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Sexual revolution

Sexual revolution

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The sexual revolution (also known as a time of "sexual liberation") was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationship
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

s throughout the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 from the 1960s into the 1980s. Many of the changes in sexual norms from this period have since become mainstream.

Sexual liberation included increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships (primarily marriage). Contraception
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

 and the pill, public nudity
Public nudity
Public nudity or nude in public refers to nudity not in an entirely private context. It refers to a person appearing nude in a public place or to be seen from a public place. It also includes nudity in a semi-public place, where the general public is free to enter, such as a shopping mall...

, the normalization of homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 and alternative forms of sexuality, and the legalization of abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 all followed.

Overview


The term ('Sexual Revolution') has been used at least since the late 1910s and is often attributed as being influenced by Freud's writing on sexual liberation and psychosexual issues.

Nisker cites the San Francisco Oracle, which described the Human Be-In as a "spiritual revolution". In the late 1970s and 1980s newly won sexual freedoms were exploited by big business' looking to capitalise on a more open society, with the advent of public pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

 and hardcore pornography.

Historian David Allyn
David Allyn
David Allyn, Ph.D. is Director of Education for New Jersey SEEDS , an organization serving high-achieving, low-income students....

 argues that the sexual revolution was a time of "coming-out": about premarital sex
Premarital sex
Premarital sex is sexual activity, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex, practiced by persons who are unmarried. Although it has always been practiced, in the West it has increased in prevalence since the mid-1950s...

, masturbation
Masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

, erotic fantasies, pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

 use, and sexuality
Human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

.

Historical development


The sexual revolution can be seen as an outgrowth of a process in recent history, though its roots may be traced back as far as the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 (Marquis de Sade
Marquis de Sade
Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat, revolutionary politician, philosopher, and writer famous for his libertine sexuality and lifestyle...

) and the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 (Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He invented the roundel form, wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica...

's scandalous Poems and Ballads of 1866). It was a development in the modern world
Modern World
Modern World or The Modern World may refer to:*Modernity, a popular academic term.*The modern era, the age in which people today now live.*Modern World, a song by Wolf Parade from their 2005 album Apologies to the Queen Mary....

 which saw the significant loss of power by the values
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

 of a morality
Morality
Morality is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and bad . A moral code is a system of morality and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code...

 rooted in the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 tradition and the rise of permissive societies
Permissive society
The permissive society is a society where social norms are becoming increasingly liberal. This usually accompanies a change in what is considered deviant. While typically preserving the rule "do not harm others", a permissive society would have few other moral codes...

, of attitudes that were accepting of greater sexual freedom and experimentation that spread all over the world and were captured in the phrase free love
Free love
The term free love has been used to describe a social movement that rejects marriage, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery...

.

The period of Cold War puritanism, some say, led to a cultural rebellion in the form of the "sexual revolution". Despite this, however, before the 1920s the Victorian era was much more conservative than even the 1930s and 1950s. Due to the invention of TV and the increasingly wide use of it in the 1950s, a vast majority of Americans had television by the 1960s.

This mass communication device, along with other media outlets such as radio and magazines, could broadcast information in a matter of seconds to millions of people, while only a few wealthy people would control what millions of people would watch. Some have now theorised that perhaps these media outlets helped spread new ideas among the masses.

The mass media's broadcasting of new ideas to the population was radical, and during the late 1960s the counterculture was becoming well known on radio, newspapers, TV and other media outlets.

One suggested trigger for the modern revolution was the development of the birth control pill in 1960, which gave women access to easy and reliable contraception
Contraception
Contraception is the prevention of the fusion of gametes during or after sexual activity. The term contraception is a contraction of contra, which means against, and the word conception, meaning fertilization...

. Another likely factor was vast improvements in obstetrics
Obstetrics
Obstetrics is the medical specialty dealing with the care of all women's reproductive tracts and their children during pregnancy , childbirth and the postnatal period...

, which greatly reduced the number of women who die in childbirth
Childbirth
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

 and thus increases the life expectancy of women.

Other data suggest the "revolution
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

" was more directly influenced by the financial independence gained by many women who entered the workforce during and after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, making the revolution more about individual equality rather than biological independence. Many people, however, feel that one specific cause cannot be selected for this large phenomenon. One groundbreaking feminist, Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir , was a French existentialist philosopher, public intellectual, and social theorist. She wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography in several volumes, and monographs on philosophy, politics, and...

, was particularly adamant that economic equality would play an integral part in a more positive relationship between the sexes.

Modern revolutions



The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 during the nineteenth century and the growth of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

, resulted in better contraceptives being manufactured. Advances in the manufacture and production of rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 made possible the design and production of condom
Condom
A condom is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases . It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner...

s that could be used by hundreds of millions of men and women to prevent pregnancy
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

 at little cost.

Advances in chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, pharmacology
Pharmacology
Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

, and knowledge of biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, and human physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 led to the discovery and perfection of the first oral contraceptives also known as "The Pill". Purchasing an aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable...

 and various sex toy
Sex toy
A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure. The most popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals and may be vibrating or non-vibrating...

s became "normal". Sado-masochism ("S&M
Sadism and masochism
Sadomasochism broadly refers to the receiving of pleasure—often sexual—from acts involving the infliction or reception of pain or humiliation. The name originates from two authors on the subject, Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch...

") gained popularity, and "no-fault
No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage requires neither a showing of wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all...

" unilateral divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

 became legal and easier to obtain in many countries during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

All these developments took place alongside and combined with an increase in world literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 and decline in religious observances. Old values such as the biblical notion of "be fruitful and multiply" (thought to be applicable in modern times despite the opinion even of 1st millennium Church Fathers that it's already fulfilled) were cast aside as people continued to feel alienated from the past and adopted the life-styles of modernizing westernized
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 cultures.

Another thing that helped bring about this more modern revolution of sexual freedom was the writing of Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory...

 and Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry...

, who took the philosophy of Karl Marx and other such philosophers, and mixed together this chant for freedom of sexual rights and release in modern culture.

When speaking of sexual revolution, historians make a distinction between the first and the second sexual revolution. In the first sexual revolution (1870–1910), Victorian morality lost its universal appeal. However, it did not lead to the rise of a "permissive society". Exemplary for this period is the rise and differentiation in forms of regulating sexuality.

Freudian school



Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 believed human behavior was motivated by unconscious drives
Drive theory
The terms drive theory and drive reduction theory refer to a diverse set of motivational theories in psychology. Drive theory is based on the principle that organisms are born with certain physiological needs and that a negative state of tension is created when these needs are not satisfied...

, primarily by the libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 or "Sexual Energy". Freud proposed to study how these unconscious drives were repressed
Psychological repression
Psychological repression, also psychic repression or simply repression, is the psychological attempt by an individual to repel one's own desires and impulses towards pleasurable instincts by excluding the desire from one's consciousness and holding or subduing it in the unconscious...

 and found expression through other cultural outlets. He called his therapy Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

.

While Freud's ideas were ignored and embarrassing to Viennese society, his work provoked a serious challenge to Victorian prudishness
Victorian morality
Victorian morality is a distillation of the moral views of people living at the time of Queen Victoria's reign and of the moral climate of the United Kingdom throughout the 19th century in general, which contrasted greatly with the morality of the previous Georgian period...

 by providing the groundwork for the ideas of sex drive
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 and infant sexuality
Child sexuality
Child sexuality is the sexual feelings, behaviors, and development of children.-Freud:Until Sigmund Freud published his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality in 1905, children were often regarded as asexual, having no sexuality until later development. Freud was one of the first researchers to...

. Freud's theory of psychosexual development
Psychosexual development
In Freudian psychology, psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido that develops in five stages. Each stage — the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital — is characterized...

 proposed a model for the development of sexual orientations and desires; children emerged from the Oedipus complex
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

, a sexual desire towards their parent of the opposite sex.

According to Freud's theory, in the earliest stage in a child's psychosexual development
Psychosexual development
In Freudian psychology, psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido that develops in five stages. Each stage — the oral, the anal, the phallic, the latent, and the genital — is characterized...

, the oral stage
Oral stage
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the term oral stage denotes the first psychosexual development stage wherein the mouth of the infant is his or her primary erogenous zone...

, the mother's breast became the formative source of all later erotic sensation. This new philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 was the new intellectual and cultural underpinning ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 of the new age of sexual frankness. Nonetheless, much of his research is widely discredited by professionals in the field.

Anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 Freud scholars Otto Gross
Otto Gross
Otto Gross was an Austrian psychoanalyst. A maverick early disciple of Sigmund Freud, he later became an anarchist and joined the utopian Ascona community.His father Hans Gross was a judge turned pioneering criminologist...

 and Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich
Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry...

 (who famously coined the phrase "Sexual Revolution") developed a sociology of sex in the 1910s to 1930s.

Kinsey & Masters and Johnson



In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Alfred C. Kinsey published two surveys of modern sexual behaviour. In 1948, Alfred C. Kinsey and his co-workers, responding to a request by female students at Indiana University for more information on human sexual behaviour, published the book Sexual behaviour in the Human Male
Kinsey Reports
The Kinsey Reports are two books on human sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female , by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others and published by Saunders...

. They followed this five years later with Sexual behaviour in the Human Female
Kinsey Reports
The Kinsey Reports are two books on human sexual behavior, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female , by Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others and published by Saunders...

. These books began a revolution in social awareness of, and public attention given to, human sexuality.

It is said that at the time, public morality
Public morality
Public morality refers to moral and ethical standards enforced in a society, by law or police work or social pressure, and applied to public life, to the content of the media, and to conduct in public places...

 severely restricted open discussion of sexuality as a human characteristic, and specific sexual practices, especially sexual behaviours that did not lead to procreation. Kinsey's books contained studies about controversial topics such as the frequency of homosexuality, and the sexuality of minors ages two weeks to thirteen years. Scientists working for Kinsey reported data which led to the conclusion that people are capable of sexual stimulation from birth.

These books laid the groundwork for Masters and Johnson
Masters and Johnson
The Masters and Johnson research team, composed of William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual disorders and dysfunctions from 1957 until the 1990s....

's life work. A study called Human Sexual Response in 1966 revealed the nature and scope of the sex practices of young Americans.

Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tropic of Cancer, and Fanny Hill



In the United States in the years 1959 through 1966, bans on three books with explicit erotic content were challenged and overturned. This also occurred in the United Kingdom starting with the 1959 Obscene Publications Act and reaching a peak with the LCL court case.

Prior to this time, a patchwork of regulations (as well as local customs and vigilante actions) governed what could and could not be published. For example the United States Customs Service
United States Customs Service
Until March 2003, the United States Customs Service was an agency of the U.S. federal government that collected import tariffs and performed other selected border security duties.Before it was rolled into form part of the U.S...

 "banned" James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

's Ulysses
Ulysses (novel)
Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature,...

by refusing its importation into the USA. The Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

's Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

carried great weight among Catholics and amounted to an effective and instant boycott of any book appearing on it. Boston's Watch and Ward Society
Watch and Ward Society
The New England Watch and Ward Society was a Boston, Massachusetts organization involved in the censorship of books and the performing arts from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. After the 1920s, its emphasis changed to combating the spread of gambling...

, a largely Protestant creation inspired by Anthony Comstock
Anthony Comstock
Anthony Comstock was a United States Postal Inspector and politician dedicated to ideas of Victorian morality.-Biography:...

, made "banned in Boston
Banned in Boston
"Banned in Boston" was a phrase employed from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century to describe a literary work, motion picture, or play prohibited from distribution or exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts, USA...

" a national by-word.

In 1959, Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press is an American publishing imprint that was founded in 1951. Imprints include: Black Cat, Evergreen, Venus Library, Zebra. Barney Rosset purchased the company in 1951 and turned it into an alternative book press in the United States. The Atlantic Monthly Press, under the aegis of its...

 published an unexpurgated version of Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. The first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy with assistance from Pino Orioli; it could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960...

by D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

. The U.S. Post Office
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 confiscated copies sent through the mail.

Lawyer Charles Rembar
Charles Rembar
Charles Rembar was an American lawyer who was born in Oceanport, New Jersey and grew up in Long Branch, New Jersey. He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in 1935 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1938...

 sued the New York city postmaster, and won in New York and then on federal appeal. In 1965, Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer
Thomas Andrew "Tom" Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, mathematician and polymath. He has lectured on mathematics and musical theater...

 was to celebrate the erotic appeal of the novel in his cheerfully satirical song "Smut" with the couplet "Who needs a hobby like tennis or philately
Philately
Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. Philately involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not necessarily involve the study of stamps. It is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps...

?/I've got a hobby: rereading Lady Chatterley."

Henry Miller
Henry Miller
Henry Valentine Miller was an American novelist and painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of 'novel' that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is...

's 1934 novel, Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer (novel)
Tropic of Cancer is a novel by Henry Miller which has been described as "notorious for its candid sexuality" and as responsible for the "free speech that we now take for granted in literature." It was first published in 1934 by the Obelisk Press in Paris, France, but this edition was banned in the...

, had explicit sexual passages and could not be published in the United States; an edition was printed by the Obelisk Press
Obelisk Press
Obelisk Press was an English language press based in Paris, France, which was founded by Jack Kahane in 1929.Kahane, a novelist, began the Obelisk Press after his publisher, Grant Richards, went bankrupt. Going into partnership with a printer, Kahane, as Cecil Barr, published his next novel...

 in Paris and copies were smuggled into the United States.

In 1961, Grove Press issued a copy of the work, and lawsuits were brought against dozens of individual booksellers in many states for selling it. The issue was ultimately settled by the U.S. Supreme Court's
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 1964 decision in Grove Press, Inc v. Gerstein.

In 1965, Putnam published John Cleland
John Cleland
John Cleland was an English novelist most famous and infamous as the author of Fanny Hill: or, the Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure....

's 1750 novel Fanny Hill
Fanny Hill
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is an erotic novel by John Cleland first published in England in 1748...

. This was the turning point, because Charles Rembar
Charles Rembar
Charles Rembar was an American lawyer who was born in Oceanport, New Jersey and grew up in Long Branch, New Jersey. He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in 1935 and received his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1938...

 appealed a restraining order against it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. In Memoirs v. Massachusetts, 383 U.S. 413, the court ruled that sex was "a great and mysterious motive force in human life", and that its expression in literature was protected by the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

.

Only books primarily appealing to "prurient interest" could be banned. In a famous phrase, the court said that obscenity is "utterly without redeeming social importance" — meaning that, conversely, any work with redeeming social importance was not obscene, even if it contained isolated passages that could "deprave and corrupt" some readers.

This decision was especially significant, because, of the three books mentioned, Fanny Hill has by far the largest measure of content that seems to appeal to prurient interest, and the smallest measures of literary merit
Literary merit
Literary merit is a quality generally applied to the genre of literary fiction. A work is said to have literary merit if it is a work of quality, that is if it has some aesthetic value....

 and "redeeming social importance". Whereas an expurgated version of Lady Chatterley's Lover had actually once been published, no expurgated version of Fanny Hill has ever been (and it is difficult even to imagine what such a work could possibly consist of). By permitting the publication of Fanny Hill, the Supreme Court set the bar for any ban so high that Rembar himself called the 1966 decision "the end of obscenity."

Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa


The publication of renowned anthropologist and student of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s....

's Coming of Age in Samoa brought the sexual revolution to the public scene, as her thoughts concerning sexual freedom pervaded academia. Published in 1928, Mead's ethnography focused on the psychosexual development of adolescent children on the island of Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

.

She recorded that their adolescence was not in fact a time of "storm and stress" as Erikson's stages of development suggest, but that the sexual freedom experienced by the adolescents actually permitted them an easy transition from childhood to adulthood.

Her findings were later criticized by anthropologist Derek Freeman
Derek Freeman
John Derek Freeman was a New Zealand anthropologist best known for his criticism of Margaret Mead's work in Samoan society, as described in her 1928 ethnography Coming of Age in Samoa...

 who later investigated her claims of promiscuity and conducted his own ethnography of Samoan society. Mead called for a change in suppression of sexuality in America and her work directly resulted in the advancement of the sexual revolution in the 1930s.

Nonfiction sex manuals



The court decisions that legalised the publication of Fanny Hill
Fanny Hill
Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is an erotic novel by John Cleland first published in England in 1748...

had an even more important effect: freed from fears of legal action, nonfiction works about sex and sexuality started to appear.

In 1962, Helen Gurley Brown
Helen Gurley Brown
Helen Gurley Brown , is an author, publisher, and businesswoman. She was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 32 years.-Personal life and career:...

 published Sex and the Single Girl
Sex and the Single Girl
Sex and the Single Girl was written in 1962 by Helen Gurley Brown, as an advice book that encouraged women to become financially independent and experience sexual relationships before or without marriage...

: The Unmarried Woman's Guide to Men, Careers, the Apartment, Diet, Fashion, Money and Men.
The title itself would have been unthinkable a decade earlier. (In 1965 she went on to transform Cosmopolitan
Cosmopolitan (magazine)
Cosmopolitan is an international magazine for women. It was first published in 1886 in the United States as a family magazine, was later transformed into a literary magazine and eventually became a women's magazine in the late 1960s...

magazine into a life manual for young career women.)

In 1969, Joan Garrity
Terry Garrity
Joan Theresa Garrity, , is an American author, best known as the author of The Sensuous Woman.She was raised in Lee's Summit, Missouri and she studied at Palm Beach Junior College in Florida...

, identifying herself only as "J.", published The Way to Become the Sensuous Woman
The Sensuous Woman
The Sensuous Woman is a book by Joan Garrity. Published first during 1969 with the pseudonym "J", it is a detailed instruction manual concerning sexuality for women....

,
replete with everything from exercises for improving the dexterity of the tongue, to how to have anal sex.

The same year saw the appearance of Dr. David Reuben's
David Reuben (sex author)
David R. Reuben is a California psychiatrist, sex expert, and author of several books, such as Any Woman Can! and How to Get More out of Sex. He is most famous for his book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex , published in 1969.-External links:...

 book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is a book by U.S. physician Dr. David Reuben. It was one of the first sex manuals that entered mainstream culture in the 1960s, and it had a profound effect on sex education and in liberalizing attitudes towards sex...

.
Despite the dignity of Reuben's medical credentials, this book was light-hearted in tone. For many readers, it delivered quite literally on its promise. Despite the book's one-sided and prejudiced statements about gay men, one middle-aged matron from a small town in Wisconsin was heard to say "Until I read this book, I never actually knew precisely what it was that homosexuals did".

In 1970, the Boston Women's Health Collective published Women and their Bodies (which became far better known a year later under its subsequent title, Our Bodies, Ourselves
Our Bodies, Ourselves
Our Bodies, Ourselves is a book about women's health and sexuality produced by the nonprofit organization Our Bodies Ourselves...

). Not an erotic treatise or sex manual, the book nevertheless included frank descriptions of sexuality, and contained illustrations that could have caused legal problems just a few years earlier.

Alex Comfort
Alex Comfort
Alexander Comfort, MB BChir, PhD, DSc was a medical professional, gerontologist, anarchist, pacifist, conscientious objector and writer, best known for The Joy of Sex, which played a part in what is often called the sexual revolution...

's The Joy of Sex
The Joy of Sex
The Joy of Sex is an illustrated sex manual by Alex Comfort, M.B., Ph.D., first published in 1972. An updated edition was released in September, 2008.-Overview:...

: A Gourmet Guide to Love Making
appeared in 1972. In later editions though, Comfort's libertinism was tamed as a response to AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

.

In 1975 Will McBride's
Will McBride (photographer)
Will McBride is a photographer in reportage, art photography and book illustration. He is also known as a painter and sculptor....

 Zeig Mal!, Show Me!
Show Me!
Show Me! is a controversial sex education book by photographer Will McBride. It appeared in 1974 in German under the title Zeig Mal!, written with psychiatrist Helga Fleischhauer-Hardt for children and their parents...

, written with psychologist Helga Fleichhauer-Hardt for children and their parents, appeared in bookstores on both sides of the Atlantic. Appreciated by many parents for its frank depiction of pre-adolescents discovering and exploring their sexuality, it scandalised others and eventually it was pulled from circulation in the United States and some other countries. It was followed up in 1989 by Zeig Mal Mehr! ("Show Me More!").

These books had a number of things in common. They were factual and, in fact, educational. They were available to a mainstream readership. They were stacked high on the tables of discount bookstores, they were book club selections, and their authors were guests on late-night talk shows. People were seen reading them in public.

In a respectable petty bourgeois middle-class home, Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

magazine and Fanny Hill might be present but would usually be kept out of sight. But at least some of these books might well be on the coffee table. Most important, all of these books acknowledged and celebrated the conscious cultivation of erotic pleasure.

The contribution of such books to the sexual revolution cannot be overstated. Earlier books such as What Every Girl Should Know (Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger
Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American sex educator, nurse, and birth control activist. Sanger coined the term birth control, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established Planned Parenthood...

, 1920) and A Marriage Manual (Hannah and Abraham Stone, 1939) had broken the utter silence in which many people, women in particular, had grown up.

By the 1950s, in the United States, it had finally become rare for women to go into their wedding nights literally not knowing what to expect. But the open discussion of sex as pleasure, and descriptions of sexual practices and techniques, was truly revolutionary. There were practices which, perhaps, some had heard of. But many adults did not know for sure whether they were realities, or fantasies found only in pornographic books.

Were they "normal", or were they examples of psychopathology
Psychopathology
Psychopathology is the study of mental illness, mental distress, and abnormal/maladaptive behavior. The term is most commonly used within psychiatry where pathology refers to disease processes...

? (When we use words such as fellatio
Fellatio
Fellatio is an act of oral stimulation of a male's penis by a sexual partner. It involves the stimulation of the penis by the use of the mouth, tongue, or throat. The person who performs fellatio can be referred to as the giving partner, and the other person is the receiving partner...

we are still using the terminology of Krafft-Ebing's
Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing
-Bibliography :* Heinrich Ammerer: Am Anfang war die Perversion. Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Psychiater und Pionier der modernen Sexualkunde. Styria premium 2011 in der Verlagsgruppe Styria GmbH & Co KG, Wien-Graz-Klagenfurt, ISBN 978-3-222-13321-3....

 Psychopathia Sexualis
Psychopathia Sexualis
Psychopathia Sexualis may refer to:* Psychopathia Sexualis, an 1886 book about human sexuality by Richard von Krafft-Ebing* Psychopathia Sexualis , an 1843 moral psychology book about human sexuality by Heinrich Kaan...

). Did married ladies do these things, or only prostitutes? The Kinsey report revealed that these practices were, at the very least, surprisingly frequent. These other books asserted, in the words of a 1980 book by Dr. Irene Kassorla, that Nice Girls Do — And Now You Can Too.

Contraception


As birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

 become more available, men and women gained unprecedented control of their reproductive capabilities. The 1916 invention of thin, disposable latex
Latex
Latex is the stable dispersion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. Latexes may be natural or synthetic.Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants . It is a complex emulsion consisting of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins,...

 condom
Condom
A condom is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases . It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner...

s for men led to widespread affordable condoms by the 1930s; the demise of the Comstock laws in 1936 set the stage for promotion of available effective contraceptives such as the diaphragm
Diaphragm (contraceptive)
The diaphragm is a cervical barrier type of birth control. It is a soft latex or silicone dome with a spring molded into the rim. The spring creates a seal against the walls of the vagina.-Use:...

 and cervical cap
Cervical cap
The cervical cap is a form of barrier contraception. A cervical cap fits over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus through the external orifice of the uterus, called the os.-Terminology:...

; the 1960s introduction of the IUD and oral contraceptives for women gave a sense of freedom from barrier contraception
Barrier contraception
Barrier contraception methods prevent pregnancy by physically preventing sperm from entering the uterus.-History:The earliest recorded barrier methods are those of stem pessaries, found in Egypt. The diaphragm and reusable condoms became common after the invention of rubber vulcanization in the...

. Opposition of Churches (e.g. Humanae Vitae
Humanae Vitae
Humanae Vitae is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI and issued on 25 July 1968. Subtitled On the Regulation of Birth, it re-affirms the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church regarding married love, responsible parenthood, and the continuing proscription of most forms of birth...

) led parallel movement of secularization
Secularization
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values and secular institutions...

 and exile from religion.

United Kingdom



In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 the new generation growing up after the Second World War had grown tired of the rationing and austerity of the 1940s and 1950s and the Victorian values of their elders, so the 1960s were a time of rebellion against the fashions and social mores
Mores
Mores, in sociology, are any given society's particular norms, virtues, or values. The word mores is a plurale tantum term borrowed from Latin, which has been used in the English language since the 1890s....

 of the previous generation.

An early inkling of changing attitudes came in 1960, when the government of the day tried unsuccessfully to prosecute Penguin Books
Penguin Books
Penguin Books is a publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large...

 for obscenity, for publishing the D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. The first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy with assistance from Pino Orioli; it could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960...

, which had been banned since the 1920s for what was considered racy content. The prosecution counsel Mervyn Griffith-Jones
Mervyn Griffith-Jones
John Mervyn Guthrie Griffith-Jones, CBE MC QC was a British judge and former barrister. He is most famous for leading the prosecution of Penguin Books in the obscenity trial in 1960 following the publication of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover...

 famously stood in front of the jury and asked, in his closing statement: "Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?". When the case collapsed, the novel went on to become a best seller, selling 2 million copies.

The Pill became available free of charge on the National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 in the 1960s, at first restricted to married women, but early in the 1970s its availability was extended to all women.

Free love


Beginning in San Francisco in the mid 1960s, a new culture of "free love
Free love
The term free love has been used to describe a social movement that rejects marriage, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery...

" emerged, with thousands of young people becoming "hippies" who preached the power of love and the beauty of sex as part of ordinary student life. This is part of a counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 that exists to the present. By the 1970s it was acceptable for colleges to allow co-educational housing where male and female students mingled freely.

Free love continued in different forms throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s, but its more assertive manifestations ended abruptly (or disappeared from public view) in the mid 1980s when the public first became aware of AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

, a deadly sexually transmitted disease.

Explicit sex on screen



Swedish filmmakers like Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera", he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and...

 and Vilgot Sjöman
Vilgot Sjöman
David Harald Vilgot Sjöman was a Swedish writer and film director. His films deal with controversial issues of social class, morality, and sexual taboos, combining the emotionally-tortured characters of Ingmar Bergman with the avant garde style of the French New Wave...

 contributed to sexual liberation with sexually themed films that challenged conservative international standards. The 1951 film Hon dansade en sommar (She Danced a Summer AKA One Summer of Happiness) starring Ulla Jacobsson
Ulla Jacobsson
Ulla Jacobsson was a Swedish actress who is perhaps best known for playing one of the very few female roles in the film Zulu....

 and Folke Sundquist
Folke Sundquist
Folke Sundquist was a Swedish film actor. He appeared in 21 films between 1951 and 1968.-Selected filmography:* One Summer of Happiness * For the Sake of My Intemperate Youth...

 was notable in this regard for depicting explicit nudity.

This film, as well as Bergman's Sommaren med Monika (The Summer with Monika), caused an international uproar, not least in the US where the films were charged with violating standards of decency. Vilgot Sjöman's film I Am Curious (Yellow)
I Am Curious (Yellow)
I Am Curious is a 1967 Swedish drama film written and directed by Vilgot Sjöman and starring Sjöman and Lena Nyman. It is a companion film to 1968's I Am Curious ; the two were initially intended to be one 3½ hour film...

, also created an international uproar, but it was very popular in the United States. Another of his films, 491, highlighted homosexuality among other things. Kärlekens språk
Kärlekens Språk
Language of Love is a 1969 Swedish sex educational film directed by Torgny Wickman. It was an international success.It gained a lot of publicity when 30,000 people gathered on Trafalgar Square in London to protest against a nearby movie theatre showing it, one of the protesters being pop singer...

(The Language of Love) was an informative documentary about sex and sexual techniques that featured the first real act of sex in a mainstream film, and inevitably it caused intense debate around the world, including in the US.

From these films the concept of "the Swedish sin" (licentiousness) developed, even though Swedish society was at the time still fairly conservative regarding sex, and the international concept of Swedish sexuality was and is largely exaggerated. The films caused debate there as well. The films eventually helped the public's attitude toward sex progress, especially in Sweden and other northern European countries, which today tend to be more sexually liberal than others.

Explicit sex on screen and frontal nudity of men and women on stage became acceptable in many American and European countries, as the twentieth century ended. Special places of entertainment offering striptease
Striptease
A striptease is an erotic or exotic dance in which the performer gradually undresses, either partly or completely, in a seductive and sexually suggestive manner...

 and lap dancing proliferated. The famous Playboy Bunnies
Playboy Bunny
A Playboy Bunny is a waitress at the Playboy Club. The Playboy Clubs were originally open from 1960 to 1988. The Club re-opened in one location in The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas in 2006...

 set a trend. Men came to be entertained by topless
Toplessness
Toplessness is the state in which a female's breasts are uncovered, with the areolae and nipples visible, usually in a public space. It can also refer to a female not wearing any clothing above the waist, which is the female equivalent to a male barechestedness.The history and even the present-day...

 women at night-clubs which also hosted "peep show
Peep show
A peep show or peepshow is an exhibition of pictures, objects or people viewed through a small hole or magnifying glass. Though historically a peep show was a form of entertainment provided by wandering showmen, nowadays it more commonly refers a presentation of a sex show or pornographic film...

s."

Pre-marital sex



Once heavily stigmatised, pre-marital sex became more widespread during the sexual revolution. The increased availability of birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

 (and the quasi-legalisation of abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 in some places) helped reduce the chance that pre-marital sex would result in unwanted children. By the mid 1970s the majority of newly married American couples had experienced sex before marriage.

Politics of sex



Politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 in the USA has become intertwined with sexually related issues, called the "politics of sex". A woman's desire for an abortion pitted traditionalist Pro-Life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 activists against Pro-Choice
Pro-choice
Support for the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-choice movement, a sociopolitical movement supporting the ethical view that a woman should have the legal right to elective abortion, meaning the right to terminate her pregnancy....

 activists permitting abortions.

Women and men who lived with each other without marriage sought "palimony
Palimony
Palimony is a popular term used to describe the division of financial assets and real property on the termination of a personal live-in relationship wherein the parties are not legally married. The term is a portmanteau of the words pal and alimony...

" equal to the alimony
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

. Teenagers assumed their right to a sexual life with whomever they pleased, and bathers fought to be topless or nude at beaches.

Normalization of pornography


The fact that pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

 was no longer stigmatised by the end of the 1980s, and more mainstream movies depicted sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

 as entertainment, was indicative of how normalised sexual revolution had become in society. Magazines depicting nudity, such as the popular Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

and Penthouse
Penthouse (magazine)
Penthouse, a men's magazine founded by Bob Guccione, combines urban lifestyle articles and softcore pornographic pictorials that, in the 1990s, evolved into hardcore. Penthouse is owned by FriendFinder Network. formerly known as General Media, Inc. whose parent company was Penthouse International...

magazine, won some acceptance as mainstream journals, in which public figures felt safe expressing their fantasies.

Feminists have had mixed responses to pornography. Some figures in the feminist movement, such as Andrea Dworkin
Andrea Dworkin
Andrea Rita Dworkin was an American radical feminist and writer best known for her criticism of pornography, which she argued was linked to rape and other forms of violence against women....

, challenged the depiction of women as objects in these pornographic magazines. Other feminists such as Betty Dodson
Betty Dodson
Betty Dodson is an American sex educator, author, and artist. Dodson held the first one-woman show of erotic art at the Wickersham Gallery in New York City in 1968. She left the art world to teach sex to women...

 went on to found the pro-sex feminist movement in response to anti-pornography campaigns.

Criticism of the sexual revolution concept


Counter forces such as Fraenkel (1992) say that the "sexual revolution", that the West supposedly experienced in the late 60s, is indeed a misconception and that sex is not actually enjoyed freely, it is just observed in all the fields of culture; that's a kind of taboo behaviour technically called "repressive desublimation".

In the Americas, considered by many a part of the 'West', the indigenous peoples of the Americas
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 were seen by the first European explorers such as Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 with amazement: "although the slaves were 'naked as the day they were born,' they showed 'no more embarrassment than animals.'" In the present, even though it is not acceptable to be publicly naked for many in countries of Latin America, some Western tourists go topless in public .

The end of the revolution


Teenage sexual activity (as measured by age at first intercourse and current sexually active status) actually increased significantly from about 1984–1991, especially among females, but this was often overlooked since such changes were erroneously assumed to have already happened a decade before, and that the revolution was presumably over. Teen pregnancy also increased as a result. This was followed by a fairly steady decline in teen sexual activity (and teen pregnancy) from about 1991 to the present day, at a time when many presumed the opposite was occurring. However, the teenage birthrate in the US is the highest in the developed world.

See also



  • Combined oral contraceptive pill
  • Feminist Sex Wars
    Feminist Sex Wars
    The Feminist Sex Wars and Lesbian Sex Wars, or simply the Sex Wars or Porn Wars, were the acrimonious debates within the feminist movement and lesbian community in the late 1970s through the 1980s around the issues of feminist strategies regarding sexuality, sexual representation, pornography,...

  • Miscegenation
    Miscegenation
    Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

  • Open marriage
    Open marriage
    Open marriage typically refers to a marriage in which the partners agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded as infidelity. There are many different styles of open marriage, with the partners having varying levels of input on their spouse's...

  • Sex magic
    Sex magic
    Sex magic is a term for various types of sexual activity used in magical, ritualistic or otherwise religious and spiritual pursuits. One practice of sex magic is using the energy of sexual arousal or orgasm with visualization of a desired result...

  • Sex-positive movement
    Sex-positive movement
    The sex-positive movement is an ideology which promotes and embraces open sexuality with few limits. Sex positivity is "an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, and encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation...

  • Sexual objectification
    Sexual objectification
    Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument towards one's sexual pleasure, and a sex object is a person who is regarded simply as an object of sexual gratification or who is sexually attractive...

  • Sexual revolution in 1960s America
    Sexual revolution in 1960s America
    The 1960s in the United States are often perceived today as a period of profound societal change, one in which a great many politically minded individuals, who on the whole were young and educated, sought to influence the status quo....

  • Social Darwinism
    Social Darwinism
    Social Darwinism is a term commonly used for theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, seeking to apply the principles of Darwinian evolution to sociology and politics...