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Romance novels pose threat to women's sexual and emotional health - medical journal

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Aug 19, 2011, 8:39pm   #1
DisCo's Avatar
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DisCo
Happy Chrissy!
This cracked me up LOL

Quote:
IT'S all innocent stuff: square-jawed boy meets doe-eyed girl, they fall in love, encounter a few rocky moments but ultimately seal their union with a kiss or a vague hint of sex.
Wholesome yarns like this form the heartbeat of romantic fiction, a genre that has been in existence since the mid-18th century and today sells by the bucketload.

But, according to a debate launched on Thursday by a medical journal in Britain, romantic novels are an invisible yet potent threat to women's sexual and emotional health.

A commentary blasts these formulaic books for failing to promote safe sex and encourage patience in achieving female orgasm - and for defining the success of a relationship as the ability to crank out babies.

"If readers start to believe the story that romantic fiction offers, then they store up trouble for themselves," says British author and relationship counsellor Susan Quilliam.

"Sometimes the kindest and wisest thing we can do for our clients is to encourage them to put down the books - and pick up reality."

Ms Quilliam, writing in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, says that, according to a survey, only 11.5 per cent of romantic novels mention condom use.

"And within these scenarios, the heroine typically rejected the idea because she wanted 'no barrier' between her and the hero," she notes.

Even the steamier offerings of romantic fiction are dismal failures when it comes to sexual health, she contends.

The typical bodice-ripper ends "with the heroine being rescued from danger by the hero, and then abandoning herself joyfully to a life of intercourse-driven orgasms and endless trouble-free pregnancies in order to cement their marital devotion."

In fairness, says Ms Quilliam, romantic fiction today has broadened its spectrum.

Standard characters such as the brutal count and apple-cheeked maid have been supplemented by single mums, sensitive men, partners who each have to juggle daily jobs or cope with addictions, disabilities and even domestic violence.

Even so, these books fail miserably when it comes to sexual pleasure and dealing with the ups-and-downs of relationships, she says.

"We want women to be aware of their own desires rather than be 'awakened'. We aim to reassure our female clients that their first time may not be utterly joyful and that they may not gain reliable orgasms through penetration, but that they themselves are none the less existentially valid and that with affection and good humour things can improve immensely.

"We warn of the stresses of pregnancy and child-rearing, and we discourage relentless baby-making as proof of a relationship's strength."

According to figures cited by Ms Quilliam, romance accounts for nearly half of all fiction bought, and some fans read up to 30 titles a month.

For all its popularity, the genre has only been rarely explored to see how influential it is on its readers, says Ms Quilliam, who suspects though that it could have massive clout.

"What we see in our consulting rooms is more likely to be informed by Mills and Boon than by the Family Planning Association," she says.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/weird-true-fr...#ixzz1VWcNmu80
Aug 20, 2011, 2:26am   #2
CuTe_ClAsSy's Avatar
CuTe_ClAsSy
Member
JMO, but this is such overanaylzed bullish*t. People take themselves way too seriously.

I read a similar article about how Twilight is evil and the main characters are in an abusive relationship and it's going to single handendly ruin the minds and lives of this generation.
Aug 20, 2011, 12:02pm   #3
oggers86's Avatar
oggers86
Member
Interesting..I read romance books and crime fiction books. I have not yet been reduced to a gibbering mess because my relationship isnt a fairy tale, or a pshyco axe murderer because thats what many of the books I read are about (well not axes specifically but you get my drift)

What is wrong with people, seriously?? When are we going to take some responsibility for our lives instead of blaming other people!!!!
Aug 20, 2011, 1:37pm   #4
mockinglee's Avatar
mockinglee
Piemaker
I don't even read romance novels, but...

Quote:
"Sometimes the kindest and wisest thing we can do for our clients is to encourage them to put down the books - and pick up reality."
If reality is a requirement in our fiction, then I guess no one should be reading sci-fi, fantasy, period, or anything that has anything not based in the real world?

And if romance is such a threat to women, I wonder if there is a corresponding study for the effects of porn on men's sexual and emotional health.
Aug 21, 2011, 10:34am   #5
D
DeanaCal
Member
Apparently those of us who read romance novels are silly little twits without brains in our heads, and can't separate fiction from reality. I also love Star Trek but I suppose watching it is detrimental to my mental health, giving me an unhealthy and unrealistic view of a future where world hunger has been abolished and races from lots of planets all get along with each other.

Shame on me for not being able to distinguish between what the world is like now and what could have been or what could be, in FANTASY!

I'm probably taking this too seriously since I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning, but I found this article insulting and it really rubbed me the wrong way.
Aug 21, 2011, 5:58pm   #6
ilovepinkhearts's Avatar
ilovepinkhearts
J'aime coeurs roses
fiction = NOT real

i know this...i'm sure most other women know this.

where is the study that shows that porn ruins a man's sexual and emotional health?

or are we women just so weak and slow witted that we don't know how to differentiate between reality and a fictional book?


** WOW - mockinglee! we pretty much posted the same thing. i didn't realize it until after i posted. great minds think a like
Last edited Aug 21, 2011 at 5:59pm. Reason: **
Aug 21, 2011, 6:40pm   #7
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oceansportrait
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I was watching a Japanese tv show the other day, and one "specialist" was saying that there was a study done in the U.S. that looked at the correlation between liking "Cinderella" and women in abusive situations, and they came to the conclusion that those women who liked the story "Cinderella" as children tended to stay in abusive situations longer than those who didn't because, just like in the story of "Cinderella" where the protagonist endured constant abuse from her sisters eventually to find happiness with her prince, they said that people who liked "Cinderella" were more likely to think that as long as they endured the abuse, they would eventually find happiness.

I've never heard of anything so ridiculous. This study too also assumes that people (women in particular in this study) don't have the ability to separate reality from fiction.


(The show's called: "Honma Dekka?" if anyone who knows Japanese wants to check it out ^^; )
Aug 21, 2011, 7:34pm   #8
labelwhore04's Avatar
labelwhore04
Member
So if romance novels are bad for us then i guess so are movies, tv shows, plays, musicals, pretty much anything with a happy ending..what a load of horse s***
Aug 21, 2011, 11:11pm   #9
HauteMama's Avatar
HauteMama
.
I have to agree with all of the above. Anytime a person cannot distinguish between fiction and reality there is a problem, not just of unhappiness but likely of psychosis. ANY fiction, whether it is a book or movie or pornography or music or theatre or any other medium, can cause unrealistic expectations if a person believes it to be true. While I don't read romance novels, like a PP above mentioned, I have read and watched the Star Trek series. I am now frightened that my "emotional health" is at risk due to my unrealistic expectations of the future.
Aug 22, 2011, 4:35am   #10
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oggers86
Member
Originally Posted by oceansportrait
I was watching a Japanese tv show the other day, and one "specialist" was saying that there was a study done in the U.S. that looked at the correlation between liking "Cinderella" and women in abusive situations, and they came to the conclusion that those women who liked the story "Cinderella" as children tended to stay in abusive situations longer than those who didn't because, just like in the story of "Cinderella" where the protagonist endured constant abuse from her sisters eventually to find happiness with her prince, they said that people who liked "Cinderella" were more likely to think that as long as they endured the abuse, they would eventually find happiness.

I've never heard of anything so ridiculous. This study too also assumes that people (women in particular in this study) don't have the ability to separate reality from fiction.


(The show's called: "Honma Dekka?" if anyone who knows Japanese wants to check it out ^^; )
So what about people like me who love Cinderella but realise that in real life Prince Charming doesnt really exist. No man will ever be perfect but the whole point of a relationship is to compromise.

I also have never been in an abusive relationship hoping for the fairytale ending because its life not a fairytale (plus I wouldnt be with someone who wasnt very nice)

What exactly would be the point in fairytales if they basically turned around and said "Cinderella divorced Prince Charming within a year" What little girl wants to hear that? Yes thats life but even adults want to escape from reality for a while, the majority of us arent stupid enough to confuse the 2. All you have to do is look at the glass shoes..I mean how uncomfortable must they be?? Nobody in reality can wear those surely!! Therefore Cinderella=ficton uncomfortable shoes=reality
Aug 22, 2011, 5:49am   #11
Samia's Avatar
Samia
Easily Distracted!
Quote:
What exactly would be the point in fairytales if they basically turned around and said "Cinderella divorced Prince Charming within a year" What little girl wants to hear that?
LOL!

These studies are just over analyzing our lives! I don't believe this one bit!
Aug 22, 2011, 8:44am   #12
G
GirlFriday
Member
I can see some women taking the romance thing too far. Just like others mentioned, you can do the same with any other type of medium, regardless of gender. I've known some girls who have unrealistic expectations of love and many of them read romance novels and still watched Disney princess movies. I doubt the movies made them that way, but I suspect, they were drawn to those types of mediums. But most people that read romance novels are probably just reading it for fun and live in reality. It's escape and it's fun. No biggie.
Aug 22, 2011, 8:53am   #13
lily25's Avatar
lily25
UNMUTUAL
I was reading Harlequin just to find out more about sex when I was a kid, due to the lack of credible info from friends. It didn't really prove very useful of course (apart the very interesting parts of hard manhood ), nor did it ruin my relationships, or my expectations out of men. It sure made me slightly obsessed with hard manhood but I think it is quite innocent and natural for hot blooded gals.

If those light romance novels are dangerous what do the studies have to say about Sex and the City? I bet the series convinced many women that one can have a huge collection of high end shoes, live in Manhattan, and party every night, with as little work as writing 1 article per week in a newspaper.
Aug 22, 2011, 10:55am   #14
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Ladybug09
So Sweet!
Lol!
Aug 22, 2011, 12:25pm   #15
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mockinglee
Piemaker
I wonder what these "your fantasies must be grounded in reality" types would think of furries and cosplayers.
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