Fifty Shades of Grey/Universal Pictures

Research Says 'Fifty Shades' Is Getting More Women Interested In Porn

Laugh all you want at the dismal film reviews for "Fifty Shades of Grey," but one female researcher believes the controversial narrative has actually been a key factor in sexually liberating women.

In a fascinating interview with Salon, University of Waterloo associate professor Diana Parry elaborates on a study she conducted with 28 women between the ages of 20 and 60.

Her team's results showed E.L. James' "Fifty Shades" trilogy increased comfort levels in seeking out "sexually explicit material," including erotica and porn.

Although the sample size was small, Parry emphasizes the novels opened a door into a world of exploration for many females.

She said,

['Fifty Shades'] is exposing [women] to a genre of material that they either didn't know existed or they didn't know that they liked — but they're reading the book and then they're curious... They want to see what else is out there, so they're going online to find that material.

The books, often disparaged as "mommy porn," got women talking.

Parry and her team are reportedly still understanding what counts as "explicit" to the women interviewed, but it seems many of the subjects have started to use the Internet to search for X-rated material.

Even though more erotica has been created with the female in mind, Parry says that's not always a good thing.

Take "Fifty Shades," for example; many critics label Grey's treatment of Anastasia as abuse.

Parry warns,

While [erotic books and movies] open up opportunities and provide women with unprecedented access to new genres or ways of thinking about their sexuality, at the same time, many of the scripts that are reproduced are really patriarchal scripts around women's sexuality.

While you wait in an endless movie theater line this weekend, surrounded by dozens of women publicly seeing a pseudo-pornographic film, Parry's words just might begin to make sense.

Citations: Fifty Shades of Grey Gets Women Into Porn, Research Says (Time)