NEW YORK–Young adult women who watched the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” found the relationship between the characters Christian and Anastasia somewhat exciting and romantic, but also expressed grave concerns about Christian’s abusive behaviour, shows a new research.

50 shades of greayThe hit movie, based on E.L. James’ best selling novel, depicts the seduction of Anastasia, a college student, by Christian, a rich businessman.

According to researchers, women viewers aged 18-24 – a prime period for exploring love and sexuality – were able to recognise a harmful relationship marked by controlling and manipulative behaviour, stalking and emotional and sexual abuse.

“The encouraging news is that these young women are identifying aspects of an unhealthy relationship between Christian and Anastasia,” said study lead author Amy Bonomi from Michigan State University in the US.

“They were keenly aware of the different aspects of abuse in the relationship and told us in great detail the danger the abuse poses for Anastasia,” Bonomi noted.

For the study, nearly 35 college-aged women participated in groups immediately after watching “Fifty Shades”.

The study found that while some participants were able to identify Christian’s abuse of Anastasia, they were also sympathetic and rationalised his behaviour as a part of his personality, affluence and his own sexual abuse as a child.

The study appeared in the Journal of Women’s Health.