Romance novels exploded in popularity in the 1970s. By 2008, sales reached 74 million. Many romance novels have a strong sexual content. A recent example is Fifty Shades of Grey, which even delves into sadomasochism. “These novels were written to be titillating, and I really don’t think there’s a huge difference between this and porn. It’s ‘soft porn,’ and indeed many women find themselves far more aroused by reading something like this than they would be watching porn on a computer. So women who devour novel after novel like that aren’t that much different from men who watch porn all night” (“Romance Novels: Dangerous, Harmless, or Just Fun?” Jan. 16, 2012, tolovehonorandvacuum.com). Even G-rated romance novels take the reader into an unrealistic world typically populated by strong, beautiful heroines and handsome, caring men who “fall in love.” They can create addiction to a fantasy world and dissatisfaction with real life. In 2011, the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health in Britain reported that romance novels “are a cause of marital breakdown, adulterous affairs and unwanted pregnancies.” As with anything of an addictive nature, there is the danger of progression. “I’ve known so many Christian teens who just devoured all the romances in the church library, and then headed to the public library for more, and ended up almost addicted to really steamy stuff” (“Romance Novels: Dangerous, Harmless, or Just Fun?” Jan. 16, 2012).
(Friday Church News Notes, September 20, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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