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42 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How long can we continue like this? , May 15, 2008
Anybody out there ever in doubt that our culture has changed, dramatically, and for the worse? If so, this book will change your mind.

Shapiro details the changes with wit and skill, but the overall impression I was left with was one of horror. He points out that "moral self-destruction may seem to have no consequences for the individual, but the destruction of...
Published on May 15, 2008 by Amazon Customer

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70 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A problem with no easy solutions
I'm not sure, but I think Ben Shapiro is the youngest writer currently occupying a spot in the conservative writer's pantheon. A student at Harvard Law School, this now twenty-one year old author published one book, "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth," before he was old enough to go buy a beer at the bar. Now he gives us "Porn Generation: How...
Published on October 23, 2005 by Jeffrey Leach


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70 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A problem with no easy solutions, October 23, 2005
This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
I'm not sure, but I think Ben Shapiro is the youngest writer currently occupying a spot in the conservative writer's pantheon. A student at Harvard Law School, this now twenty-one year old author published one book, "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth," before he was old enough to go buy a beer at the bar. Now he gives us "Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting Our Future," a treatise on public morality--more specifically, the decline of public morality and its consequences--that is a solid addition to the bookshelves of social conservatives everywhere. I don't know how Shapiro managed to write a book while studying law at one of America's best universities. I recently finished graduate school at a university several tiers below good old Harvard (or is that pronounced "Havahhhd"?), and I had trouble getting out of bed to show up in class on time. Writing a book loaded with statistics pulled from dozens upon dozens of sources was out of the question; I was happy if I managed to cobble together a thirty-page research paper by the end of the semester. Anyway, it's heartening to see a young man take a public stand against the corrosive effects of social liberalism. It's also, as we'll see, problematic.

Shapiro's book, which carries an "explicit lyrics" warning label on the cover (!), takes America to task for the lax morality that increasingly dominates all aspects of public discourse. No one with an ounce of sense in his or her head can dispute this view. We all know pornography via the Internet and, increasingly, through traditional forms of media cheapen millions of people's lives. Turn on the radio on any given day, and you're likely to hear rap music containing the most vulgar lyrics banging away hour after hour. Sign on to the Internet, and you'll inevitably stumble over an adult site loaded with obscene images of the type your ancestors couldn't ever imagine existing let alone actually seeing so easily. Turn on the television set, and sexually explicit shows and movies will overwhelm your senses. Open up a newspaper, and you'll notice advertisements sporting pictures of children dressed in provocative attire. What's going on here? Why is every form of media bursting at the seams with racy imagery? Perhaps what is most disturbing is that many of us are so accustomed to seeing and hearing this sort of material that we don't even notice it anymore. It's become the common currency of our high tech, fast paced modern world.

Shapiro has noticed the celebration of decadence, however, and he finds this rejection of morality repulsive and damaging. "Porn Generation" covers all of the topics mentioned above, as well as a few others. Chapters outline the sickening and soul deadening nihilism of rap music (the reason for the "explicit lyrics" warning on the cover), discuss in detail the efforts of companies like Abercrombie & Fitch to sexualize the advertising industry, and the profusion of loose morals on television networks. Shapiro discusses in some depth the current living situation on college campuses across the country, arguing that co-ed dorms and lenient administration policies about living arrangements encourage casual sexual encounters. His overarching conclusion is relatively simple: the constant bombardment turns kids into desensitized adults, and leads to the embrace of a nihilistic outlook on every aspect of human existence. He proposes as solutions, among other things, the imposition of abstinence only sex-ed classes and dress codes in schools, faith-based initiatives to recharge the religious community, and school vouchers that will allow parents to remove children from schools that promote a pro-sex agenda. Shapiro also believes a strengthened FCC and a non-governmental censorship board could restore decency in Hollywood.

The author scores many valid points in his examination of America's flagging morals. We DO have a big problem, as almost anyone will admit. You don't have to be a religious nut to know that there is something wrong when your six year old kid can easily access adult material on the Internet. There's also something seriously amiss when advertisements in the paper show little boys and girls in scanty clothing. Are they aiming at the critical 18 to 34 year old pedophile demographic with those ads? I'm sorry, but your five year old girl should not wear hip huggers and a belly shirt. The problem with Shapiro's analysis is one of censorship. How far should it go? He wants to return us to the days of the Hays Code and skirts that fall below the knee. How to implement these changes, if it's possible to even do so, vexes the mind. Should we go straight for a top down approach through legislation and an ultraconservative judiciary that will uphold strict censorship laws? Or should we try a gradual approach that works from the bottom up, through initiatives at the local level that will spread from community to community? I don't know! This is a tough subject with no easy answers.

I will say that I think Shapiro partially overlooks a critical factor that has led to many of the morals problems that plague society today. He mentions the idea of defining deviancy up, or the embrace of low class values, or lack thereof, by middle and upper class citizens. That's good. What he fails to discuss in great detail is the recent trend--legal, economic, and even political--to treat children as autonomous individuals capable of making sound adult decisions. Children are NOT adults and should not be treated as such. They lack the necessary judgment and life experiences to see the long-range results of their decisions. This, I think, accounts for many of the difficulties our society finds itself in. Perhaps a solution as simple as the word "No" will help more than heavy-handed restrictions. Again, I've no idea how to solve the problems, but I commend Shapiro for taking on such a contentious topic.
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42 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How long can we continue like this? , May 15, 2008, May 15, 2008
This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
Anybody out there ever in doubt that our culture has changed, dramatically, and for the worse? If so, this book will change your mind.

Shapiro details the changes with wit and skill, but the overall impression I was left with was one of horror. He points out that "moral self-destruction may seem to have no consequences for the individual, but the destruction of societal standards always has consequences...When the stigma left single motherhood, society felt the sting in rising rates of single motherhood and juvenile crime" (p 6).

No kidding. Research has shown recently that if a neighborhood is very poor, there is no correlation to higher crime rates. But if a neighborhood has large numbers of single mothers, then, always, there is a great deal of crime.

So why the heck is everything in our culture trying to undo marriage? Why is everything that Hollywood produces pushing sex without consequences, when everybody can see there really are consequences?

I can see it clearly in the young women I know, whose early promiscuity left them unable to truly love another person, whose lives are in shambles. One young woman (age 27 and from what used to be known as a good family) has cervical cancer from an STD she has, and plus she has an illegitimate child from a boyfriend who is now long gone.

It's time to see things in perspective and change.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish this book didn't have to exist, October 24, 2009
By 
Bobby Bambino (Collegeville, PA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
This is a very well researched and well written book by Ben Shapiron, who was only 21 at the time he wrote the book. The purpose of this book is to document all of the ways in which our country's obsession with sexual hedonism is pervasive in the media, TV, movies, books, education, and all other everyday aspects of life. Secondarily the book demonstrates why this is bad for society, but the main purpose is to show that there is indeed a problem. I think this fact was missed by many of the negative reviews of the book. My guess is that Shapiro did not write this book with the intention of changing people's minds, but of showing them how ingrained an unhealthy obsession with sex is in our culture. From that point of view, the book does an incredible job.A good example of this is the chapter on teeny-boppers, who go from innocent young girls into all out sex icons. Shapiro shows that there is a similar trend in the stories of people like Spears, Agularia, Lohen, and others. As I mentioned above, it is very well documented and researched. Facts aren't simply stated without evidence. There are many personal stories and interviews that the author conducted at Harvard and other schools, making the book more "down to earth." The book is also very humorous and clever. It is clear that even if one does not agree with Shapiro's beliefs, he is an extremely talented and brilliant young man.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books you'd never read are the ones you NEED to read, June 5, 2011
This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
In an age of digressing morality, this book will challenge your perception of what's going on in society today. If you're someone who agrees with the premise, it will give you much to consider. If you're someone who wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, pick it up and read it. If you're so sure if your ideals, it won't be able to shake them...right?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of clinical information, but doesn't hit the real issues in my opinion, June 30, 2014
By 
Callynt (Charlotte, North Carolina United States) - See all my reviews
I purchased the audio book on audible, so not sure if my review will show up as verified purchase, but it should. Ben proposes a lot of clinical stats and arguments...just enough to scare the hell out of parents everywhere. However, in my opinion, this battle against moral relativism cannot be fought solely in the public forum. It can only be won in each household at a time. It began with the barrenness of love and emotional development in the home, and that's where the recovery has to begin. It's easy to point the finger at single motherhood (just one example cited in the book) as the reason for some of increase in crimes in our society. However, perhaps this wouldn't have happened had the government not first intervened with 'New Deal' initiatives that basically blew up families. Also, let's not whitewash the days of old. Yes, there were moral standards for the society, but plenty of people held lower or no standards in the privacy of their own homes. This was done often to the detriment of the children growing up in those homes.

This kind of conflict with inner morality vs outward societal expectations never stands the test of time. All you end up with are angry young people with an agenda to buck the 'system.' Honestly, do you think people would have paid ANY attention to Kinsey had they been mature enough to call a fool a fool? The spouting of all of the statistics and examples of degrading human behavior cited in this book doesn't do much to alleviate concerns about WHAT TO DO TO TURN THE TIDE. Abnormal sexual activity is just a result of foundational ills. Lack of knowledge of the foundations of what makes for a happy society is missing in our country. Sadly enough, I don't think the average citizen is made aware of some of the ideas being propagated to children at such young ages. It saddens me, but I think to give up on future generations is to give up on humanity. That's a difficult thing to do.

One thing I think Shapiro has that is spot on is the reason for the lack of teaching of abstinence in these sexual training courses (I dare not call them sexual education courses, because listing all the various sexual acts one may partake in is not education), which is M-O-N-E-Y! Yes indeed..sex does sell, however, not in the way people think. These trainers are getting paid big bucks for bogus research studies and training courses, so do not even think they will cut their well water off for the betterment of what's most precious to any society...its children.

We as a society are going to have to accept and promote the joys of authentic family life. That has to begin with each individual accepting and living the joys of being authentically human...flawed though we may be. Even with flaws, it doesn't take a genius to see, many things promoted today are just way off course and honestly, I don't think will stand the test of time.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, Unavoidable Truths, July 30, 2011
By 
NAVY04 (Groton, CT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
Most of the negative comments on this book are just like those english teachers that give you a "D" or "F" because they disagree with your opinions. Unfortunately, many don't address the book for how it's written and how the material is presented. Shapiro presents well shaped arguments agianst the pathologically degrading nature of pornography and how it has ruined many people's lives. The truth is, there isn't much, if any, literature that provides "compelling" evidence that pornography is a good thing for our society and culture. Shapiro wants to inform his readers that beyond the glitz, glamour and riches of the porn industry, there is a very dark side. Personnaly, I think he does a pretty good job of it. Agree or disagree, his points are shared by many people, and should at least be fairly considered by any who are interested in the debate over the spread of pornography in our society.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Porn Generation, January 4, 2011
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This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
Fantastic book.I purchased it a while back and I just started reading it.I recommend it to anyone that wants a better understanding of what is happening in our school system and in our country.
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207 of 314 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Loving Censorship., June 21, 2005
This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
My enthusiasm concerning this actual book quickly eroded as the solutions endorsed by the author are even more disturbing than children watching Queer as Folk or worshipping the fogeys on Sex in the City. Alas, here, we find that censorship is not dead.

On the surface, much of what Shapiro argues is unobjectionable. Our universities have largely abandoned the search for truth and many former radicals seek to brainwash their students. Same sex dorms and bathrooms do demystify relations between the sexes and deter romantic love. Many pop stars are tarts and actively promote alternative lifestyles. When he says that Paris Hilton is "a fabulously rich slut," who would dispute it? Rap music is not indicative of black experience in America. Yes, television definitely is a cesspool, and Hollywood does champion homosexuality in many a film. Pornography does have a glamour today it does not deserve, yet Shapiro's way of ending the pornucopia comes straight from the annals of totalitarianism.

There is no room for libertarians in the author's vision of the future. He sees censorship, both via the government and through the private sector, as being the solution. The traditional position, among those of us who mind our own damn business, is that whatever a person does which does not harm others should be permitted by the state. Shapiro refuses to tolerate such diversity. He sees all actions as being social and not individual. If what I do vicariously affects someone, such as supporting pornographers by purchasing their products, then I cannot claim that my actions do not negatively impact the community.

What he is advocating essentially means there is no such thing as individual rights as everything could be construed as falling within the state's interest. [...]people like he and I would be the first to be censored by a Democratic administration. We would become the Oriana Fallaci's of the USA. A door would be opened from which totalitarianism would escape. His words frighten as if they came from Stephen King [...]

Porn Generation even takes a stand against Levitra or Viagra to be advertised on television. However, regardless of whether its right or left who censors, the blue pencil is never the answer. If I could shut down The Nation and Mother Jones...I never would.
Censorship is evil.

Another major flaw in the work is that Porn Generation constantly condemns this or that as being amoral or immoral without defining these terms for the reader. What exactly does such language mean? What is the moral system we are to operate within? We do not implicitly know what is or is not "immoral." Is immorality to be strictly equated with religious sin or does it extend far beyond it?

Of course, I have only provided the reader with my major objections, but I could spend another ten pages mentioning the minor ones. Many of the asides grate. The writing of James Joyce is called "drivel", yet James Joyce had more creative talent in one eye patch than most writers alive today.

The problem with Porn Generation is not its subject. The topic is important and needs to be meaningfully discussed, yet, any chance of correcting the way in which social liberalism has endangered our future is not possible given the surface level of analysis provided here. If the reader wants to know more about the way in which the concept of deviancy has disappeared from our cultural parlance, I recommend purchasing Anne Henderschott's concise masterpiece, The Politics of Deviance, instead of this ignorant and offensive book.
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25 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening and much-needed book, August 31, 2005
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This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
Ben Shapiro's Porn Generation goes where most people fear to tread - against the grain of modern pop-culture. Although most of us intuitively understand that American society as a whole seems to be slipping into an amoral abyss, Mr. Shapiro's research and detailed examples are striking. He builds a strong case against the music, advertising, television and movie industries - which have become soft-core porn producers.

The reason this doesn't get five stars is that Mr. Shapiro sometimes ends his insightful examples with juvenile name calling and snide comments. Overall, though, this is an extremely important book that should be required reading for all parents and concerned Americans.
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68 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a conservative does his homework, July 12, 2005
This review is from: Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (Hardcover)
After Ann "make stuff up and then make up an endnote to go with it" Coulter and Michelle "We don't need original sources" Malkin, I was beginning to wonder if conservatives were actually capable of doing research. Ben has proven me wrong. Clearly millions of hours of research (frantic left-handed surfing) went into the creation of this text. America will be forever grateful. Ben does porn so you don't have to.
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Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future
Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future by Ben Shapiro (Hardcover - May 20, 2005)
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