Yes, there are more silly articles continuing the summer fashion of mainstream journalists hating on romances. One from the LA Times claims romances are bad for women’s sexual health because they don’t show use of condoms. The comments rightly blast the study as 1) not recent (done in 2000), 2) including books published as long ago as 1981 (pre-AIDS), and 3) surveying only 78 college students (not the main bulk of romance readers or even a statistically valid sample). Other commenters throw the ball back to the article writer, pointing out the use of the outdated term “bodice ripper” (which correctly applies only to some historical romances published in the 1970s), and the contradictions between the article’s beginning and its conclusion.
If that’s not enough, a British-written article in the Guardian quotes the same flawed outdated study and includes a patronizing suggestion that the lower class women who seek public health help are too stupid to know fiction from reality. It’s a shame mainstream journalists prefer to seek out ridiculous so-called professionals willing to pontificate on subjects they know nothing about. The comments on this one are priceless, well worth reading (unlike the article itself).
Do not drink any beverages while reading these, for you will spew.
Leave it to NPR online to publish a balanced, careful analysis of the study, pointing out in convincing detail all the scientific flaws, the prejudice against women, and the true ignorance the psychologist shows about romance fiction. In particular, the most telling part is her description of men asking women not to use a condom, and persuading them to have abortions. Huh? She’s the one confusing romance fiction with romance reality, for the scenes she’s talking about never take place in romances. They happen in real life.
Not to beat a dead horse here, but it’s already hot enough outside in July. Do we need to be made hot under the collar by these continuous nonsense claims about romances? A tiny percentage of people even read one book a year, let alone one work of fiction. Psychologists need to look elsewhere for causation of society’s ills, and let us lie back under the summer sun (well-protected by high SPF sunblock, of course) and enjoy reading our romances in peace.