Forever is Judy Blume's candid portrayal
of a teenage sexual relationship. It has
sold over 3.5 million copies and 30 years
after it was first published, it is still
Reasons cited for Forever
being challenged and banned:
- Frequency of sexual activity and sexual descriptions
- Use of “four-letter” words
- Does not promote abstinence
- Does not promote monogamous relationships
- Demoralized marital sex
- Disobedience to parents is shown
- Talks about masturbation
- Talks about birth control
- Lack of moral tone
- Sexual passages inappropriate for young people
What did the censors have in mind when listing the
above reasons for challenging this book? That was
my question, what is the basis for these reasons?
These school district administrators, public & school
librarians, parents AND religious & parent groups
know that WORDS have POWER.
This makes them have FEAR...to be AFRAID.
AFRAID that kids won't "understand" Forever.
AFRAID that exposure to reading material that
containsinformation about SEX could morally
corrupt young minds.
AFRAID that Forever encourages sexual behavior.
These people and groups have FEAR of losing control
of their children.They BELIEVE that if their child
reads something, has exposure to information they will
act on it...For example, if they read about sex, they
will have sex, if they read about kids swearing, they
will swear etc.
It's really rather SILLY and MAKES NO SENSE.
The main character in Forever approaches a sexual
relationship with caution, with planning and with
In addition, most books that are banned and taken off
shelves are books that people seek out immediately to
read and find out why.
Kids want to know about sex, relationships,
masturbation and all the things that Blume covers
openly and honestly in Forever. If there parents are
not talking to them about these things, they have
no one to go to to help them grow and learn. No
one togo to with their questions. They won't know how
to obtain birth control, they won't know if the feelings
they are having as they realize they are sexual beings
are normal or not.
SO, the FEAR of the censors does not PROTECT their
children, it does not STOP them from having sex, it
just keeps them in the dark and IGNORANCE never
got anyone anywere. And nobody can or should have
control over their kids "forever."
What Blume says about Forever being frequently challenged
"What I hear from my readers," Blume says, "is that the story itself is timeless. There will always be first love, first sexual feelings, first sexual relationships. Here we are, 30 years later, and just as many young people are reading the book today as when it was published."
"The 70s was a much more open decade in America," she says. "Forever was used in several school programs then, helping to spur discussions of sexual responsibility. This would never happen today. How are young people supposed to make thoughtful decisions if they don't have information and no one is willing to talk with them."