Jarvis, Christine (2001) School is Hell: gendered fears in teenage horror. Educational Studies, 27 (3). pp. 257-267. ISSN 0305-5698

This article discusses the frequent use of schools as settings for horror narratives,
particularly narratives aimed at teenagers. It argues that these school settings are not incidental,
but integral to the horror. Teenage horror reflects a mixture of fears about failing to meet the
social expectations of school, of ostracisation and loneliness, anxiety about sex and sexual
violence and the realisation that responsible adults (teachers and parents) cannot protect young
people from these challenges. Many of these fears are particularly pertinent to girls, who are the
main consumers of this genre. A consideration of teenage horror may heighten parents’ and
teachers’ understanding of the intensity of the often hidden fears of those for whom we still have
responsibility. The article draws particularly on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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