The Porn Report

June 15th, 2008 Big Issue, Books & Publishing

Alan McKee, Katherine Albury, Catharine Lumby

This book was surely an easy sell for publishers Melbourne University Press, but that’s not to say it’s unwelcome or unnecessary. With politicians and opinionistas only too happy to claim they represent our views, most of us don’t get a say in debates about important things like pornography — a view the authors are quick to attribute as the inspiration for their work.

Why ‘important’? Far from a fringe, pornography is (according to the book) consumed by over a third of Australians. There’s little else a third of our adult population has in common apart from working and raising kids, which makes understanding the economic and social impacts of porn quite important.

The book is the result of a 2003 survey by the academics who wrote it, the biggest of its kind in Australia. For an academic tract the trio are at times a little heavy-handed in pushing their own positions, but the fact that panic-button pollies and hysterical media are a world away from the reality is only the first surprise in a revealing study. 4/5


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