London: Romantic novels like Mills and Boons are a danger to relationships and sexual health, a British medical journal has said.
They are also a cause of marital breakdown, adulterous affairs and unwanted pregnancies, the Daily Telegraph reported Thursday quoting the journal.
An article in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care said that women struggle to distinguish between romantic fiction and real life.
Susan Quilliam, a relationship psychologist and author of the article, said a "huge number" of problems dealt with in family planning clinics have their roots in romance novels.
Women who read romance novels can "suspend rationality" in favour of romanticism, Quilliam said, including "not using protection with a new man because she wants to be swept up by the moment as a heroine would" or being persuaded to give up contraception a few months into a relationship.
A Mills & Boon spokesman said: "Romantic fiction is about escaping from everyday life, and is not a guide to reality, and our readers are intelligent enough to understand the difference."
Mills & Boon was founded in 1908 and sells 130 million titles worldwide each year. They have been translated into 26 languages, are sold in 109 countries and one is bought every four seconds, the newspaper said.