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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Impassioned Plea for More Pluralism and More Fun
C. S. Lewis had his own restrictive views of what Christianity had to say about morality, but he objected to those Christians who thought that the chief sphere governed by morality was sexuality, and he objected to the prejudice that anything having to do with sex was automatically wrong. "I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that...
Published on September 4, 2006 by R. Hardy

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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but highly polarized.
The factual basis of this book paints a detailed landscape of America's irrational persecution of and delusional obsession with all activities sex-related. If you're a like thinker, it will simply confirm your own beliefs, but if you're conservative, be prepared to have all the world's evils laid at your feet. This is the first time I've even heard the phrase...
Published on June 12, 2008 by David R. Krueger


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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Impassioned Plea for More Pluralism and More Fun, September 4, 2006
This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
C. S. Lewis had his own restrictive views of what Christianity had to say about morality, but he objected to those Christians who thought that the chief sphere governed by morality was sexuality, and he objected to the prejudice that anything having to do with sex was automatically wrong. "I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves," he wrote in _Mere Christianity_. He could not have predicted that in the richest and most powerful country in the world, members of that camp should have become so influential, and are condemning anything but a narrow range of sexual activity within marriage. This sexual tyranny is the subject of _America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty_ (Praeger) by Marty Klein. The author is a marital and sex therapist, and anyone who knows his fine blog _Sexual Intelligence_ will be familiar with his themes in this book, but the ideas here are forceful, broad, and referenced, with various battlefields summarized. Though Klein's writing is often amused and upbeat, much of what he has to report is dismal, a slope sliding into sexual ignorance and intolerance. Religious conservatives may be rejoicing, but as sexual pluralism is rejected in favor of a single morality and reduction of anxiety, we risk what we value most about democracy.

Klein frames the battle between "erotophiles" who value or tolerate sexuality and "erotophobes" who are made anxious by it. In America, the erotophobes not only are gaining political and social power, they are able to portray themselves as victims, captives who cannot get away from sexual imposition, and they feel that it is the responsibility of government to help them out. The religious call for American laws to regulate bedroom activity (and, Klein shows, even between married people), entertainment, information access, or medical treatment is little different from the law imposed by the Taliban elsewhere. Among the assumptions of puritans are that people cannot explore sexuality safely, that kids are damaged when they are exposed to sexual words or pictures, that sexual predation is on the rise, or that being scared about sexuality will produce good behavior. There are no studies to show that these core beliefs are true; rather, they are based on emotion and anxiety, not rationality. Even if scientific studies showed, for instance, that emergency contraception promoted promiscuity, Klein writes, "It wouldn't matter if they did, because this government and its religious allies don't trust science. They don't trust sex, and they don't trust you." Other countries are different. The teens of Europe or Canada are about as sexually active as those in America, but they have grown up in nations which think that young people have a right to factual sexual information; as a result, they have much fewer teen pregnancies, abortions, or sexually transmitted diseases. American advocates of Abstinence Only (which rarely allows even for discussion of non-coital sex or masturbation) always say that refraining from sex is the only way, for instance, to be 100% sure of avoiding sexual diseases or pregnancy, but they never admit that abstinence is not abstinence. 88% of teens pledging abstinence go ahead and have premarital sex anyway. Pills, condoms, and any other contraceptive plan have better success rates than that. Much has been made of the "pornography" forced on an unwilling public in the case of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction", but of course, that's not really pornography; real video pornography is popular and fun because it consists of "consenting, enthusiastic people doing things they enjoy." That's not scary enough; count on erotophobes to exaggerate the prevalence of unrepresentative violent or child pornography as a way to get all pornography banned.

Klein isn't optimistic: "Those who war on sex mistrust my vision of individual autonomy, sexual integrity, faith in pluralism, and tolerance of differences." Theocracy or totalitarianism promise less sexual anxiety, but at a cost. There are millions who insist that sexual activity is so anxiety-provoking that government must regulate it and thereby make others conform to a single vision of morality and decency. Right now they have the power, but they are costing the nation in tolerance, in pluralism, and (though they would not like to admit that it is important) in sexual fun.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but highly polarized., June 12, 2008
By 
David R. Krueger (Huntsville, AL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
The factual basis of this book paints a detailed landscape of America's irrational persecution of and delusional obsession with all activities sex-related. If you're a like thinker, it will simply confirm your own beliefs, but if you're conservative, be prepared to have all the world's evils laid at your feet. This is the first time I've even heard the phrase "conservative feminist". You have only to look at Congressional (and state legislative) voting records to see that the war on sex is by no means a strictly conservative crusade (although the bulk of it is certainly initiated by them). I've read books on the topic by other authors, including Nadine Strossen, that are much more credible simply because they do not demonize the conservative right while excluding the liberal contribution to the war on sex. Nonetheless, while rather one-dimensional, it is also an excellent presentation of just how stunningly pervasive the problem really is.

Finally, nowhere in the 230 pages is there any mention of prostitution laws. Indeed prostitution, call girls, massage parlors don't even show up in the index. If laws banning the sale of sex toys deserve prominent coverage, one would think that laws against prostitution would at least earn an honorable mention. Unless one subscribes to the concept that the war on prostitutes is acceptable, that is.

I don't know the reason prostitution is left out, but it shouldn't have been. Surely, if the phrase, "your body, your choice" means anything, it gives you the right to use your god-given body as an asset to put a roof over your head and food on your table no different from a laborer, doctor, or sports star. But, beyond that, laws against prostitution sadistically deny one of humanity's most pleasurable and intimate communions to a class of people who are only likely to experience it through the services of a prostitute. That would include many handicapped people, those who have been maimed by war or accidents, those with serious birth defects, the home bound, the bed-ridden, and the just plain ugly (such as myself). If that doesn't deserve mention as part of America's War on Sex, then nothing does.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Important Book Yet Written About Gov't Suppression Of Sex, December 11, 2006
This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
Quite simply, there isn't a single page in America's War On Sex that doesn't yield some brilliant insight about the suppression of sex and sexual information by conservative and religious leaders in America -- but more than that: Dr. Klein asks the questions about that suppression that the average person would be too afraid to ask, or wouldn't think to ask -- and he gets the answers to those questions correct! "The goal of this war is to control sexual expression, colonize sexual imagination, and restrict sexual choices," Klein says, and then goes on to give examples of how this suppression is visible in every corner of American society, from sex (non-) education in the schools, to communities restricting the locations of adult stores that many of them patronize, to attempts to sanitize the Internet. Klein presents his case in such an engaging manner that the text flow almost demands that the reader continue to the end in one sitting. We are unlikely to see an examination of this subject that is this thorough and this insightful in our lifetimes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book!, December 11, 2006
This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
I'm very excited about this book. And it's such easy reading! It's full of dramatic facts, creatively presented and woven together. Almost anyone who cares about sex or current events would enjoy it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional - a MUST READ, December 11, 2006
This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
America's War on Sex??? If you're not in the trenches, you might be thinking "come on..." But Dr. Marty Klein makes a compelling argument: one that clearly outlines how the fundamental rights and freedoms we all cherish --- the ones so deeply ingrained that we don't even think about them --- are under attack. Drawing back the curtain on an anti-sexual revolution that has been in the works for more than a generation, Dr. Klein issues a wakeup call to all Americans who give a damn about their liberties.

The battle lines have been drawn, and it's not just the think tanks and advocacy groups that have stakes in this war. The sexuality of everyone is at risk, making America's War on Sex a must read for all citizens.

Bill Taverner, M.A.

Co-Founding Editor, American Journal of Sexuality Education
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening and Infuriating, December 11, 2006
By 
Michael Z. Castleman (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
America's War on Sex--the title may sound a bit hyped, but it's isn't. It's true: Social conservatives have truly declared war on sex, and no one lays out their agenda better than Marty Klein in this frightening and cogently argued book. Frightening because sexual civil rights are in jeopardy. Klein describes how the forces of sex-negativity are working to set up camp in our bedrooms. After reading America's War on Sex, I sent a contribution to the ACLU. Anyone concerned about the sexual side of civil rights should read this book--now.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Sexophobia Exposed, December 12, 2006
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This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
Marty Klein's expert analysis of our sexually repressed society reminds me of H.L.Mencken's definition of a puritan as a person with the terrible fear that someone, somewhere,is having a good time. And with our born-again president insisting on funding nothing but abstinence only sex ed in our schools, we have the dubious distinction of having the highest teenage unwed pregnancy rate of all the industrial nations. It's a terrific, enlightening read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!, August 28, 2008
This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
Wonderful information. Dr. Klein backs up his positions with actual facts and science, something that the other side doesn't do. His explanation on how our government views science as just another argument to circumvent when it comes to sexuality is worth the price of the book alone. Great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!, March 24, 2014
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This review is from: America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust and Liberty (Sex, Love, and Psychology) (Hardcover)
I had to get this book for a Human Sexuality class I was taking in Grad school for my counseling studies and the course was given by none other than Yvonne Fulbright herself. One of the best classes I have ever taken and the book is not only good for the class but also for personal insight and discovery as well as societal issues with sexuality. Quick delivery too!!! Thank you!!! A+++
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5.0 out of 5 stars Abstinence Only education, August 9, 2013
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The Abstinence Only law was written so that the program cannot be evaluated, and it requires educators to lie to teens about contraception and condoms, which they are told are ineffective, often with disastrous consequences. The program is a miserable failure, and much of the money is funneled to the politically connected. The book gives you an idea of what is wrong with purely politically motivated laws and how they waste taxpayer money.
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