Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality Hardcover – Jun 29 2010
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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
"We're now so pornography-saturated that our capacity for sexual delight is being brutalized. Gail 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
"Thoroughly researched and forcefully argued, Pornland is a must-read. From the intricate linking of the porn industry with Fortune 500 companies to behind the scenes of Girls Gone Wild, Dines makes eye-opening connections and breaks new ground with every chapter."—Chyng Sun, associate professor of media studies, New York University, director of The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality, and Relationships
"Pornland takes a quantum leap beyond the tired pro-porn vs. anti-porn debates of recent decades. It will now be the starting point for serious discussions about how porn shapes and distorts social and sexual norms. Gail Dines understands both the economics and cultural power of the pornography industry perhaps better than anyone ever has. This is accessible and grounded social analysis at its finest."—Jackson Katz, Ph.D., creator of the video Tough Guise and author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
"An eyes-wide-open look at the way the porn industry exploits and damages the gift of our sexuality to fuel itself. Pornland is well researched, well written, and heartfelt. I highly recommend it."—Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST, coauthor of The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography
"For more than a decade, Gail Dines has been at the forefront of the study of the contemporary pornography industry and its effects. Many have been eagerly awaiting Pornland, in which she synthesizes all that work-and it has been worth the wait. It is, without question, the definitive book on pornography and pop culture in the twenty-first century. Dines has achieved something rare: she looks at an increasingly pornographic society without backing away from the ugly truth, and without giving up hope for a better world."
—Robert Jensen, University of Texas at Austin, author of Getting Off:Pornography and the End of Masculinity
About the Author
Gail Dines is professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College. The author of two previous books and a regular commentator on TV and radio, Dines has been covered in Newsweek, Time, USA Today, the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book follows the evolution porn has taken and the way it is being socially engrained on everyday life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book illuminated these assertions. The author deftly outlines how male sexual understanding is shaped through observation of porn-style sex from an early age. This isn't stealing dad's nudie magazine or watching an old grainy Hustler tape; this is one image after the other, with the option to increase the violence or kink as tastes evolve over time. The porn industry itself supports this assertion through documentaries like "Hardcore" (a UK release) and "9 to 5 in the Porn Industry" which interviews heavy weight porn stars like Sasha Grey at the early stages of her career. At that early age, the stars have to be willing to do almost anything, and are violently degraded and physically hurt for hours -- so much so that 90% don't make a second film. Even those who have long careers lamented in these films how evolving tastes are forcing them to endure increasing levels of violence and humiliation if they want to prolong their careers.
And what do young male viewers learn from watching this? That if they want to up the ante in a sexual relationship, they up the violence. That female sexual response mirrors male response. That women are willing to do anything, and there's no need to stop, even if she's crying or asks you to. Similar to the articles listed above, the author reports that only 5% of women report enjoying sex on a "hook up" -- not much motivation to pursue further. She also states that men are also left vulnerable, and insecure about sexual capabilities when using porn stars as a means of measurement.
Is her evidence perfect? No. She bases a lot of her research on informal surveys of college and high school students. It is unclear what kind of racial, class, and ethnic diversity was present in the survey sample. It was also unclear how many surveys were distributed over all. It would be compelling to include data about the porn habits of sex offenders and domestic abusers, as well as female viewers of porn (an area that really needed to be addressed more thoroughly). Segments of stories from stars like Jenna Jameson and Sasha Grey, both of whom radically changed the industry before ditching it, further underscores the potency of her assertions. If these women are presented and understood as objects, do their male porn counterparts suffer the same stigma? Is there any escaping the objectification? And if there isn't, isn't it plain to see that this type of media is damaging?
I can't recommend doing away with any form of media, but we should know what we're watching, and acknowledge the potential impact. And this seems to be what the author successfully encourages each reader to do.
She then describes the hard-core pornography that has become mainstream today. The popular film series Girls Gone Wild depicts all women as being sexually available, Dines asserts, because women, specifically young, white women, are ready to undress and make-out with one another just for the thrill of knowing men are watching...or so one would think from watching Girls Gone Wild.
Dines also addresses how both women and men are negatively influenced by the mainstream porn industry in their everyday life. Many heterosexual women are confused by why men are so interested in having anal sex; the increased focus on anal sex in pornography might have something to do with this. Likewise, the vast majority of teenage and twenty-something women in the U.S. have taken up shaving their pubic hair. This comes directly from porn, where women are typically shown hairless (liking pubic hair on a women is considered a fetish and there is a special genre of porn for it). This change in the way women take care of themselves has resulted in nurses changing the way they do rape-crises kits; they can no longer collect samples of public hair, as they once did.
Anyone living in today's society should pick up this book, as I really did not begin to touch on the arguments Dines makes. Everything she says comes from the view of a Marxist and leftist who is fed up with the left not taking the racist, misogynist, capitalist porn industry seriously, and indeed, coming up with every possible excuse of why not to do so.
1) porn is only fantasy and harmless fairytale for adults
2) porn is finally liberating our long pent-up sexuality
3) we are adults and we can always discern between porn and real sex with real women
4) porn can never change our attitudes towards women
The author Gail Dines is no feminist radical and you must admire her patience and clear logic with which she builds the case against the porn-industry and its false claims and downright lies about their noble and liberating mission in our bedrooms... the books reads like crime novel and with every page and with every popular claim observed (some are listed above 1-4), disected and completely debunked with cold logic and arguments.. the ugly and slimy face of porn starts to seep though the public mask this industry carefully constructed within last 15 years, built to make you believe watching porn is actually natural and healthy "entertainment" with no side-effects and absolutely no doubts necessary...
as reaction to some other reviewers... i actually loved that the book was on more philosophical and personal-opinion side rather than the ussual pop-psychology books with hundreds of research studies and all-nation surveys and polls put together and thrown into your face on every other page but no critical thinking from the authors... Gail Dineson on the other hand sat down and really thought about the whole problem and presented a coherent and well argumented view of pornography... you dont have to agree with her but this book is like having a great discussion with a very good rhetoric and critical thinker who doesnt beat you with surveys and poll results but instead uses arguments and critical thinking to try to convert you... iam totally converted... and btw. iam a man, 31 age, in long-term relationship, atheistic and recently worried by my long term compulsive porn-use and its effects on health, relationship and my sexuality...
I believe we need both types of books - those author teams that gather scientific data and statistical numbers (the hard facts) and draw conclusions from facts only and the other type - the independent thinkers and "philosophers" who only use comon sense and their own experience and views... both books have their benefits and value in the discussion...
some reviewers seem to devaluate Daines because she dares to say "only" her opinion without supporting it with double blind studies and national poll results, graphs and consumer analysis... iam a man and porn-user and everything Daines says makes total sense - a common sense in fact... much of the stuff disclosed in the book about male behaviour of porn-users applies perfectly in my case - i just never could articulate it as good and clear as this women...
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