Sexual activities, when performed in conventionally acceptable contexts, are considered sacred in many cultural communities around the world. In some cases, it is a taboo to mention everything related to sexuality in public places. Discussions bordering on sex take place in tones of silence while children keep away from such topics. However, sexual activities have prompted much controversy and attracted the attention of the masses around the world. Sexual revolution or sexual liberation is one of these movements that is acclaimed for changing people’s perception of sex and sexual behavior in most contemporary societies today. Sexual revolution aimed at challenging the codes of conduct related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships in the Western world. The revolution that began in the 1960s and ended with the 1980s leads to the acceptance of other sexual behaviors outside of traditional heterosexual relationships or marriage.
Origins and role of the mass media
The roots of sexual liberation or sexual revolution can be traced back to the scandalous collection of the English author of Algernon Charles Swinburne entitled Poems and Balladsof 1866. In the collection, his published works openly discussed a wide range of sexual taboos. However, the modern world has robbed Christianity of its values of morality and traditions leading to an increase in permissive societies that have accepted greater sexual freedom. Sexual revolution aimed at exploring both the body and the mind and one free from moral and legal sexual boundaries. Sexual liberation was anchored in the belief that eroticism should be considered normal and not repressed by family, religion or the state. Playboy, a magazine featuring semi-nude and male women targeted between the years 21 and 45, was founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953. He later opened Playboy Clubs in Chicago which offered relaxation to members. The 1960s saw the highest number of divorces while the marriage rate declined significantly. The media including television and radio have been enabled to transmit information to a large number of people in a matter of seconds. The media have helped to spread new ideas contrary to the traditional concept of sexuality.
Contraception and abortion laws
The development of birth control pills in the 1960s was a major cause of the sexual revolution as women could more easily access contraception. Other people were involved in casual sex accordingly. Men and women have had more options with regard to having children due to the availability of contraceptives. Contraceptives like the latex condom have resulted in convenient condoms for men. Women had greater access to the “girls’ world” contraceptives in 1965. The birth control movement supported the legalization of abortion in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1967, the United Kingdom repealed the law banning the abortion. abortion and male homosexuality.
Sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy rates
While contraceptives such as birth control pills helped avoid unwanted pregnancies and illegitimate birth, sexual partners expose themselves to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The number of people who contract syphilis and gonorrhea among other STDs has increased significantly due to the exchange of spouses, multiple sexual partners and other forms of sexual activity. The rate of unwanted pregnancies among women in their 20s also increased significantly. This has led to young women temporarily leaving or delaying school to take care of their children.
Legal changes and changes in religious opinions
The Sexual Revolution has led to some significant legal changes, including the repeal of abortion laws to allow safe abortions through consent. Birth control was first approved by Lyndon Johnson, who was the interim president of the United States. The US Supreme Court also ruled that the government had no rights to dictate the use of contraception by married people. While the Church and other religious bodies opposed the revolution, some slowly accepted it as a normal culture. Religious groups have taken the live approach and let live the sexual revolution with some practices housed within religious boundaries.
Acceptance and legal rights of the LGBT community
Homosexuality has long been considered a mental illness and considered a contempt for Western society. Doctors have widely labeled members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as suffering from a psychological condition in the 1950s and 1960s. Homosexuals were considered dangerous and persecuted. However, the Stonewall riots by the 1969 LGBT community led to the gay liberation movement and fought for LGBT rights. With an awareness of homosexual rights and acceptance of society, more and more people in the United States are joining the LGBT group today.
Legacy of the Sexual Revolution
Before the sexual revolution, married men generally determined sexual activities for women, since their sexual desires were contained in the context of marriage and the notion of loyalty and obedience to their husbands. However, with the revolution women can enjoy pleasure in their marriages or outside their marriages. The sexual revolution has also been blamed for the destruction of the traditional American family. Women can now delay marriage and pregnancy through birth control pills while remaining sexually active. Chastity is no longer a sense of pride in today’s society. In fact, those who delay sexual activities are considered abnormal and naive in today’s society.