We may know pornography when we see it, but the business of pornography is a surprisingly elusive subject. Reliable figures about the industry are difficult to come by and widely disputed, but one matter that is hardly debatable is that pornography is a major and ubiquitous enterprise. Porn allegedly accounts for one-third of all internet traffic currently, though the data about actual consumption is unclear. Reports in recent years have suggested that 70 million individuals visit porn sites every week; that among viewers aged 18-24, women watch more porn than men; and that among middle-aged, white-collar workers, three-quarters of men and half of women have admitted to looking at pornography websites while at work.
While debates and emotions around porn can run high, there is a crucial need for reliable information and rational conversation. In this book, Shira Tarrant parses the wide range of statistics that we have on the pornography industry, sorting myth from reality in an objective, fascinating and knowledgeable fashion. She looks at ongoing political controversies around the industry, the feminist porn wars, the views of the religious right, the history of pornography, landmark legal cases, and the latest in medical research. The Pornography Industry also explains the industry basics -who works in porn, why people become performers, how much they earn, and what happens on a porn set. It further delves into important questions such as: how many teenagers watch porn and should we worry about it? What is porn piracy and can it be stopped? What can the industry do about sexist and racist pornography? Does porn cause violence against women? Can people become addicted to porn? Is watching porn the same as infidelity? By presenting competing perspectives in an even-handed way, The Pornography Industry will enable readers to explore these provocative issues and make their own best decisions about the debates.
"The debate about porn is a minefield, a thick entanglement of moral, religious, political, feminist and libertarian concerns. As with a skein of wool, as each side pulls tighter on its strand, the knot gets tighter, positions ossify, and no one listens. The always insightful writer Shira Tarrant bravely steps into the debate with a calm, thorough discussion of every aspect of the porn industry. With a careful and assured grasp on the material, Tarrant guides
the reader, shaking the skein gently, letting knots untangle and individual strands become clearer. The best primer on porn one can find." --Michael Kimmel, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Stony
Brook University, and author of Angry White Men
"The Pornography Industry offers an incredibly comprehensive examination of pornography - covering legal issues, political debates, performers, consumers, the porn industry, technological changes, and much more. Unlike some other books on pornography, Tarrant's analysis of these issues is consistently evidence-based, and the evidence presented challenges many of the conventional myths regarding the content of pornography and its effects on those who
produce and consume it." --Ronald Weitzer, George Washington University, and author of Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business
"Pornography is a controversial topic that many people like to argue about-and even more people like to watch. Shira Tarrant has written an even-handed account of the legal, political, and social issues at stake. This important book provides an accessible overview of key concerns that face parents, educators, the curious, and the concerned." --Nadine Strossen, author of Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's
"Shira Tarrant has provided a wide-ranging, accessibly written primer on the modern pornography industry, answering questions many people want to know but are afraid-or don't know whom-to ask. She demystifies the business and humanizes the workers in it. Above all, Tarrant advocates for greater education about this rapidly changing industry, guiding readers in understanding its potential harms and benefits." --Carisa R. Showden, author of Choices Women
Make: Agency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work
"A non-judgemental look at the the porn industry, author Tarrant covers pretty much all the topics, the history and societies viewpoint, as you would probably expect ... I think this book will be most appreciated by readers who are looking for a sterile, historical look at the industry." --Jeff Linamen