Love tales do not create violence

Scientific evidence platform Needs more evidence Love tales do not create violence
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Children, teenagers and youth daily receive many messages linking sexual relationships to violence. There are also a few messages linking affective and sexual relationships to no-violence and to love. Unfortunately, some professionals orient the co-education programs to attack these few messages of no-violence, telling children, adolescents and youth that love tales generate violence. Even in some universities, there are no works criticizing films and books like “The Perfume”, a tale of a serial killer of women, and there are plenty of works criticizing romantic stories in which there are no behaviors internationally classified as gender violence.

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Gisela Redondo

I love Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is excellent literature and Romeo and Juliet have a relationship based on love and not in violence. They die because of the violent who are against love. As a feminist, it outrages me that there are people who, as bell hooks says, they infiltrate into feminism to do the same that those who attacked Romeo and Juliet, try to impede that the teenagers with whom they work from having the freedom, if they want, to fall in love.
A mi me encanta Romeo y Julieta de Shakespeare. Es excelente literatura y Romeo y Julieta tienen una relación basada en el amor y no en la violencia. Mueren a causa de los violentos que están en contra del amor. Como feminista me indigna que haya personas que, como dice, bell hooks se infiltran en el feminismo para hacer lo mismo que hacían quienes atacaban a Romeo y Julieta, tratar de impedir que los adolescentes con quienes trabajan tengan la libertad si quieren de enamorarse.

Paula Cañaveras

As a student of preschool education three years ago, I experienced that in children’s literature lessons people were encouraged to reject classic love tales because they promoted gender stereotypes and violence. On the contrary, there was a constant promotion for new publications that were considered “alternative” and “revolutionary” because they broke with these roles. These, however, lacked the most important values such as love, friendship, truth…as their characters were always referring to their independence and their refusal of romantic relationships. Those princesses were considered “empowering” because of sentences such as “I don’t need a charming prince to save me”.

I missed the love stories I grew up with that made me dream of a future love like the one from Romeo and Juliet.

Garazi López de Aguileta

Indeed, a study that clarifies some of the misunderstandings that claim that romantic love does not promote gender violence found that “When considering the relationship between romantic love and gender-based violence, the young girls in our study did not perceive any violent attitudes in the loving interactions between characters in traditional fairy tales” (Yuste et al., 2014, p. 851), and when reviewing previous literature on the matter, the authors state that “These studies highlight how traditional tales only show the traditional model of heterosexual relationship in a patriarchal structure. However, it does not follow that this entails violence (…) Does that mean that we can find sexism in some tales? Probably. At the same time, however, these princesses never fall in love with a prince who abuses them but only with individuals who express respect and affection. According to Martin and Kazyak (2009), this is a transformative love that is far from the control of any political or social force” (Yuste et al., 2014, p. 851). As this study shows, there is currently no scientific evidence supporting the claim that love tales create violence.

The article: Yuste, M., Serrano, M. A., Girbés, S., & Arandia, M. (2014). Romantic Love and Gender Violence Clarifying Misunderstandings Through Communicative Organization of the Research. Qualitative Inquiry20(7), 850–855. doi: 10.1177/1077800414537206

Gisela Redondo

The research project entitled “”IDEALOVE&NAM” (PI: Elena Duque) funded by the National Center for Educational Innovation and Research (Spain) addressed this topic, among others. The research report of the project published by the Ministy of Education, Culture and Sports includes the scientific literature review about ideal love and masculinities. Using keywords linked to love tales such as “Cinderella” or “Snow White”, the analysis of related academic works shows that there is no causal relationship between ideal love and gender-based violence.
The reference to the research report is:

Duque, E., Burgués, A., Castro, M., Cortés, M., Flecha, R., Giner, E., Mara, L., Martin, C., Melgar, P., Merodio, G., Oliver, E., Padrós, M., Puigvert, L., Pulido, C., Ríos, O., Ruiz, L., Valls, R., Vidu, A. & Villarejo, B. (2015). IDEALOVE&NAM. Socialización preventiva de la violencia de género. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.

Last edited 7 months ago by Gisela Redondo
Gontzal Uriarte

Boys and girls need to learn to love from a young age because love is and will be the most influential aspect of well-being. The family experience of love and the friendship experiences between peers are part of learning. Love stories are very important aids in this learning. The classic tales collect the popular wisdom that explains the experience of love. In these stories it is prevented from differentiating love from violence.

This research concludes that positive conceptions of love lead to less gender violence.

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