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Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality Hardcover – 8 Jun 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (8 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807044520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807044520
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Can sex films empower women? Following former home secretary Jacqui Smith's BBC Radio 5 documentary about pornography, Gail Dines, sociologist and author debates the issue with Anna Arrowsmith, a pornographic film-maker and former LibDem candidate...' --The Guardian, March 2011

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dudeskin on 11 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book that covers lots of various aspects of the porn industry as well as telling the origins of it with it's gradual progression towards the darker more BDSM side of it.

Certainly a solid buy if you are interested in this subject as you will learn a lot of new stuff and ideas.
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By adrianaw on 14 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a good book, really useful form my essay, good condition and quick delivery, recommended for everyone interested in social aspect of pornography and its presence in media
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steve on 22 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
Dines' study is a readable, accessible account of the dangerous direction that mainstream pornography is headed in. She nails a few myths about the industry which seem to be quite prevalent. Firstly, porn is a business: its about market shares and profit, although unlike selling popcorn, it involves exploiting (mainly) young girls for the benefit of middle-aged men. She is also very good at highlighting the fantasies that porn users construct to rationalise their porn use (in a manner not dissimilar to sexual offenders). Another myth of porn is that it is somehow progressive and liberating, although Dines shows, through the genre of 'inter-racial' porn, that porn exploits some of the most hackneyed and offensive racial stereotypes. One can take issue with Dines in some respects: what about porn made by women that is non-exploitative? This is a fair point, but any such porn that does exist is swamped by the nasty stuff, so Dines' point holds: she is talking about the mainstream, and it does appear that mainstream is getting harder and more extreme, pushing girls into more and more risky and dangerous acts (this is driven, of course, by the desire for profit, which must continue to recruit users who are jaded by the more 'vanilla' sexual practices). More worryingly, what does this increasingly violent mainstream porn say about society in general? How many more Josef Fritzls are out there? And what might the relation be between mainstream porn and a wider culture of sexualised violence?

One might make more rarified theoretical objections (what might the 'authentic' sexuality Dines calls for be like, for instance?) But this is nitpicking. Dines' main argument is sound, and it needs to be taken seriously.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By emski on 21 Mar 2012
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Gail Dine's sobering and important work exposes how cruel and debasing porn has become within the extreme market and influencing 'milder' forms of the genre. Practises that invoke pedophilia, choking women until they vomit, ethnically and sexually humiliating people and practices that are literally tearing them up are now very common and profitable for these ammoral corporations that seem to totally disregard any principles of health and safety at work exposing their young vulnerable workers to body maiming practices, abuse and STD's. It is an unregulated industry gone mad and she reflects there is nowhere else to take this cruelty short of killing people. (see reflections on Ghetto Gaggers...I was totally amazed at how this material could be legal). As a sociologist, her reflections are mainly from this perspective, some up to date psychological research might have been interesting since violent porn apologists keen saying there is no research that violent porn is damaging to women or offenders, or performers. All in all an important read, especially for parents of kids growing up in this pornland where all the norms of arousal and sex are turned upside down.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Senior Groupie on 30 April 2013
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Those of us who have for years been acutely concerned about the effects of pornography on our way of life will find this book essential reading. I say that with a grimace - because Pornland is upsetting and alarming in equal measure. Prof Dines is uncompromising in her stance, and has the research to back it up. She has trawled unimaginable depths in order to produce a text which should shame all those who still think of porn as a bit of sexy fun. There are still plenty of those people about - all colluding with the commodification of sex in a multi-billion dollar trade which, increasingly, corrupts the minds of all those involved. Which means - horrifically - children as young as six. They are the ones who have seen 'gonzo' (which means abusive) porn on smart phones and tablets. Pornography is not longer a matter of sex or censorship. It is an issue of public health - and Prof Dines is a very courageous woman for continuing with her fight.
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32 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Paul Woodfine on 27 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women's studies, mother of one boy and girl and an anti-porn campaigner. She has done as much research on this subject as she could without, it seems, subscribing to any adult sites, but with attending an AVN Conference in Los Angeles. On occasion, the descriptive writing made me wince. Her research is anecdotal and comes from talking to and with undergraduates (for whom her lectures are often mandated), sex offenders and the men who would voluntarily attend such a talk. This is worth what it's worth, but it isn't transferrable to more adults with more robust attitudes.

The argument is spoiled by Dines' feminism, which force her to make "men" the problem and women the victims. In one chapter, she explains why she thinks that (not how) men grow up primed to be perpetrators, and in another how women grow up the knowing but helpless victims of pop-culture. Both chapters will dismay decent men and self-confident women everywhere.

The bit where she is shocked, shocked, to discover that the porn producers are in it for the money, not to spread the word about how sex is about fluffiness and warmth, is truly... ingenuous? naive? silly? Much of what she says about the porn industry can be said about many others, but she doesn't make the connection. Run by creeps? Check. Damaging to many people's spirits and souls? Check. Tossing aside the staff when they get older? Check. Pandering to human weakness? Check. Making things that people don't need and don't do us any good? Check. And that's just the tobacco industry. Or the garment trade. Or any business that fills the Chinese air with pollution and its land with poisonous chemicals.
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