Men Confront Pornography

Michael S. Kimmel, Author
Michael S. Kimmel, Author Crown Publishers $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56931-3
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Although a majority of the contributors to this anthology maintain that pornography is sexist and degrades women, a spectrum of sharply divergent opinions emerges. Some adopt the feminist position that porn institutionalizes male supremacy, others find artfulness and imagination in ``the best of the pornographic tradition.'' Pornography is variously defined and examined here as a fantasy-enhancing tool, a therapeutic aid for married couples, an outlet caused by sexual scarcity, an addiction, the mechanized sex of consumer capitalism. Phillip Lopate suggests that porn draws its secret energies from its ``sludgelike mediocrity.'' Jeffrey Masson excoriates novelized accounts of incest. The contributors, all men, react to the feminist-inspired crusade against pornography as they discuss issues ranging from legalized porn in Denmark to gay erotica to research on the behavioral effects of viewing sexually explicit materials. In this enriching volume, Kimmel, a sociologist and editor of Men's Lives , enlarges the dimensions of the contemporary debate on pornography. (Feb.)
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