A British psychologist says that romance novels are influencing “a huge number of the issues that we see in our clinics and therapy rooms”:
Blaming romance novels for unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancies, unrealistic sexual expectations and relationship breakdowns, author and psychologist Susan Quilliam says that “what we see in our consulting rooms is more likely to be informed by Mills & Boon 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 books – and pick up reality”.
Her comments follow a recent claim that romance novels can “dangerously unbalance” their readers, with Christian psychologist Dr Juli Slattery saying she was seeing “more and more women who are clinically addicted to romantic books”, and that “for many women, 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 post-sexual revolution bodice rippers of the 1970s”, which typically see “the heroine being rescued from danger by the hero, and then abandoning herself joyfully to a life of intercourse-driven multiple orgasms and endless trouble-free pregnancies in order to cement their marital devotion”, run “totally counter to those we try to promote”.
See also: How Romance Novels are Like Pornography