Pornography

Overview

A unique and important book. I have never read any work which analyzes the subject in such a manner. This book is more thorough and has a more liberated point of view than others which attempt to tackle this 'hot potato' of the 1980s. Men should read this book. Women should read this book.

Karen DeCrow, former President, NOW

This study slices like a laser through all the fog of rhetoric, disinformation, bias, and fear that has long enveloped ...

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Overview

A unique and important book. I have never read any work which analyzes the subject in such a manner. This book is more thorough and has a more liberated point of view than others which attempt to tackle this 'hot potato' of the 1980s. Men should read this book. Women should read this book.

Karen DeCrow, former President, NOW

This study slices like a laser through all the fog of rhetoric, disinformation, bias, and fear that has long enveloped all discussions of the subject of pornography in the US. No argument in favor of the censorship of such material can be considered valid unless the basic arguments of this study are answered. . . . This is a valuable resource for all academic libraries and could well become a fundamental weapon in the war to preserve the First Amendment. This book should be purchased by all but the smallest libraries; it may well be the most honest discussion of the subject ever written. Choice

In the continuing debate over pornography, two arguments stand out: that it is evil and should be censored, or that it is evil but censorship is a greater evil. F. M. Christensen presents the other side of this debate in what will surely be one of the most controversial books on the subject. Pornography: The Other Side convincingly argues that anti-pornography campaigns are themselves morally evil. The author defends this startling claim with a scientific persuasiveness. He successfully opens the pornography debate to include the whole picture, allowing the reader to grasp another side to this ongoing debate with concise, practical arguments. Students and scholars of all the social sciences, as well as the informed general reader, will find Pornography: The Other Side a source of stimulating ideas.

Christensen concludes that pornography itself is not the fundamental issue for those who oppose it. Vehement opposition to pornography, according to this book, is a symptom of tragically mistaken beliefs about sex. What this book is really about, writes the author, is sex--and the evil effects on the lives of all of us which irrational attitudes toward that subject continue to have.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Christensen believes that pornography is not just to be tolerated: It is good in itself. Furthermore, campaigns against it are immoral and often supported by absurd arguments involving semantic cheating. Christensen claims that women are less likely to be aroused by pornography than men--he thinks they prefer romantic tales--but that it works for men. Women may complain that this promotes sexual harassment, but Christensen thinks the added burden is proportionately trivial and that prohibiting pornography tends to stimulate perversion. Instead, we should work for a more open society in which women could better cope with their own sexual needs. Those who think we should pay more attention to sex or that the world would be better with more sexually aroused males will like this book. . . .

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Library Journal

Attitudes about sex, pornography, and censorship receive unusual critical review in Christensen's title, which argues that mistaken beliefs about sex are at the heart of battles over pornographic materials. Social standards of love, sexuality and moral and physical health are criticized in chapters which should be considered by any antipornography reader: Christensen presents scholarly, logical arguments on the issue.

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The Midwest Book Review

This study slices like a laser through the fog of rhetoric, disinformation, bias and fear that has long enveloped all discussions of the subject of pornography in the US. No argument in favor of the censorship of such material can be considered valid unless the basic arguments of this study are answered. The author's own concluding summary ringingly states that 'pornography by itself is not the basic issue. Opposition to it is only a symptom of more general attitudes toward sexuality that are both false and harmful to us all.' With striking examples and detailed research, it is demonstrated how the current atmosphere works to oppress minorities, obscure underlying social problems, and subtly continue the disempowerment of women. Striking as the text of this study is, within the notes there are even stronger examples of political hypocrisy and opportunism. Clearly North Americans have a serious problem dealing with the manifestations of human sexuality and this problem has significantly distorted law enforcement and the equality of the sexes. This is a valuable resource for all academic libraries and could well become a fundamental weapon in the war to preserve the First Amendment. This book should be purchased by all but the smallest libraries; it may well be the most honest discussion of the subject ever written.

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Choice

Library Journal
Christensen believes that pornography is not just to be tolerated: It is good in itself. Furthermore, campaigns against it are immoral and often supported by ``absurd'' arguments involving ``semantic cheating.'' Christensen claims that women are less likely to be aroused by pornography than men--he thinks they prefer romantic tales--but that it works for men. Women may complain that this promotes sexual harassment, but Christensen thinks the added burden is proportionately trivial and that prohibiting pornography tends to stimulate perversion. Instead, we should work for a more open society in which women could better cope with their own sexual needs. Those who think we should pay more attention to sex or that the world would be better with more sexually aroused males will like this book. Christensen is an Indiana-trained philosopher teaching in Alberta, but there is more Hoosier wit and philosophical detachment in Susan Cole's Pornography and the Sex Crisis (Toronto: Amanita, 1989), which musters the opposing facts and arguments.-- Leslie Armour, Univ., of Ottawa
Booknews
In the continuing debate over pornography, two arguments stand out: that it is evil and should be censored, or that it is evil but censorship is a greater evil. Christensen (philosophy, U. of Alberta) presents a third claim--that anti-pornography campaigns are themselves morally evil. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275935375
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/7/1990
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

F. M. CHRISTENSEN is Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, Canada.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Background: Sexual Desire and Fantasy

Background: Sex and Values

Common Charges Against Sexual Explicitness

Pornography and Women

Portrayals of Violence

Degrading Content

Alleged Ill Effects from Use

Sex and Psychological Health

Elicitation of Violence: The Theories

Elicitation of Violence: The Evidence

Portrayed Violence and Real Aggression

Sexual Repressiveness and Violence

Pornography and the Law

Bibliography

Index

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