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To what extent were male and female adolescents’ reading preferences gendered over the twentieth century and did this change over time

As the century progressed, research regarding the adolescent stage of life began to reveal that the angst of adolescence is not born of a single unavoidable cause, as had been previously thought, but rather is a complex relation between physical changes, social issues and cultural preparedness. These studies revealed the close relationship that could be traced through the adolescent’s development and how this reflected the signs of the times. Beginning with a brief overview of the changing theories regarding this age group in both physical and developmental contexts as they pertain to reading choice, an examination into the reading choices of adolescent girls and boys from the early 20th century, to approximately mid-century to more present times will prove enlightening regarding how changing roles in the greater society has had an effect, perhaps a reciprocal effect, upon the reading choices of adolescents working to define their own identity in a changing world.
Concepts of adolescence in the early part of the 20th century seemed to be divided between one of two schools. One group of theorists believed the insanity of adolescence was more or less unavoidable as a natural outcome of the physiological changes that were taking place with the onset of puberty and the subsequent societal role changes expected (Blanchard, 1924: 15). The adolescent became overwhelmed with trying to adjust to physical changes at the same time that they were expected to take on new responsibilities and behaviours. According to this view, adolescence for both boys and girls was a time of great physical change, causing more hormones to be released into the bloodstream by the endocrine glands and throwing the entire physical system into an imbalance to which it requires time to adjust (Zorbaugh &amp. Payne, 1935: 373-374). The mental issues of extreme unhappiness, extreme happiness, rebellion, mood swings and other seeming psychoses are simply the