How Porn Has Hijacked Our SexualityBook - 2010
In Pornland --the culmination of her life's work--Dines takes an unflinching look at porn and its affect on our lives. Astonishingly, the average age of first viewing porn is now 11.5 years for boys, and with the advent of the Internet, it's no surprise that young people are consuming more porn than ever. But, as Dines shows, today's porn is strikingly different from yesterday's Playboy . As porn culture has become absorbed into pop culture, a new wave of entrepreneurs are creating porn that is even more hard-core, violent, sexist, and racist. To differentiate their products in a glutted market, producers have created profitable niche products--like teen sex, torture porn, and gonzo--in order to entice a generation of desensitized users.
Going from the backstreets to Wall Street, Dines traces the extensive money trail behind this multibillion-dollar industry--one that reaps more profits than the film and music industries combined. Like Big Tobacco--with its powerful lobbying groups and sophisticated business practices--porn companies don't simply sell products. Rather they influence legislators, partner with mainstream media, and develop new technologies like streaming video for cell phones. Proving that this assembly line of content is actually limiting our sexual freedom, Dines argues that porn's omnipresence has become a public health concern we can no longer ignore.
Going from the backstreets to Wall Street, Dines reveals how porn is affecting our lives and why its omnipresence is detrimental to our sexual freedom.
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"[...] people construct their notions of reality from the media they consume, and the more consistent and coherent the message, the more people believe it to be true." (pg., 162), referring to Gerbner, "Cultivation Analysis..." in 'Mass Communication And Society 1 no.3 (1998): p. 175-94.
"I suspect that the reason many men reject the opportunity to ask reflective questions [about porn use] is that they don't want to end up in pain, despairing about how porn affects their sexuality, relationships, and interactions with women. Moving out of the porn world's tightly controlled version of reality and into a space where one has to delve inside for an emotional stocktaking of porn's impact on the body and mind is not easy. For most of their lives, the culture told men that pornography is fun and harmless and all about fantasy. [...] [T]hese are not 'fantasies' constructed in the head of each individual porn user, based on his own creative imagination, past histories, longings, and experiences, but highly formulaic, factory-line images created by a savvy group of capitalists."
"[P]ornography, like most media images, creates a world that, on some level, we know is not true. But it is an enormous leap to say that because porn is not an accurate version of how things are in the world, it then has no real-world effects. [...] Imagine what would happen if suddenly we saw a slew of dramas and sitcoms on television where, say, blacks or Jews were repeatedly referred to in a racist or anti-Semitic way, where they got their hair pulled, faces slapped, and choked by white men pushing foreign objects into their mouths. My guess is that there would be an outcry and the images would not be defended on the grounds that they were just fantasy but rather would be seen for what they are: depictions of cruel acts that one group is perpetrating against another group. By wrapping the violence in a sexual cloak, porn renders it invisible, and those of us who protest the violence are consequently defined as anti-sex, not anti-violence."
"Human beings develop their identity and sense of reality out of the stories the culture tells, and while pornography is not the only producer of stories about sex, relationships, and sexuality, it is possibly the most powerful. [...] By placing porn use within a cultural context, we can begin to see how powerful it really is. As boys grow up to be men, they are inundated with messages from the media, messages that both objectify women's bodies and depict women as sex objects who exist for male pleasure. These images are part and parcel of the visual landscape and hence are unavoidable. They come at boys and men from video games, movies, television, ads, and men's magazines, and they supply them with a narrative about women, men, and sexuality. What porn does is to take these cultural messages about women and present them in a succinct way that leaves little room for multiple interpretations."
Coarse Language: There are very many graphic descriptions of sexual acts which are described using very obscene language as well the terms used by the porn industry.
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