If one is looking to treat a woman in an abusive manner, apparently one has only to find a woman who loves, loves, loves 50 Shades of Grey
Anastasia Steele's biggest defeat may not have been submitting to her abuser's sexual desires, but convincing other women that the behavior was okay. At least that's the finding of a new study in the Journal of Women's Health, which claims young adult women who read Fifty Shades of Grey are more likely to replicate the behaviors of people in abusive relationships.
In the book series, Anastasia 'Ana' Steele is constantly afraid; not only of her abusive partner, Christian Grey, but of the realization that she is losing her sense of self. Though Ana's behavior is initially survivalist, it eventually become engrained as she automatically responds to her partner's abuse. Though fictional, the storyline is a chillingly accurate portrayal of very real life relationships.
The study: In a sample of 650 women aged 18-24, researchers at Michigan State University found that Fifty Shades of Grey readers were 25% more likely to have a partner who yelled or swore at them. Readers were also 34% more likely to have a partner who displayed stalking tendencies and 75% more likely to have fasted for more than 24 hours or used a diet aid. Worse still, women who read all three books in the series were more likely to regularly binge drink and have multiple sex partners, both of which are recognized risk factors for intimate partner violence.
One thing the study couldn't determine was whether women who engaged in risky behaviors started doing so before or after reading the books.
Of course, for the purposes of a Mr. Grey stand-in, it doesn't really matter if they started doing so before or after. And frankly, just on literary grounds, anyone, male or female, who actually reads 50 Shades of Grey
of their own free will and volition fully merits any subsequent abuse that might happen to come their way.