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Although the victim had little recollection of the assault, photos and videos that were circulated via phone and social media provided the evidence that led to the boys’ conviction. “Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture” (“Rape Culture”).

Likewise, Janet Alsup reminds us that “reading literature can be an ethical as well as intellectual process,” (159) and that educators ought not only to make books available that feature characters and social issues that reflect their students’ lived realities, but also critically engage these issues in the literature classroom (161).

Many educators use YAL as a tool to promote critical discussions of social issues.

Second, rates of rape were significantly higher for females than males (CDC 10); however, all of the studies also counted a number of male rape victims (Ackard and Neumark-Sztainer 467; CDC 10; Freedner et al. Notably, when looking at race and sexuality, some researchers found that youth of color, and gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) youth seem particularly vulnerable to dating and sexual violence (CDC; Freedneer et al. Third, adolescent perpetrators of sexual violence are primarily male (Banyard et al. Together, these studies illustrate the significant and varied effects of sexual violence on adolescents, challenge myths about the demographics of rape victims, and indicate a need to foster critical discussions about sexual assault with students early in their academic careers.

1322), and some researchers argue that bullying and aggressive sports may be pathways leading to sexual violence (Espelage et al. The Malo-Juvera study points to the role YAL might play in addressing this need.

Machismo takes forms in various ways and often is culturally ingrained within Latinx communities.

Machismo within our Latinx communities is most commonly presented in sets of heavily enforced gender norms and expectations.

Together, these efforts support the assertion that YAL can serve as a vehicle for engaging students in critical discussions of social issues (Wolk).