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Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Case study on Big Pharma's influence over doctors, May 7, 2008
This review is from: The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America (Sociology) (Paperback)
Good case study of the enormous influence wielded by BigPharma over modern culture. Loe describes how the application of the medical model turns sex into a commodity, with quality measured by speed of erection, efficiency of ejaculation, and ability to perform on demand and in the absence of relational connection. "Normal" is defined more and more narrowly until any variation becomes a "dysfunction," and such dysfunctions take on epidemic proportions. Meanwhile, men feel more and more pressure to attain the unattainable. Just as Prozac is used to medicate modern angst and stress, Viagra is used to relieve men's insecurity in this age of sexual McDonaldization. The irony is that antidepressants reduce sex drive, so men are more in need of Viagra in order to perform at the level of their (and their partners') increasingly high expectations.

Loe's section on how BigPharma is extending the Viagra model to "Female Sexual Dysfunction" (FSD) is eye-opening. Look for "FSD" in the upcoming Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V).

Also providing food for thought is the growing emphasis on sex as a purely physical act, ego-centered, non-relational and even alienated from others. When I see this focus in the sex offenders I evaluate, I see it as deviant. But according to Loe, it's market-driven and increasingly normative. Interesting.

I gave it only 4 stars because the writing is somewhat pedantic and jargon-laden, and you have to wade through lengthy and tedious quotations. I wish she'd had the confidence to write more in her own voice.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 10, 2008 3:12:31 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 10, 2008 3:14:43 PM PDT]

Posted on May 10, 2008 3:14:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2008 5:15:56 PM PDT
What a great review ! Viagra is becoming one the myriad of medications featured in brainwashing TV ads, asking us to "Ask Your Doctor." I totally agree that we no longer know what's a "normal" erection. The romantic, emotional, mental or loving desire for sex, is completely overlooked. May I call your 4 star rating....FOURplay ?

Posted on Apr 28, 2012 4:16:07 PM PDT
old chemist says:
Ah, yes...a woman's analysis of aging men's difficulties in the sexual arena. Leave it to a woman to think she knows how men feel and more to the point how they should percieve erectile dysfunction as a "normal" part of the aging population and just give in to the unfortunate ravages of time. I don't suppose it would occur to them that many middle age (and older) couples see the inability to no longer enjoy lovemaking as frustrating and saddening, an issue that does anything but bring them closer together. But then why consider this from a man's perspective since what we feel is of little or no consequence. If we could just see the world from the woman's perspective, we'd see how pointless it is to want to continue to have sex into our 60's and 70's, perhaps even 80's. Nature is preparing us for the day when we're going to law down and die so we should just take it and maybe even say, "heck, lets get on with it...I've got nothing much left to live for!" Let us not burden ourselves with any concern for how a man feels when he can no longer engage in one of the behaviors that is most important to him. I sure sympathize with any man who would seek any help from Ms Franklin. And oh yes...let's make this subtle suggestion that men who want be able to continue to enjoy making love to their partner or perhaps even get back into the world of relationships after the loss of a spouse or a divorce at an advanced age are engaging in the equivalent of deviant behavior and should be made to think of themselves as sex offenders. I imagine her treatment for any sexual dysfunction would likely include removal of the no longer needed, non-functioning part of the male anatomy, something akin to removal of the gall bladder after it ceases to function and only serves as an irritant just like a no-longer functioning penis is to a woman. After all, women don't have one and they get along just fine, thank you. I suppose in Ms Franklin's world men would get along much better if they didn't have one either...at least not one that works. And BTW Ms Franklin, I use the medication, I love it, my wife considers that little blue pill a blessing because after 20 years of marriage (both of us on our second after long hiatuses) we still enjoy love making like we would have had we met when we were teenagers (not to suggest that premature adolescent sexual activity is a good thing).
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Location: El Cerrito, CA, USA

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