Kramer, D., Moore, M. (2001). Gender roles, romantic fiction and family therapy. Psycoloquy, 12 (24), np.

Abstract:  We thematically content analyzed 100 romantic fiction novels, recently published by Harlequin Books, with a family therapeutic approach providing theoretical background. The novels fall into 3 major motif types: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Taming of the Shrew. As hypothesized, we found a blatantly patriarchal value system characteristic of the novels: traditional gender roles, marked inequality in spousal structure, lack of congruent communication patterns, consistent naturalizing of aggressive spousal behaviors. The discussion draws on feminist and family therapy literature, and deals with the destructive messages the romantic fiction genre delivers to millions of readers regarding gender roles and marriage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract