Vampires aside, it's really just a simple love story.

The reason teenage girls have fallen hard for the Twilight book and film series has to do with its portrayal of a traditional, romantic relationship, new research from the University of Missouri shows.

In the series, vampire Edward Cullen doesn't want to harm or bite his teen love interest Bella Swan, which means they can't have sex.

"With teens, we actually found that they appreciated the messages of abstinence," said Melissa Click, an assistant professor of communication who surveyed 4,000 Twilight fans, aged 11 to 70.

Click and her co-authors' research primarily addresses the reasons behind the teenage-madness for Twilight, a four-book series with two films so far.

The Missouri research found that many teen girls — who make up the core of Twilight's audience, along with a few moms — are drawn to the story about love beyond the physical.

"The media environment is saturated with teens in sexual relationships," said Click, who plans to publish the findings next spring in a collaborative book Bitten by Twilight: Youth culture, media and the vampire franchise.

"(Twilight) does provide something different for girls. I've had girls say to me, 'I'm going to wait for my Edward.' And they think that's really cool."

Source: Vancouver Sun
http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Lack+attracts+teen+girls+Twilight+series+study/2238456/story.html