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Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

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Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As pornography has become both more extreme and more commercial, antiporn activist Dines argues, it has dehumanized our sexual relationships. The radical objectification and often brutal denigration of women in porn, she holds, “leaks” into other aspects of our lives. Dines's argument rests on a compelling, close reading of the imagery and narrative content of magazines, videos, and marketing materials; what is missing, however, is a similarly compelling body of research on how these images are used by viewers, aside from Dines's own anecdotal evidence. The author's appropriation of addiction terminology—viewers are called “users,” habitual viewing is an “addiction,” and pornography featuring teenagers is called “Pseudo-Child Pornography” or “PCP”—is distracting and suggests that rhetorical tricks are needed because solid argumentation is lacking. Likewise, Dines's opponents are unlikely to be swayed by her speculation tying porn viewing to rape and child molestation, nor by the selective sources she draws on to support her point (convicted sex offenders). The book does raise important questions about the commoditization of sexual desires and the extent to which pornography has become part of our economy (with hotel chains and cable and satellite companies among the largest distributors). (July)
Library Journal
This book is nothing short of a scathing critique of modern pornography. Dines (sociology & women's studies, Wheelock Coll.; Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality) convincingly argues that the porn industry has distorted, commercialized, and repackaged sexuality for both men and women. As a prosex, antiporn feminist, Dines is disturbed by the mainstreaming of porn into popular culture and the increasing brutality of hard-core pornography. Although her cause is honorable and her argument sound, Dines's sexually explicit descriptions of pornographic web sites (often with text quoted verbatim) and movies render this an extremely uncomfortable read. Owing to the fine line between exposing exploitation and re-exploiting victims by exposing their stories, Dines makes a valiant effort at truth telling. Yet Pornland often feels like the same slideshow of violence and sexual abuse it is trying to prevent. It's clear that Dines intends to jolt her readers out of complacency by showing the violent extremes of hard-core pornography, but this tactic is a miss. More compelling is her thoughtful analysis of pornography's infiltration into the American economy, its detrimental effects on the sexual and emotional health of women and men, and its ability to perpetuate both sexism and racism. VERDICT Although intended for a popular audience, this will appeal only to other scholars interested in the social issues surrounding pornography.—Veronica Arellano, Lexington Park, MD
From the Publisher
Pornland . . . will now be the starting point for serious discussions about how porn shapes and distorts social and sexual norms. Dines understands both the economics and cultural power of the pornography industry perhaps better than anyone ever has.”—Jackson Katz, author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help

“[A] thoughtful analysis of pornography’s infiltration into the American economy, its detrimental effects on the sexual and emotional health of women and men, and its ability to perpetuate both sexism and racism.”—Veronica Arellano, Library Journal
 
“Dines brilliantly exposes porn’s economics, pervasiveness, and impact with scholarship as impeccable as her tone is reasonable. This book will change your life. Ignore it at your peril.”—Robin Morgan
 
“An eyes-wide-open look at the way the porn industry exploits and damages the gift of our sexuality to fuel itself.”—Wendy Maltz, coauthor of The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography
 
“Bravo to Gail Dines! She exposes a huge problem of our time that few people are willing to confront. Dines follows the extensive money trail, uncovering the role of corporate duplicity and greed while showing how steadily pornography has infiltrated into everyday life from almost cradle to grave.”—Diane Levin, coauthor of So Sexy, So Soon

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807044520
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 17, 2013

    I would not call this book "enjoyable," as it was rath

    I would not call this book "enjoyable," as it was rather difficult to read an many points, but it certainly was informative.  Dines provides citations for all of her statements and thoughtful commentary to follow it up.  I think this should be required for anyone wondering how the sudden widespread availability for a controversial industry is affecting us.  I would like to make note that she only discusses the straight, for mainstream-straight-mostly-white men porn, not gay porn or for-women porn, but seeing as that is the biggest market, it is the most appropriate to discuss in-depth.

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