The Evolution of Sexuality in the United States

-thoughts from a real girl…

Since the early 1900s, people’s thoughts about sex and sexuality have changed a lot. Opinions on pre-marital sex, abortion, birth control, homosexuality, casual sex, and sex education have changed significantly.

Pre-Sexual Revolution:

  • Pre-marital virginity was preferred in most relationships
  • Parents had much control over relationships of their children, especially for daughters
  • Sexual experimentation of any kind was forbidden and was thought of as inappropriate
  • Homosexual behavior was not tolerated which led to many people hiding their sexuality for a significant portion of their life, if not all

Sexual Revolution (1960s-1980s):

  • Often referred to as the point in history where there was a profound shift in values of sex and sexuality
  • “Free love movement”
  • This phenomenon is believed to have originated from San Francisco.
  • Encouraged openness about sex and love
  • Hippies are popular for their support in this movement
  • College campuses began to allow co-ed dormitories
  • The number of people who chose to have sex before marriage increased dramatically
  • This period challenged societal norms in sexuality, women’s rights, and African American rights
  • Birth control pill went on the market in 1960

Modern Day:

  • Hook-up culture is prevalent especially among younger generations (Millennials)
  • People have become much more accepting of pre-marital sex
  • Same-sex marriage is now legalized in the United States after a Supreme Court ruling
  • The number of sexual partners has increased for males and females
  • Sex is certainly not as taboo as it once was
  • Abstinence is still the primary pregnancy prevention method taught in most public schools

The topic of sex and sexuality has transformed from taboo to a rite of passage in a person’s development. Although the United States still has a ways to go in terms of progress, great strides have been made in the last 100 years.

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