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Sex, Lies & Statistics

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  10 reviews
"An enlightening must-read for anyone exposed to the press" THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

"Should be read by anyone claiming an interest in sex and, especially, sex equality" EVENING STANDARD

"An important book... exactly the kind of level-headed analysis that could help to dispel some of the hysteria surrounding the sex industry" THE TIMES

"As entertaining as it is erudite
Kindle Edition, 157 pages
Published September 26th 2017 (first published August 24th 2017)
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Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Brooke Magnanti has had to get used to being inconvenient since her name first became public. It was she who, as ‘Belle de Jour’, wrote a very good blog about her experience as an escort in London, the tenor of which was so smart and enthusiastic that a lot of critics concluded she must be an erotic fabrication, probably by an overexcited man. That she turned out to be a well-spoken research scientist with classic good looks and a PhD did not fit with a lot of people's narratives.

Her new book br
Paula Dennan
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
In Sex, Lies & Statistics Dr. Brooke Magnanti, formerly Belle de Jour, unpicks the flawed statistics and narrative surrounding sex work. Magnanti has no time for the moral outrage from the media and a certain cohort of feminists and has the stats to back up her assertions that criminalisation and the Nordic Model is harmful to sex workers. ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Good to read, but could be better

Most of what’s in here is well worth the read: descriptions of how to read statistics and how they’re misrepresented in the press, opinions on sex work from actual sex workers, and so on. But there were too many instances of the author breaking her own rules, whether failing to include citations for data sources (although there are indeed many citations) or committing “poisoning the well” or similar fallacies. Still, I’d recommend it.
David Frew
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't *love* the book, but really think it's worth reading.

I have to accept this is well researched and as far as I can tell, the book is factually accurate. It paints a picture of "moral panic" and "Christian" hypocrisy over sex and prostitution. Brooke chose to become a prostitute while working on her PhD and has been an active campaigner for sex workers on social media since she "came out". She explains that the "something must be done" headlines in newspapers are driven by the moral view t
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've followed Dr. Magnanti & her writings on sex work for a while, and was interested in reading her longer form on the topic.

I don't usually enjoy thesis based non fiction books, because I often find they get a little repetitive on the points that they are trying to convey. I did think that this fell into that trap a bit, but it was very well researched, and provided a important counterpoint to much of the other prevailing narrative around sex work.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book

Certainly a must read for feminists, who need to see the other side of the argument regarding sex work. An engaging yet challenging read, with well researched citations. I didn't expect to chew through this book in 2 days, but it was both informative and enjoyable and I'm very glad I read it.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very important book that could have done with a tighter edit.
Chris Amies
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here Dr Magnanti, formerly known as 'Belle de Jour',takes on the moralising approach of present-day officialdom and Guardian columnists, particularly one J. Bindel, regarding sex work.
An 'official' survey found huge numbers of allegedly trafficked female sex workers - most trafficked workers are agricultural workers, often working in horrible conditions with their passports taken away so they can't even leave, and the actual number of people trafficked for sex was very small though even one is t
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short review because there's really very little room here for me to make snark about characters or plot devices, seeing as this is something that's rooted in truth, and how it's perceived when passed through the lens of the media.

(Well, I could probably workshop a few cracks about Julie Bindel in here, but really, who can be bothered?)

What you're presented with here is a polemic. It's a justifiable attack on the way sex workers are represented in the media. It's a tear-down of bad actors and n
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a bad book, but very unlikely to convince anyone who was not already convinced. Dr. Magnati's focus on particular players in British anti-sex worker feminism also makes the book a less compelling read for those outside the U.K.
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Brooke Magnanti is a forensic scientist and writer, who, until her identity was revealed in November 2009, was known by the pen name Belle de Jour.

While completing her doctoral thesis, in 2003 and 2004, Magnanti worked as a call girl. Her diary, published as the anonymous blog Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl became popular, as speculation surrounded the identity of Belle de Jour. Magnan

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