The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Thursday, May 17, 2012

From Sex Bomb To Sex Drive

I just finished reading Sex Drive by Bella Ellwood-Clayton. I have been reading it on and off for a few weeks. Some parts were utterly fascinating but other sections were too full of facts and figures, which made it a bit of a hard slog at times. I think that if a few more tough decisions had been made in the editing process then it would have been a stronger book. All the information is important, but after 5 or 6 pages of results from different studies it is hard to remember any of it at all.

Despite this, I am super glad I read the book and think it is an important piece of writing in the field Ellwood-Clayton is seeking to address. It is an accessible book about the ways in which perceptions of female sexuality have been manipulated by advertisers and pharmaceutical conglomerates to their own ends. Parts of the book surprised, others horrified.

A "sexual anthropologist", Ellwood-Clayton is able to discuss Science-y stuff without getting too technical, and, even better from my perspective, analyse the role culture plays in the mix. Not really being a numbers person myself, I found the sections where people were quoted from interviews really fascinating. Quite often these segments painted a far more vivid illustration of the point being made.

My overall score: Three point eight not-tonight-darling-I-have-a-headaches out of five.

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