Sunday, 10 July 2011

Health Warning for Mills & Boon

Ladies, it's official! Reading too much romance is bad for your health!

Mills & Boon
Detail from cover illustration of Mills & Boon romance. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

According to an article in the Guardian on Thursday 7th July 2011, 'a huge number of the issues' addressed by psychologists in therapy rooms 'are influenced by romantic fiction.'  Women are encouraged by psychologists to 'put down the books and pick up reality.'

Apparently being addicted to romantic novels is bad for women. It distracts them from the issues affecting their relationship and 'often promotes dissatisfaction with their partner'. Romantic novels could condone casual sexual encounters of the non-protected kind (only 11.5% of all Mills & Boon's novels tackle the issue of condoms), and encourage women to abandon themselves 'joyfully to a life of intercourse-driven multiple orgasms and endless trouble-free pregnancies in order to cement their marital devotion.'

According to psychologist Susan Quilliam, 'if readers start to believe the story that romantic fiction offers, then they store up trouble for themselves – and then they bring that trouble into our consulting rooms. When it comes to romantic fiction, the clue's in the name; the genre is fiction not fact, and while romance may be the wonderful foundation for a novel, it's not in itself a sufficiently strong foundation for running a lifelong relationship.'

Well, what do you think of that?

Are women really so silly that they cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy?

Do we love our husband or partner any less because he's nothing like the dark / macho / romantic / talented / brooding / wealthy hero of the novel we are reading? The one we enjoy so much we just have to hide in the bathroom to read one more page (or ten), and try and ignore the children's pounding fists on the door as they invariably ask the same question come six o'clock: 'Mummy, what's for tea?' 

What about men reading too many crime, SAS or action fiction? What is that doing to their brain, I wonder...

View complete article here and make up your mind.


1 comment:

  1. I read that article a few weeks ago, Marie, and find it very disheartening. Surely women aren't so dense that we believe everything the FICTITIOUS romance novels tell us...and really, it's the same as movies. I don't think I've ever seen a hero in a romance film roll on a condom! But no, of course, it's Mills & Boons fault. Sigh.