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Book Review: Sex, Lies and Media by Galician, M.L (2004)

Updated on October 7, 2013

In Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media, the author, Galician, (2004) argues that from a young age, many people are presented with various myths, and hard to break stereotypes of love, sex, and romance in the poplar media. These forms of media may include books, magazines, television, radio, music, news and advertisements. She goes on to articulate that; mass media has become an influential mechanism of socialization which basically relies on distortion of real facts, simplifications, use of stereotypes and dramatic symbols in relaying their messages. Owing to this aspect, the author cautions individuals not to feel amused if they found themselves anticipating unrealistic things. The author laments that the portrayal of false sex, love and romance images in the mass media has affected individuals in the sense that, most are under pressure to match up with the myths presented by media. She says that the unrealistic expectations constructed by media leads to not only depression but also other equally dangerous dysfunctions.

Galician’s book focuses on the twelve common myths, and stereotypes that could be found in major media today. She presents these myths as “Dr. FUN!'S Mass Media Love Quiz” right in the beginning of the book. In the main body of this book, she then works on responding and critiquing each of these myths in accordance to what she terms as her prescription encapsulating health strategies which may be unfavorable to the mass media. She goes on to claim that her prescription with regard to such myths will assist the audience in acquiring essential knowledge on identifying, evaluating, deconstructing and reframing the myths of sex, love romance and stereotypes commonly portrayed in mass media. These prescriptions, she goes on will assist readers to critically evaluate and clarify their individual values either, as consumers or creators of mass communication and in turn share this knowledge with other people.

In support of Galician sentiments Yerkovich, (2006) observes that media has continued to feed human beings “a regular diet” that has continued to promote an idealized image of romance, love, and sex which further influences peoples thoughts negatively. In addition to these effects, most families are regarded as the basic factor that shape people’s expectations concerning, sex, love and marriage. Mass media has arguably become of the basic culture sources in the present society of capitalism. Mass media does not only offer entertainment but news as well. In the process of doing so, it transfers the popularized myths, values, beliefs and stereotypes of the society in replicating those of the existing ones in the social life. These authors are supported by yet another writer Gataullina (2003) who opine that presently, mass media has triumphed as one of the basic source of modern culture in the present society. The author argues that media has only assisted in controlling and influencing people’s thoughts with regard to their behaviors and attitudes. To him, it appears that mass media creates an exclusive art pieces such as documentaries, movies, music, television, radio, magazines and so on. Adorno, (2003) argues that most of the mass media products constitute no uniqueness at al. In his accord, what people view and see in these mass media platforms is created with the sole intention of sales and profits; hence, whatever is created by mass media is a reflection of people’s life. Therefore, these pieces are created in a level which is both except and understandable by the audience. In achieving these aspects, these media has resorted to reproducing stereotypes so as to fill the society life, and therefore has become popular to majority.

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