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Feb. 5, 2015

MSU domestic abuse expert can discuss ‘Fifty Shades’

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” which opens Feb. 13, is expected to become a blockbuster, yet the movie’s themes of bondage, domination and sadomasochism perpetuate the problem of violence against women, critics argue.

Michigan State University’s Amy Bonomi, a nationally recognized expert on domestic abuse, has studied the best-selling books the movie is based on and found that emotional and sexual abuse is pervasive in the work.

“‘Fifty Shades’ perpetuates dangerous abuse standards and yet it’s being cast as this romantic, erotic story for women,” said Bonomi, chairperson and professor of MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

In another study, Bonomi found that young women who read “Fifty Shades” are more likely than nonreaders to exhibit signs of eating disorders, have a verbally abusive partner, engage in binge drinking and have multiple sex partners.

Bonomi is available to discuss her research and the issues raised by the books and movie at (517) 355-0230 and For more information about Bonomi, see her expert page.

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