A colleague of mine has been going mad that his 15 yr old son is studying Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning for his GCSE English Literature. I have to admit this has left me a little queasy. You can read it here on Spark' notes, an American revision site, so I presume it is considered good High School material in the US too.
It is a deeply shocking poem and Browning writes pure drama in his poems in what I consider to be a very easy to read, modern English. The question still remains, is it suitable for 15 year old boys? I don't think so. The vast majority of them have little concept of the sexual act beyond the "nudge-nudge wink-wink say no more" Eric Idle type. The vast majority have very confused notions about love and "true love". Many, sadly, have a view of women as either as mothers and/or whores. Why is it then suitable to provide them with this flashy art-house snuff-poetry. There are no higher ideals, there is nothing edifying about it. It fails to deal sensibly or maturely with death or true love. Instead we get sexual tension, sado-eroticism, murder and madness. The boys may miss the madness bit and think that this is somehow an allowable form of fantasy.
The boy concerned attends an all boys school, therefore I have not considered the effect on girls that this poem may have and I shudder to think how they may react.