MANILA, Philippines – A recent study at Michigan State University found out that reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ an erotic romantic novel by E.L. James, puts women at more risk of succumbing to eating disorders, binge drinking and abusive relationships.
The findings of the scientists claim that they are not endorsing the ban for the novel, but are merely stating the risks of reading the book.
There have been previous studies relating the effects of watching violent films to the behavior of the person who watches it, but this research is among the first to analyze the relationship between health risks and popular fiction depicting violence against women.
Fifty Shades of Grey is about the deepening relationship between a literature graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a young business tycoon, Christian Grey. The predicament of the story lies on the extreme fondness of Christian Grey to sadism and masochism, resulting to physical violence and emotional torture of Anastasia Steele.
Related: Quotes from Mr. Grey’s sexy mouth
It should be noted that the study, which appears in the Journal of Women’s Health, was not able to prove causation. According to the lead researcher and family expert Professor Amy Bonomi, “it doesn’t show whether reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ causes the behaviors, or whether exhibiting the behaviors cause you to read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.” The link is problematic either way.
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Bonomi said, “If women experienced adverse health behaviors such as disordered eating first, reading Fifty Shades might reaffirm those experiences and potentially aggravate related trauma.”
“Likewise, if they read Fifty Shades before experiencing the health behaviors seen in our study, it’s possible the books influenced the onset of these behaviors.” she further explained.
The study included more than 650 women who are between 18 and 24 ; these is the period when women are more active in discovering greater sexual intimacy in relationships.
Results show that those who read the first novel were 25 percent more likely to have a partner who yelled or swore at them, 34 percent are more likely to have a partner who demonstrated stalking tendencies, and more than 75 percent are more likely to have used diet aids or fasted for more than 24 hours.
A shocking 65 percent of the women who read all three in the series were more likely to binge drink, or drink five or more drinks on a single occasion on six or more days a month, and 63 percent more likely to have had sexual intercourse with at least five men.
Bonomi added that women who have read and are planning to read the book should be aware of the association of the book to relationship violence. The book can actually be of instrument to guide women to identifying and avoiding toxic relationships, given that they read with a critical eye and sharp mind.
The ‘Fifty Shades’ series has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. The film, starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele is scheduled for release on February 2015.
Watch trailer here.