Working for Love

I stumbled upon what clearly seems to be the most awesome book ever: Sai Gaddam and Ogi Ogas’s A BILLION WICKED THOUGHTS, in which the two neuroscientists studied thousands of Harlequin romance novels to study “social expectations.”

First thing’s first: Sai and Ogi have clearly mastered academia if they found a way to get paid to do “research” by reading thousands of Harlequin romance novels. This makes me think I should have stayed in school forever and “studied” horror movies so that I had an excuse to hang out on the couch all day “working.”

But beyond that, their findings are all interesting and often quite funny. This link shows the ten most popular jobs for romance novel heroes.

The link within that article leads you to some racier material on Psychology Today—the brain doctors are always the dirty ones, aren’t they?

I have to admit: I’m a little shocked that doctors are more prevalent than cowboys. I wonder if this is because cowboys and ranchers were separated into two distinct categories. And maybe this will just expose how much of a city boy I am, but…is there really a difference?

If one thing is clear from the list, positions of power are apparently a turn on for romance readers. But the real question is this. Who’s going to write the novel about a time-traveling cowboy prince in medical school?

One Response to Working for Love

  1. This rancher’s daughter wants to know… whose idea was it to separate cowboys and ranchers in the research? OK, probably a lot of the writers did it in developing their characters – but, wow. Wow. I’m now debating whether I want to pick up any Harlequins and see WTF, or if I should just back away slowly.

    ANYWAY. Cowboys, ranchers. big deal. Same thing, different name, likely different pay grades in some places. Ranchers probably own most of their land, cowboys won’t always. (I almost made a bad joke about one night rodeos and the lack of distinction there, too, but managed to hold it back. Wait, no I didn’t.) There’s so much cultural mythology overlapping in these categories that the distinction is pretty meaningless.

    None of that answers your ACTUAL question. Positions (were you trying to make a pun, BTW?) of power… I think you are right, but I think the Harlequin readers and writers are wrong in thinking that cowboys or ranchers have much power in the real world.

    BTW, cowboy princes in medical school are called large animal vets :) close enough, anyway. And if I lose my mind then I will happily write you that book. If it’s got the same word count as the average Harlequin. Can it be a satire?

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