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The Sex Myth: Why Everything We're Told is Wrong[mass market] Paperback – 31 Jan 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780220898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780220895
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.1 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A book that is as entertaining as it is erudite...a timely, persuasive read (The Observer)

An important book... exactly the kind of level-headed analysis that could help to dispel some of the hysteria surrounding the sex industry (The Times)

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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 example" so I got a bit bored by the end.
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An excellent book by Magnanti (aka Belle de Jour) from one who's seen the situation close up. She debunks many myths and identifies the vested interests that muddy the waters of objectivity in this area. Well worth a read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have finished reading of the latest offering by Dr Brooke Magnanti.

I was excited when the book dropped through my letter box as I had been looking forward to this book for a long time I was also worried I knew the book would be different from her previous offerings would I find it hard going.

I can report that this book is as enjoyable as her previous offerings, in fact more so for me.
I have actually learnt a few things reading this book.

The book has opened my eyes as to how easily we can be manipulated as a society by people with their own biased agendas.

Unlike most females in the media Dr Brooke Magnanti uses facts as her weapons of choice unless you have got a specific study to back up your point of view don't bother making it this is not research by sound bite.

This is not being outraged at Riyanna grabbing her crotch.

Dr Brooke Magnanti has done the research so we don't have to. This book has been exhaustively researched I wished her opponents had done the same thing when making their points of view that we take as fact but these facts are based on statically shaky ground, ignoring the basic rules of data collection and sampling as highlighted by Dr Brooke Magnanti.

I found the journey through history that Brooke Magnanti takes us on very interesting and it occurs to me the same patterns of miss information and the ensuing moral panic keep repeating themselves over the decades.

This moral panic seems to be amplified when new inventions in media technology become available and a battle then ensues about who or what class are entitled to become the moral policemen of the UK while having unfettered access to the material themselves.
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