Fifty Shades of Grey readers depict higher levels of sexism, examine discoveries

Young women who read EL Jamess porn bestseller are more likely to endorse prejudiced positions, research claims

Young women who have read EL Jamess erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey are more likely to showing sexist attitudes, according to new research.

Readers around the world have bought more than 100 m copies of Jamess trilogy, which follows the increasingly dark concerning the relationship between billionaire tycoon Christian and shy student Anastasia, from his laying out of a contract detailing the sadomasochistic nature of their relationship, to a descent into his dark past.

Academics at Ohio State and Michigan State Universities have now examined the association between having read the book and holding sexist faiths. They find in their new newspaper Sexist Attitudes Among Emerging Adult Women Readers of Fifty Shades Fiction that women who had read the book had higher levels of ambivalent, benevolent, and hostile sexism. Benevolent sexism is defined as the faith that girls should be cherished and protected by humen, while hostile sexism is the negative and objectifying view.

The researchers, led by Lauren Altenburger, analyse data regarding 747 females aged between 18 and 24 attending a US midwestern university. They measured their views utilizing the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, which consists of 22 statements which can be is a response to on a scale of agreement. Eleven of the statements express hostile sexism such as women seek to gain power by getting control over men while 11 voice benevolent sexism in express such as girls should be cherished and protected by men.

Around 61% of respondents had not read the trilogy, with 46.2 % of those who had read any parts of the books saying that they liked them.

The researchers found that those who had completed at least the first book in the trilogy had stronger ambivalent, hostile, and benevolent sexist attitudes than those who did not read books in the trilogy. Those who described the storyline as romantic were more likely to endorse benevolent and ambivalent sexist attitudes.

Consistent with notions of benevolent sexism, Anastasias complete fulfilment is not achieved without a heterosexual, monogamous romantic relationship, the academics write, pointing to the pressure Anastasia feels to satisfy Christian because she will otherwise end up alone with lots of cats and[ her] classic fictions to keep[ her] company, and the compulsion she feels to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs.

Because the relationship between Anastasia and Christian coheres closely with the idea of benevolent sexism, it stands to reason that the individuals who find Fifty Shades romantic would also hold benevolent sexism beliefs, they write in their newspaper, which has been published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour journal.

The academics admit that other factors might play a factor contributing to their findings for example, those with more sexist faiths might be drawn to read Fifty Shades, but also that reading the novel might cultivate sexist attitudes.

However, pointing to previous research that found that the series romanticises dynamics that are consistent with violent romantic relationships, they say it is concerning that a sizable portion of women in their sample discovered the tale romantic.

They take issue with some portrayals of the books as empowering in order for women sexuality and momma porn, saying that nearly every interaction between the two main characters conforms to traditional gender ideologies. Christian, they write, asserts hegemonic masculinity and an insatiable sex drive and Anastasias femininity is submissive, depicting low self-esteem and longing for emotional connection.

The novelists believe young people should be shown how to consume fiction through a critical lens, with titles such as Fifty Shades are applied to trigger conversations about traditional representations of the sexes in the media. They also suggest that writers could be encouraged to represent more egalitarian gender roles in their work.

The juxtaposed relation between Christian and Anastasia takes the form of a violent hierarchy, attaining Anastasia appear inferior to Christian she is depicted as weaker, less assertive, more emotional, and less intelligent. Furthermore, the power imbalance[ between them] takes the form of emotional abuse( Christian intimidates, threatens, stalks, humbles, and socially isolates Anastasia) and sexual violence( Christian use intimidation and alcohol to impair Anastasias consent ), they write.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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