We love posting new health studies, but this one is REALLY reaching.
An essay published in the latest edition of the UK Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health is charging that romance novels are responsible for encouraging unsafe sex practices!
Comparing sex between characters in trashy romance novels and actual people, a relationship psychologist wrote in the essay:
"To be blunt, we like condoms — for protection and for contraception — and they don't. In one recent survey, only 11.5% of romantic novels studied mentioned condom use, and within these scenarios the heroine typically rejected the idea because she wanted 'no barrier' between her and the hero."
The author continues to point out that the literary genre could instead be spreading positive safe-sex messages, writing:
"In some Western countries, romance accounts for nearly half of all fiction bought; some fans read up to 30 titles a month, one book every two days. So while women's exposure to formal sex and relationships education (SRE) may be as little as a few hours in a lifetime, exposure to the brand of SRE offered in romantic novels may be as much as a day every week."
Uh-oh! We don't remember any prose in Breaking Dawn describing the Trojan that Edward slipped on before he consummated his eternal love with Bella! LOLz!
Does this mean an entire generation of Twi-Hards are going to give up on condoms? Ummm, we doubt it!
In fact, NPR has already pointed out several flaws in this psychologist's argument. The information is based off of only 78 books, all of which were were published between 1981 and 1996 before a widespread understanding of STDs hit the general public.
Sounds like the author of this essay shot off an argument a little prematurely, don't ya think? Ha!
Regardless, we believe it's up to the parents and schools to educate children about safe sex, not authors trying to make a buck off of their readers.
We'd say this argument is about as valid as saying all these vampire hotties frolicking around pop culture are encouraging people to develop a fetish for necrophilia.