Teens in fandom (2006 essay)

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Title: Teens in fandom
Creator: Laura Hale
Date(s): 2006, reposted 2014
Medium: online
External Links: Teens in Fandom
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Teens in fandom is an essay by Laura Hale.

At the top of the essay: "This essay was originally published July 2006 at FanHistory.com." It is unknown where on that wiki it resided. It is also unknown if the essay was edited or revised in the 2014 reposting at "Spacial Anomaly."

The internal links to fandoms in the article all go to Wikipedia rather than Hale's own (by 2014) defunct site, Fan History Wiki or Fanlore, the latter a wiki with whom Hale had issues.

Some Topics Discussed


The fan fiction community has always had minors in it. This dates back to the early 1970s. Given this and the issues of adult content, many fanzines started requiring age statements before zines would be put in the post or sold to a person at conventions. Conventions featuring slash or with adult material present began to lock out minors. These attempts to lock out teens were usually successful but there were cases when teens got access to this material anyway. In one case in the Star Trek fandom, a teenager, with consent of her mother, lied in filling out an age statement and was sent Kirk/Spock material. When this was learned, the teenager was generally shunned. [1]

Adult content control access became an issue again in 2002 with two important events happening. [2] On the anime side of the broader fan fiction community, Aestheticism shut down their adult protected fan fiction archive hosting on Virtual City. The Harry Potter fan fiction community had an opposite reaction. There were efforts to restrict access to adult materials so minors could not access them as readily after a Harry Potter site, the Restricted Section, was targeted with a cease and desist notice for their adult content. This event happened shortly after an article by The Scotsman newspaper which focused on this content [3].

Teen representation in fandom hit all time highs by the mid 2000s. This can be seen on FanFiction.Net where users under the age of 18 accounted for 42% of all the site’s traffic. It looks likely that this dominance in fandom will continue.


  1. ^ The specifics are not explained or cited.
  2. ^ Interestingly, Hale does not mention Fanfiction.net's 2002 content purge as one of these events.
  3. ^ If Hale is referring to the article Web of fantasy turns the boy wizard blue, then that happened the first week of January 2002.