07 July 2011

Ladies believe everything they read, psychologist says

Heh! A British psychologist says romance novels cause women to (article illustration somewhat NSFW) have "unrealistic sexual expectations" and behave in reckless ways. According to an abstract published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, romance novels stress female characters being "awakened" to awesome sex with absolutely no complications and deemphasized use of birth control, which leads female readers to believe that they can have all that, because everything in fiction is true:
While Quilliam admits that more recent Mills & Boon novels are truer to life, with female characters holding jobs and addressing challenges such as disability and domestic violence, as well as enjoying "many and varied" sexual activities, "still a deep strand of escapism, perfectionism and idealisation runs through the genre."
(Cultural note: The article refers to Mills & Boon which is the British equivalent to and now subsidiary of Harlequin.)

See, ladies? Escapism is dangerous for us! Women and their crazy ideas! They're so gullible, they think those books are true! Why that's like men thinking they can be like Chev Chelios... which gives me a great idea:
Michael Bay's action films should come with a health warning, according to a report published in an academic journal.

Blaming big-budget blockbusters for unprotected sex, unwanted murders, unrealistic physical expectations and social breakdowns, author and psychologist Susan Quilliam says that "what we see in our consulting rooms is more likely to be informed by Jerry Bruckheimer than by the Family Planning Association", advising readers of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care that "sometimes the kindest and wisest thing we can do for our clients is to encourage them to put down the movie tickets – and pick up reality."

Her comments follow a recent claim that big-budget shoot-'em-ups can "dangerously unbalance" their readers, with Christian psychologist Dr Juli Slattery saying she was seeing "more and more men who are clinically addicted to action movies" and that "for many men, these novels really do promote dissatisfaction with their real relationships."

Writing in the latest issue of the academic magazine, published by the British Medical Journal, Quilliam said that the messages of "the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sylvester Stallone movies of the 1980s and Bruce Willis/ Jason Statham/ Matt Damon As Jason Bourne Only movies of the '90s and '00s," which typically see "the hero returning from certain death, and then abandoning himself joyfully to a life of mass murder and endless trouble-free bloodshed in order to cement his badassedness," run "totally counter to those we try to promote."
Ahhhh, much better.


Elizabeth said...

I think both men and women can be influenced by the mores of the books they read, even if they know it's fiction.

(ATLAS SHRUGGED hasn't convinced me to be a libertarian yet, and boy, is it fiction, but it has another 600 pages, so we'll see.)

Wade Garrett said...

I think that Elizabeth is correct. I wonder - do women who read Harlequin romance novels tend to read them to the exclusion of other types of fiction to a greater extent than men who watch action movies watch them to the exclusion of other types of movies? Anecdotally, I would say yes, but that's just an inference.

On a related note, because, as I said above, I believe that this sort of thing does occur on some level, am I right to blame Sex and the City for the way half of the single women in New York act these days? Its not "cute" to spend half your paycheck on clothes, live on the Upper East Side on your freelancer and/or junior art gallery assistant, and throw yourself at any guy who tells you he works in finance! Just stop! Similarly, guys need to realize that emulating Patrick Bateman is not a good thing.

P.S. Chev Chelios OWNS.