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.
Shira Tarrant is Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach.