Picture from Medical Experts: Fifty Shades of Grey “Hazardous To Young Women”
Dr. Miriam Grossman MD has a background and experience in child and adolescent psychiatry. She was a counsellor at UCLA's Student Counseling Services for twelve years. In regards to Fifty Shades of Grey she says, "Hollywood has never produced a film so hazardous to young women." Image ©

Medical Experts: Fifty Shades of Grey “Hazardous To Young Women”

You’ve likely heard something about this year’s “Valentine’s Day” movie release, Fifty Shades of Grey. If you aren’t aware, the film is based on a best selling novel that features BDSM (a tossed-about acronym that refers to sex mixed with violence) that is being touted as a-okay between consenting adults.

If you have been listening to the buzz behind the upcoming 2015 movie, you may have discovered the book was “inspired” by the Twilight series, and that alone may peak teen interest. So when you child asks/informs/tells-you-after-the-fact that they’ve seen this R-rated movie, you may begin wondering: Are you just not up with the times? Are you passing judgment on others? Or are you the last parent in America who thinks teens watching adults having bondage sex isn’t appropriate.

Rest assured, others agree with you…

The liberal thinkers would like us to believe that any activities between consenting adults are perfectly fine, normal and to be admired. Pop psychology magazine and website Psychology Today thinks sadomasochism isn’t any more dangerous (and also implies, any more deviant) than SCUBA diving or rock climbing. However some medical professionals are concerned about heady themes of bondage, domination and sexual violence becoming everyday topics and activities within American culture.

The American College of Pediatricians has released a document written by Michelle A. Cretella, MD, FCP called Fifty Shades of Wrong: Media Influences Children! in which she references a study headed by Dr. Amy Bonomi that analyzed the novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

“These researchers (Dr. Bonomi and her colleagues) found evidence of emotional abuse in almost every encounter between the two main characters. Examples included stalking, intimidation and isolation. They found sexual violence to be “pervasive” starting with Christian’s use of alcohol to compromise Ana’s consent to engage in a sexual relationship. Furthermore, they documented that Ana demonstrates reactions experienced by abused women: constant perceived threat, an altered identity and stressful managing. They conclude that the character of Ana, with whom young women come to identify, “becomes dis-empowered and entrapped in the relationship as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian’s abuse.”

Cretella interprets these discovers further:

“The human brain undergoes unprecedented development during the adolescent years and the frontal lobes, which are the judgment centers of the brain, are not fully mature until the mid-twenties. The physiological immaturity of the adolescent brain also contributes to adolescents being more suggestible and willing to take risks than adults. They are also more easily addicted to drugs, alcohol, sexual activity and other behaviors which stimulate the “reward center” of the brain as compared to adults. For these reasons, adolescents need parents to correct the dangerous messages about alcohol, sex and violence in Fifty Shades of Grey. Specifically, adolescents need to know that regardless of the intentions of the individuals involved, sexual activity biochemically bonds a woman and a man. Consequently, sexual activity, like drugs and alcohol, impairs critical thinking and decision making. Finally, and most importantly, adolescents must be told in no uncertain terms that verbal, emotional, physical and sexual violence is never acceptable. Healthy relationships are characterized by warmth, open communication, respect and mutuality. One of the most powerful deterrents to adolescent sexual activity, drug and alcohol use is the firm communication of parental expectations to their children.

Note the bold type in the last sentence is Dr. Cretella’s emphasis—not mine.

Adding to the discussion is Dr. Miriam Grossman MD, a credentialed physician from NYU who counseled students at UCLA for a dozen years, leading up to what she says is now called the “hook-up culture”.

On Grossman’s blog she has a special category labeled Parent Survival Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey where she declares, “Excluding hard pornography, I believe Hollywood has never produced a film so hazardous to young women.” She explains that even if both adults are consenting, “Humiliation and abuse are never ok. ... Whatever [Ana, the protagonist] is thinking, it’s not emotionally healthy.”

Grossman, whose blog carries the slogan, “One hundred percent MD - Zero percent PC”, confronts high and mighty stalwarts that include Columbia University and Planned Parenthood for promoting sadomasochism to young people as being acceptable as long as the “choice is thoughtful and freely made.”

Finally the National Center on Sexual Exploitation says, “The Fifty Shades of Grey book series and franchise promote torture as sexually gratifying and normalize domestic violence, particularly violence against women.” Using the social media hashtag #50DollarsNot50Shades they are encouraging potential movie-goers to instead donate their admission dollars to a local women’s shelter.

Far too many of us, both parents and adults acting on our own behalf, are being trained to “turn off” the voice in our mind that’s trying to tell us something really isn’t worth reading, hearing or seeing. Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t about freeing sexually repressed women. It’s about money. It’s about pushing the limits yet again in an attempt to capture box office success and drive a title to the top of the profit list. Heed the advice of these experts and talk to your teens about this topic, because unless they are living in absolute seclusion, they are bound to be introduced to yet another “educational” topic by their peers during these next few weeks.

More details about the movies mentioned in this post…

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey

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