Sexual Liberation

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Date Submitted: 11/20/2012 05:19 PM

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Sexual Liberation


Professor Stuart

October 26, 2012

The modern agreement is that the sexual revolution in 1960s America was characterized by a dramatic shift in traditional values related to sex, and sexuality. Sex became more socially acceptable outside the strict boundaries of heterosexual marriage. Studies have shown that, between 1965 and 1975, the number of women who had had sexual intercourse prior to marriage showed a marked increase (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2001). The social and political climate of the 1960s was unique; one in which traditional values was often challenged loudly by a vocal minority. The various areas of society clamoring for change included the Civil Rights movement, the 'New Left', and women, with various women's rights organizations appearing in the final years of the decade in particular (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2001). This climate of change led many, particularly the young, to challenge social norms.

Lyndon Johnson was the first acting president to endorse birth control, a hugely important factor in the change of American sexual attitudes in the 1960s. "The pill" provided many women a more affordable way to avoid pregnancy. Before the pill was introduced many women did not look for long term jobs (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2001). Previously, the typical women would jump out of the job market when she got impregnated and would reenter it when her child was of school attending age. Abortion was illegal and there were too many health risks involved in most illegal abortions. We can see a trend in the increasing age of women at first marriage in the decades between 1930-1970 after contraception was provided to non-married females (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2001). As part of the woman's quiet sexual revolution, pills gave women control over their future. In a way, the ability to pursue higher education without the thought of pregnancy, gave women more equality in educational attainment. Since women...