Women, have you ever found yourself at a point where you sit and think, “Why aren’t all guys caring, romantic, falling in love with me, deliciously attractive, and willing to do anything for my love?” We have all been there. Personally, I am obsessed with romantic movies for how the girl gets the dream guy in the end. I feel that women can relate with me. However, are these movies messing with our perception of love and making our standards impossible for guys? I quickly started researching to see what I could find.
Dr. Holmes Study Summary
Researchers believe that the influence of Hollywood films is implanting a sense of “perfect” relationship within society and providing unrealistic expectations about romance. A team at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh studied the top 40 box office films released between 1995 and 2005, to establish common themes. The team produced a study in 2008. They asked hundreds of people to fill out a questionnaire to describe their beliefs and expectations when it came to relationships. The results showed that the fans of films such as You’ve Got Mail, The Wedding Planner, and While You Were Sleeping, frequently fail to communicate with their partners effectively. Many of them held the view that “if someone is meant for you, then they should know what you want without you needing to tell them.” Dr. Bjarne Holmes, a psychologist who led the research, told that Marriage counselor’s often meet with these people that have this mindset and also believe that sex should always be perfect. The team drew conclusions from the studying suggesting that the popular media plays a role in putting these ideas in women minds.
Dr. Holmes spoke that the team spent a year “thoroughly analyzing” and discovered a number of common themes that were unrealistic. The idea of “the one” soul mate that we all are predestined to meet and know us well instinctively was included. Dr. Holmes expressed, “People feel like if their relationships are not like a Hollywood film, then it is not any good. Time and energy needs to be invested for it to work.” I found that others (both male and female) felt this way also by expressing their viewpoints though posts. Several people showed that they too felt like women’s view on relationships are fictional and intangible. However, others wrote about how they do not believe in such thing and how it can actually benefit the relationships. Ph.D. assistant professor of Communication studies at Chapman University, Veronica Hefner, led a study that believed showed that Romantic Comedies do not cause “unrealistic expectations.”
Veronica Hefner Study Summary
Hefner surveyed 335 students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign in 2013. The results found that there was not a strong relationship between believing in “soul mates” and “love at first sight” and the idea that “love conquers all” from watching romantic comedies encourages these “unrealistic expectations.” Hefner told ScienceDaily that and I quote, “These findings discredit the popular assumption that exposure to romantic comedies is a major source leading to unrealistic relation expectations among young people.” Her study contradicted Dr. Holmes’ team study conclusions drawn.
Dr. Holmes’ team study needed perfecting all around. The study could have been stronger in specification. Listing that hundreds of people participated is not accurate data. The number of participants is missing and it did not tell the gender or age of those who completed it. The number of participants could help in showing statistics in making a decision whether or not Rom-Coms affect these women. Including the gender in this study is crucial for you do not want male point of views mixed in with female point of views in a study that is testing what females think. The study conclusions are showing to be less accurate because of these vital pieces of information missing. Additionally, the age of the participants is essential for the study because younger females do not have the same mindset as matured women do. The study did not tell if the group of respondents were controlled or randomized in any way. I believe after all of this, the study shows to be false positive. Dr. Holmes’ team believed that they are onto giving insight in how women are having “unrealistic expectations” when really they are the ones with the unrealistic precise study. The team was onto a good start until they consequently left out vital information that made it hard to believe.
Veronica Hefner’s team study was stronger than Dr. Holmes’ team study but still had shaky parts to it. Hefner’s team also left out gender in the study. As stating before, it is very important to a study that needs only female responses to leave of male answers. Hefner very briefly mentioned in her statement about “young people’s expectations” so I took that she surveyed young students. However, since we do not know, I cannot fully assume this so I can say that Hefner should have reassured by stating that young people were the ones responding to the survey. I find that both studies are less reliable than an observational study because they are questionnaires. I consider that more studies are needed to prove one study fully right and the other wrong.
After all that was researched and told, there is no complete answer to the question. Dr. Holmes’ team suggested through their findings that Rom-Com is to blame for this reoccurring “high standards” in women. He was years later thought to be proven wrong be Hefner’s team findings in suggesting that Rom-Com actually is good and not linked to “high standards.” We all love a good sappy Romance Comedy here and there. The take away message here, said best by Huffington Post journalist, Emma Gray: “Feel free to continue your Rom-Com binge-watching without guilt. Do not actively look for realistic lessons on love from fictional accounts of romance. If you like to indulge in a little on the weekends–and why wouldn’t you?–you’ll be just fine” This quote best fits both studies conclusion in the sense that they want you to take life lessons from life and enjoy entertainment as entertainment.