The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America / Edition 1

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Overview

The Rise of Viagra is the first book to detail the history and the vast social implications of the Viagra phenomenon. Sometimes uplifting, often surprising, and ultimately unsettling, Loe argues that the drug has redefined our understanding of what qulaifies as normal sex in America. In the quick-fix, pill-for-everything culture that Viagra helped to create, erections can now be had by popping a pill, making it possible for men to have sex on demand, regardless of the age or infirmity, and potentially, for the rest of their lives.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book's punning title clues us in to its focus: discourse relating to Viagra and the medicalization of sexual dysfunctions, first men's and later women's. Drawing heavily on academic theories, Loe (sociology & women's studies, Colgate Univ.) tells a fascinating and sometimes disturbing tale of products discovered before science understood why they worked, diseases expanded to the worried well, and experts keeping cozy and often covert company with pharmaceutical companies. The story starts with the invention of the "little blue pill" and then covers "penis-as-machine" messages, cautions about the new drug, and the search for a female equivalent. This is not sociology Loe does not give statistics of messages, opinions, or behavior. It's more an agenda-driven anthropology of how medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, journalists, and lay people have spoken and written about Viagra and sexual dysfunction and what that might mean about us. Says Loe, real people and their needs have been given short shrift by this discourse. Recommended for business, medical, and sex collections in academic and large public libraries. Martha Cornog, Philadelphia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“[An] engaging account and trenchant critique of the powerful blue pill. Based on extensive research, and written with clarity, grace, and wit, The Rise of Viagra chronicles an incredible intertwining of bodies, pleasures, marketing savvy, and the undying quest for the medical fix.”
-Steven Epstein,author of Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge

“A fine piece of contemporary history. The Rise of Viagra paints a thoughtful portrait, letting the reader decide whether the Viagra phenomenon is ultimately to be celebrated or rued.”
-Katharine Greider,author of The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers

“Meika Loe’s book tells the story of Viagra with skill and verve. She brings to that tale a sharp eye, a fine ear, and just the right degree of irony.”
-Daniel Callahan,author of What Price Better Health: Hazards of the Research Imperative

“The book is not a polemic but a deep and thoughtful examination of derivative problems not anticipated by Viagra’s aggressive marketers. It is especially effective when placing the campaign to promote Viagra (a trade name) in the greater context of the medicalization of modern health care.”
-Choice,

“Meika Loe's core argument is that the unprecedented success of Viagra in America is not the result of an exciting scientific breakthrough bringing relief to the desperate or the dying. Rather, commercial interests have created a socially desirable but medically limited product-ironically, by denying the fundamentally social nature of sex. . . . The central argument gains pace throughout the book, becoming increasingly compelling as the ominous implications of Viagra for American society unfold.”
-The New England Journal of Medicine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814752111
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Series: Sociology Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,273,101
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Meika Loe is assistant professor of sociology and women's studies at Colgate University.

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Table of Contents

Preface : Bob Dole, Bill Clinton, bazooms, and me 1
1 Introducing Viagra 7
2 The rise of erectile dysfunction 29
3 Fixing the broken male machine 63
4 The pill doesn't always thrill 95
5 The search for the female Viagra 125
6 A pill for everything? 167
Epilogue : a hard act to follow 183
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