Appearance May Be Deceiving: Pregnancy in Tamora Pierce’s Daughter of the Lioness Duology

 

In ‘realistic’ young adult (YA) literature, pregnancy is typically treated with disdain. Thus, when narrations of pregnancy do appear in YA literature, they typically portray pregnancy, and subsequent parenthood, as problematic. This refusal to engage pregnancy as anything more than a problem offers a heightened instance of wider discourses in this genre that aim to maintain conservation, hegemonic ideas; to limit adolescent girls’ control over their bodies by telling them that they shouldn’t display sexuality or “sleep around”. This limiting of the body’s sexuality is embedded in contemporary Western culture’s dominant image of acceptable girlhood: the girl is young, fit (both sense of the word) and certainly not pregnant.

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