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Sexual Revolution in the 60's

Posted by: webmaster on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 09:43 _PRINTPrinter friendly page  _EMAILFRIENDSend this story to a friend
The Sexual Revolution in the 60's

There have been significant shifts in social attitudes, behaviors and institutional regulations surrounding sexuality, since Freud opened the door to the bedroom. Sexuality throughout the 20th century has moved closer to the center of public debate than ever before.

One hundred years ago the idea of sexual politics would have been unthinkable.

Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s the combination of student protests against the Vietnam War, counter culture movements and medically prescribed contraceptives facilitate a decisive breakthrough with the preceding values. Which in turn decreed confinement of women’s sexual pleasure within the suburban walls of heterosexual marriage and the regulation of men’s sexuality in public.

The predominantly young who became involved with the peace movement and co-operative counter cultures which flourished particularly between 1967-72 took sexual liberation and sexual freedom as mainstay to its politics.

Some known writers at that time argue that the capitalism sexually repressed the masses in the interests of its life negating and exploitative goals.

The middle class, a century earlier, had forged an identity around the confinement of sexuality within the private domain of the heterosexual family. The anti-authoritarian and revolutionary movements of the 1960s saw the reproductive suburban family along with its morality of self-restraint, hard work and moral prudence as an expression of class domination. Sexual freedom was tied to revolutionary outcomes. The so-called "permissive" or "swinging sixties" has become a metaphor for contemporary social conflict.

This was a time of revolutionary social changes as decommission of colonies, women’s liberation, gay & lesbian liberation, the civil rights, environment and peace movements.

By the same token, issues such as pornography, marriage breakdowns, single parent families, welfare state dependency, drugs and youth crime are all seen as having their origins in the "permissiveness" of the sixties.

You can see some important consequences derived from this important movement as shifts in the relations between women and men, particularly those inspired by the emergent women’s liberation movements.

This parallels women’s increased presence in the public realm and personal autonomy concerning reproductive choices and sexual expression.

The political mobilization of the gay & lesbian movements. Reforms in the legal and medical regulation of sexuality. The increased commercialization of sexuality through pornography and mass media. The concomitant relaxation of censorship laws.

At last, the world, after these disturbed years, was not the same anymore, which’s for sure!

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