Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?

Turning women into sex objects heightens the erotic experience, right? A growing body of research indicates the opposite: for women and, surprisingly, men. A new longitudinal study out of Pennsylvania State found that when women lost their virginity, they lost self-esteem, too. Before they had sex, the body image of the women in the study […]

Click! Not a Knight in Shining Armor

As a teenager coming of age in the 1970s in mainstream culture in the upper midwest, I missed the United States’ radicalizing movements by a decade and several hundred miles. I developed conventional liberal politics in reaction to the conventional conservative politics of my father and his generation. But in a more basic sense, I […]

Latinas: We’re So Hot We Broke Google

When Google released “Google Instant”–a “search enhancement” that suggests content before you finish typing your Google search words– I thought it was pretty fun to see which suggestions would pop up as I began typing random words. While I was just goofing around, others were seriously testing out “controversial” words like bisexual, lesbian and Latina. […]

Sex Week Arouses Conservative Ire

President Obama’s first budget proposal in 2009 redirected millions of dollars of federal funds from abstinence-only sex education programs to comprehensive sex ed. Unfortunately, many students are still graduating high school without hearing much beyond Joe Friday “just the facts, ma’am” presentations on how to–or more likely how not to–“do it.” Into this educational breach […]

Yes, Pornography Is Racist

In Shira Tarrant’s blog post on race and porn, she interviews some well-known African-American performers to challenge my claim that porn is racist. There are some women of color who have been successful in pornography, but this doesn’t change the fact that porn is systematically racist. Systems of oppression are flexible enough to absorb some […]

Is Pornography Racist?

In her new book Pornland (Beacon Press) author Gail Dines argues that our sexuality is hijacked by the multi-billion-dollar-a-year porn industry. (See my three-part interview with Gail here, here, and here.) Dines also argues that pornography is racist. But not everyone agrees. In the Pornland chapter titled “Racy Sex, Sexy Racism!” Dines writes that women […]

Porn: Pleasure or Profit? Ms. Interviews Gail Dines, Part III

This third installment of Ms.’s interview series with Gail Dines continues the conversation with the Wheelock College professor of sociology and women’s studies and chair of the American Studies Department. Dines recently briefed members of Congress on the harms of pornography, arguing for greater enforcement of existing obscenity laws. Staunchly anti-porn, she argues that this […]