Intended for healthcare professionals


Romantic novels “negate” sexual health advice

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 07 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4329
  1. Polly Stoker
  1. 1BMJ

Romantic fiction encourages the women of today to idealise sex and relationships, the consumer correspondent for the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care said this month.

In the July issue of the journal, Susan Quilliam, relationship psychologist and agony aunt for Top Santé magazine, argued the “huge relevance” of romantic fiction in relation to the women seen in doctors’ consulting rooms (J Fam Planning Reprod Health Care 2011;37:179-81).

Stressing the number of hours women around the world spend reading romantic literature—in certain developed countries romantic literature is responsible for half of fiction sales, and some women spend as long as one day a week reading it—Ms Quilliam compared them to the very few sex education hours that women were exposed to. She wrote, “What we see in our consulting rooms …

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