I love psychology, and I love movies. Every couple of years, I teach a class called “Psychology in Film.” When I tell people about it, they often ask, “Are there enough movies about psychology for an entire class?” My response is first shock, then slight annoyance, then my vocal response of, “Every movie is about psychology.”
An abusive future?
As my initial posting for this new blog, I’d like to focus on the “Twilight” movies (based on the books by Stephenie Meyer). In the past decade, the rise in popularity of vampire-themed books, TV shows, and movies has risen dramatically. While some vampire stories are rich with sexual and cultural lessons, the “Twilight” series, in my opinion, can be used as a display of behaviors that put people at risk for abuse in dating relationships. The popularity of the Twilight series shows just how much attention girls are giving to the examples of lovers displayed in Edward and Bella‘s world. To them, Edward represents the troubled soul who is waiting to be tamed by just the right woman; it’s the modern “Beauty and the Beast.” Unfortunately, the course and characteristics of Bella’s relationship with Edward are actually templates for violence and abuse, and Twilight fans may unwittingly model a relationship that is far from healthy. While relationship violence is extremely complicated and every case is different, some warning signs have been identified by researchers.