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The Sex Myth: Why Everything We're Told is Wrong [Kindle Edition]

Dr Brooke Magnanti
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Why everything the media tells us about sex is wrong ...

Is there any truth to the epidemic of sex addiction? Are our children really getting sexualised younger? Are men the only ones who like porn? Brooke Magnanti looks at all these questions and more - and proves that perhaps we've all been taking the answers for granted.

Brooke Magnanti is no stranger to controversy. As Belle de Jour she enthralled and outraged the nation in equal measure. Now her real identity is out in the open, Brooke's background as a scientist and a researcher can come to bear in her fascinating investigation into the truth behind the headlines, scandals and moral outrage that fill the media (and our minds) when it comes to sex.

Using her entertaining and informed voice, Brooke strips away the hype and looks at the science behind sex and the panic behind public policy. Unlike so many media column inches, Brooke uses verifiable academic research. This is fact not fiction; science not supposition.

So sit back, open your mind and prepare to be shocked ...

Product Description


She accomplishes this heroic task with humour, skill and passion in a book that is as entertaining as it is erudite (Catherine Hakin THE OBSERVER 2012-04-15)

An important book... exactly the kind of level-headed analysis that could help to dispel some of the hysteria surrounding the sex industry (Suzi Godson THE TIMES 2012-04-16)

Book Description

Why everything the media tells us about sex is wrong...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 728 KB
  • Print Length: 269 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0297866397
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (3 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00802QQBC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,266 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dr Brooke Magnanti is a science researcher who studied Genetic Epidemiology at master's level and did her doctoral studies with the Department of Forensic Pathology at the University of Sheffield.

Her professional interests include population-based research, standards of evidence, and human biology and anthropology.

In 2009 it was revealed that she is an ex-call girl and author of the bestselling Belle de Jour series of memoirs, which were adapted into the ITV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl starring Billie Piper.

Photo (c) Richard Saker Guardian News Media Ltd 2010

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and rigorous debunking work 20 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a book that made me shout "Yes! At last somebody with sense and method!" at nearly every page.
Dr Magnanti explores the most unfairly propagated myths about sex and do so by carefully and scientifically debunking all the so-called studies that are relentlessly used or misused to push either sensationalist and/or incompetent news on one hand, or the dubious agenda of sexophobic and/or technophobic crusaders.
The author's scientific methods are impeccable and her counter arguments are very well explained even to the non-expert.
Contrarily to what another review claim, I can attest that references are made for every citation she presents or paper she refers. Also, her style is sometime colloquial but it is in no way at the detriment of the book contents nor of the rigour of the scientific approach used.
I initially feared that being a former sex-worker could be a hindrance for her objectivity but it was not the case: She uses no preconceptions to influence her reasoning while being open-minded and candid, two very useful qualities when dealing with such a loaded domain as sex studies.
This book was a breath of fresh air that confirmed my suspicions after reading wobbly 'studies' after another, and also taught me a great deal about statistical methodologies that can be used for other domains that also fall prey of sensationalist journalism or scaremongering politics. Excellent book !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely important book 8 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From time to time moral crusaders of all colours, from the loony Left to the religious Right, and not forgetting modern radical feminists, stir up moral panics around the issue of human sexual behaviour. Claims that pornography objectifies women, that our children are being sexualised or that thousands of women in prostitution are forced to work against their will are carefully analysed by Dr Magnanti and found to be untrue. Don't be put off by Dr Magnanti's past (she worked as a call girl under the pseudonym "Belle de Jour"). She is a well-educated, qualified scientist and an accomplished author. I like the calm, scientifically objective approach she has taken in dismantling nine modern myths about sex and sexuality. Even readers who are not particularly bothered either way about subjects such as pornography, prostitution, sex addiction and the like, may find the book interesting because of Dr Magnanti's descriptions of the shocking extent to which moral crusaders will go to twist the evidence, make up data, ignore the truth and lie to the public in order to gain political influence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sex Myth 14 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting and well written book with lots of basic facts and plenty of humour. The author became known for her anonymous blog and subsequent book - " The secret diary of a call-girl. " It's no surprise to me that this is the work of a scientific mind and not a journalistic one. Only original sources are used and not the usual 'hearsay' stuff which you find in the Press and in Parliament. This is a must-read for anyone with a serious and unbiased view of the subject. It might even remove some bias from uninformed people if they take the trouble to read its excellent contents.
Graham Lewis.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, proper science 10 May 2012
By Pelican
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a refreshing and incisive scientific view of a subject of primary interest to humankind,(i.e., sex, in case you hadn't worked it out), lightly written with a dry sense of humour. Sexual issues properly concern politics and society, and Dr M. completely demolishes various myths that permeate popular debate.
You can tell a book by the quality of its references, and as you would expect from a doctor in epidemiology, the argument is grounded in robust evidence.
She convincingly destroys, for example, the myths that rapes rise in districts with strip clubs, and that there is a huge "trafficking sex trade." The myths are not only wrong but the mis-information positively damages effective efforts to reduce rape and trafficking.
So it is good reading and if you are interested in social issues, essential, to consider evidence before arguing for policy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a vigorous and heartfelt liberal defence of pornography and sex work against those who want to ban or severely limit them. I felt rather frustrated reading the book and at first I couldn't put my finger on why (beyond the fact that it is written in a very slangy tabloid press style, which I don't appreciate - the book seems to have been written very quickly).

On reflection, I think my problem is that most of the book is attacking very easy targets (shoddy and unprofessional research, and deliberate misuse of such research by politicians with their own agenda). Magnanti takes the standard liberal line that anybody wanting to ban or restrict something has a burden of proof to show beyond doubt that it is harmful and that there is no other way to remove the harm other than banning it. Most of the claims that porn and sex work stimulate crime and other negative effects depend on anecdotal evidence or studies with tiny samples, sometimes with misrepresented results. So, she doesn't feel obliged to show that pornography sex work etc have any benefits, she feels she only needs to show that their opponents have failed to prove any negative effects. The closest she comes to showing benefits is the correlation between the increased prevalence of porn and a fall in sex crime rates (though she correctly warns us to avoid the correlation=causation fallacy, it does seem to show that porn does not stimulate crime).

The book left me frustrated because it didn't even set out to prove anything one way or the other ; it just set out to show that the existing evidence does not justify any ban on sex work or porn.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
read it & decide for yourself
Published 2 months ago by Russell Tollerfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Book, Extraordinary Woman
My first exposure to both has been eye opening; I felt challenged and uplifted. Simple evidence rather than artificial anecdote informs her. Bravo.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Andrew Walsh
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Set up straw women to knock them down - not very academic
Published 6 months ago by Edward Townsend
4.0 out of 5 stars Valid points are made and it is easy to read but I found that it...
Valid points are made and it is easy to read but I found that it laboured the point in places so you felt yourself thinking "I get what your saying I do not need yet another... Read more
Published 8 months ago by all rounder
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sex Myth
Cote d'Azur Men's Book Club review by Barry Hibbitt

Doctor Brooke Magnanti subtitles her book Why Everything We Are Told is Wrong and it seems she is right. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ivor R. B. Hibbitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent de-bunking of the self-appointed guardians of morality
Hardly Belle de Jour, this is a easily readable but thorough debunking of some of the myths put about by the various self-appointed guardians of morality. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Merlin from London
1.0 out of 5 stars What's love got to do with it?
Brooke purports to explode some alleged myths about sex that abound today. These are that men are more visually aroused than women, children are being sexualised too early, porn... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Casca
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth is logically ascertained.
Dr Brooke Magnanti shines a light on to the garbage, myths, beliefs and half truths surrounding sex. Read more
Published on 22 April 2013 by John Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected
This is the first book written by a feminist in which I agreed with every page. Why? Because it's all based on science and research rather than her opinions and judgements. Read more
Published on 18 Nov. 2012 by PI
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