The first session of the course has me wanting to begin extended research

Whether we like to admit it or not, the mass media are powerful socialization agents that rely on simplification, distortions of reality, and dramatic symbols and stereotypes to communicate messages from which consumers learn and model many behaviors — both healthy and unhealthy.

– Mary-Lou Galician, “Dis-illusioning” as Discovery: The Research Basis and Media Literacy Applications of Dr. FUN’s Mass Media Love Quiz and Dr. Galician’s Prescriptions” – Critical Thinking About Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications (Routledge Communication Series)

Dr. Galician contends that “it is important to study the consequences of the media’s dissemination of unrealistic but normalized portrayals and of the public’s adoption of these portrayals as models.”

Moreover, unrealistic expectations are linked to dissatisfaction in actual coupleship. Unrealistic expectations and stereotypes are held by large numbers of women and men. The societal and personal costs of such dysfunctions are enormous, including not merely unhappiness but also serious emotional harm and physical harm from depression, abuse, and violence.


I agree with Dr. Galician’s theory that unrealistic, mythic and stereotypic portrayals of sex, love, and romance adverseley affect males to the same degree as they affect females. The very basic stereotypes of male and female archetypes are prevalent in all forms of media, including the type I am most active in, social media. I come across images, statements, and observations daily that I take issue with. The battle of the sexes rages daily on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Have I mentioned how excited I am about the content of this course?  I am not sure if we will be covering all the chapters in Critical Thinking, but if we don’t, I know I will be reading them on my own. This book has chapters examining Zora Neale Hurston, Maid in Manhattan, Golden Girls, The Sopranos, The Bachelor, reality television shows, and Valentine’s Day, all in the context of how they portray sex, love and romance.

“Your problem is that you’re looking for a knight-in-shining-armor, but no man in his right man would consider you a damsel-in-distress.”

– from Dr. FUN’s video presentation “What Men & Women Want” (a private video unfortunately, or I’d link it)

Dr Watts, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, said: “People down the ages have always tried to capture and pigeonhole love. The evidence suggests, however, that love is historically and culturally variable. There is no one true or definitive account of love, rather there are a limited and interconnected variety of love stories at work in any particular culture. It’s okay for love to differ across relationships and to change its character with the passage of time – it’s equally acceptable for us to change our views of love as we go along.”

– Nottingham Trent University, Love is…

According to the Nottingham study, I have previously believed in the following types of love: Mutual Trust, Recognition and Support; Hedonistic Love; and Love as Ultimate Connection and Profound Feeling.


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