Romantic novel condom use debated

The use of condoms in romantic novels has been explored in a new study.

Published by the British Medical Journal in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, the research suggested many of the problems associated with family planning health clinics are derived from such erotic fiction.

Susam Quilliam, the relationship psychologist who authored the report, said the messages carried in these books - including women having babies to increase the strength of a relationship - run counter to actions promoted by the Family Planning Association.

She said: "To be blunt, we [sexual health professionals] like condoms - for protection and for contraception - and they don't."

Publications such as those produced by Mills & Boon - which has been creating such material since 1908 - often advertise escapism, idealisation and perfectionism, which go against the messages those in the industry want to be aired, Ms Quilliam added.