or inconsistent rates (2013). For example, you may drive at 16, but you cannot drink until you're 21. You may enlist in the army, vote, get a tattoo or even get married 18, but you cannot smoke until you are 19. These inconsistencies influence the way children grow: being told they are old enough for one thing, but too young for another, sends a confusing message that often makes mental maturation more challenging. Because I also have a lot of experience caring for young children, this was fascinating to me.

I decided to combine the essence of this concept-- how societal messages influence developing minds-- with book banning after I read that Little Red Riding Hood was banned in schools because in the basket for grandmother is a bottle of wine (Driscroll, 2011). Not because the wolf eats the grandmother, which is violence and therefore a very common reason for banning, but because of the wine. Quite frankly, this floored me. And my thesis was born.


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