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ABSTRACT: Romance and control are often conflated by the media, and individuals may believe that certain controlling or jealous behaviors by men toward women are romantic and can be a sign of love and commitment in heterosexual relationships.The current study explored three types of romantic beliefs among women: endorsement of the ideology of romanticism, highly valuing romantic relationships, and the belief that jealousy is good.DESCRIPTION: This dissertation is a qualitative study examining the behavior of the main characters in the novels in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga as those behaviors compare to behavior listed in warnings about partner violence.It has been well established that adolescents face a high risk of dating violence in the United States.One explanation links these behaviors to attitudes and behaviors that are reflected in the media, such as books, movies, and video games that target a teenage audience.The data indicate that seemingly positive romantic ideologies can have insidious negative effects.Findings may be useful for clinicians and those who advocate for prevention of IPV as they illustrate a need to refocus traditional ideas of healthy relationships at the societal level.
The goal was to determine whether these beliefs would be related to finding controlling behaviors romantic as well as to reported experiences of both physical and psychological intimate partner violence (IPV).We surveyed 275 heterosexual-identified women, aged 18 to 50, and measured their endorsement of romantic beliefs, the extent to which they romanticized controlling behavior, and experiences of physical and psychological abuse within their current or most recent romantic relationship.In the study presented here, a content analysis of the popular four-book Twilight series provided evidence of behaviors and attitudes that are conducive to dating violence.Cases of physical and sexual abuse, stalking, threats, and intimidation were identified in the text.
Given that this book series has been praised for its “wholesome” presentation of teenage romance, these are troubling findings.
Implications include the use of the Twilight series in social work, education, and violence prevention efforts.