Study: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Promotes Emotional, Sexual Abuse Against Women

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) – A team of researchers at Ohio State University have found that the best-selling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” perpetuates violence against women in the forms of emotional and sexual abuse.

Lead author Amy Bonomi, who will soon serve as a professor and chairperson of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University, worked alongside co-authors Lauren Altenburger and Nicole Walton to reach their shared conclusions based on expert analyses of the text.

“This book is perpetuating dangerous abuse standards and yet it’s being cast as this romantic, erotic book for women,” Bonomi said in statement. “The erotic content could have been accomplished without the theme of abuse.”

While reading through the story, which chronicles the development of a sexual relationship between protagonist Anastasia Steele and her paramour, Christian Grey, researchers were said to have used guidelines for identifying partner violence and symptoms of abuse in women set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The team found that the lead character indeed suffers from several of those symptoms, including modifying her own behavior for the sake of fostering harmony in the relationship and hiding information from her significant other out of fear, according to the release.

The study was published in the Journal of Women’s Health.


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