Thursday, May 20, 2010

Romance Is Good for You

Last week, one of our local community freebee magazines contained an article about the importance of relationships, especially good marriages, to personal well-being, which seems to be a popular topic in the media in recent years.

It's been known for a while that fulfilling relationships promote good health. Married people have longer lives and less illness and depression than unattached people, and partnered folks enjoy positive effects on blood pressure, susceptibility to pain, and many other factors. Here's one article on that topic:

Health Benefits of Relationships

Sex has healing powers, too. All those secretions such as endorphins and oxytocin do great things for physical as well as mental health. Not to mention the aerobic exercise:

Health Benefits of Sex

Relationships are vitally important to our welfare. Love is not just a frill. Romance novels deal with one of the most important facets of human life. So why do they get no respect, even nowadays when most genre fiction is taken more seriously than it used to be?

The obvious answer—that romance falls under the trivialized category of "women's" fiction—raises the further question of when and why such a central issue as the forming of intimate relationships became relegated to the feminine sphere, beneath the notice of men aside from its relevance to family dynasties and business alliances? Because women usually have a deeper, more hands-on involvement than men in the care of children, so by extension anything focused inwardly on the family rather than outwardly on commerce, politics, war, etc. (you know, the "important" stuff) has been left to the female half of the population?

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt

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