The Sexual Revolution and Its Influence on Life Today
The sexual revolution of the 20th century ushered in new ways of understanding sex and relationships. A real change in conceptions began and still continues to bring new ideas and concepts. All of them have great repercussions and arguments, with followers on both sides.
Some understand it as a positive sexual liberation that brings great social advances. However, for others, it is an immoral struggle that is harming humanity.
The sexual revolution invades the world
Sexual liberation had its first manifestations in the United States in the mid to late 1960s, but gradually spread its influence to the whole world, as reported by the Center for United States Studies. From this point, sex ceased to be an exclusive act for consummated marriage and new values came into being.
The idea of free sex for both men and women became a reality and the world witnessed it. The approval of birth control pills was the big push for the female sexual revolution. With the possibility of preventing unwanted pregnancies, girls dared to take a step forward.
Positive influences of the sexual revolution
Over time, the struggles of minorities have gained ground and several countries have made progress on various issues. Among the greatest achievements are:
1. The emergence of feminism as a strong and validated movement
In terms of sexuality, feminism based its struggle on equality with men. Women began to acquire the same rights and to see sex as a source of pleasure. It was no longer a question of being mere procreators, but they also allowed themselves to enjoy sex.
“The sixties and seventies had psychoanalysis and sexology as privileged discourses that sought to unveil the truth of sex. Both fields of porous borders were deployed in different orders of life and local culture.”
-Trebisacce, Catalina (2013)-
Although there is still much resistance to a woman’s right to free sex, every day more and more people understand the process. It’s no longer about prostitution but about women who just want to enjoy themselves. Premarital sex is practically a fact of life for everyone and has nothing to do with morality.
2. Gay marriage in various countries of the world
Governments of various countries have legally approved marriage between homosexuals. This is an important step forward for many people who used to live their love in secret. In fact, today’s young people are not surprised to see a gay couple on the street.
There are still other places where religious and cultural beliefs act as major barriers. However, the trend is already set and resistance is just ignorant denial.
3. Recognition of new sexual conditions
In recent years people have been appearing to explain their sexual conditions. They no longer speak of heterosexuality and homosexuality as the only ways of relating. There are others that are also accepted among the younger and open-minded population. Among them we can mention bisexuality, asexuality, agamy, etc.
Find out more: Sexual Fantasies: Everything You Want to Know and More
4. Sex education in schools
In the past, talking about sex with children or in an institution was a reprehensible act. Nowadays, there are many public and private schools that include sex education in their curricula.
5. Legalization of a woman’s right to decide on the future of her pregnancy
The eternal discussion on the right of a woman and her unborn child is more relevant than ever. There are many societies that analyze this issue and despite the different opinions, the important thing is the freedom to discuss.
Negative consequences of the sexual revolution
Like everything in this life, the Sexual Revolution also had its negative aspects that affected has society as a whole. This, for example, was determined by the following study published in 2009 by the University of Pennsylvania.
1. Increase in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Before the sexual revolution, STDs were rare among the common people. They were more related to the world of prostitution. With the advent of free sex, the number of STDs rose to a fairly high level and the number of infections increased en masse.
2. Growth of teenage pregnancies
Despite available contraceptive methods and sex education, pregnancies in teenage girls have been on the rise. In this way, great opportunities for professional development have been lost by girls becoming mothers at a young age.
3. Low commitment of young people in their relationships
This possibility of having premarital sex has meant that many young people start relationships and have sex only by impulse, in some cases without even taking into account the feelings of their partner. Infidelity has become a part of everyday life, as it isn’t a matter of open or consensual relationships.
4. Family breakups and children out of wedlock
After the sexual revolution, more and more children are conceived out of wedlock. Open and careless sexual sex with people outside of the relationship has very serious consequences.
Many marriages have dissolved due to the infidelity of one or both of the partners. The family, as an institution, has, for many, ceased to have the value it once had.
Find out more: The Main After-Effects and Consequences of Infidelity
The sexual revolution: its impact is widespread in today’s society
The sexual revolution is present today in all sectors of society, and the impact is different depending on how you look at it.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Giami, Alain; Hekma, Gert. (2014). Sexual Revolutions. Géneros y sexualidades en la Historia. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1057/9781137321466
- Greenwood Jeremy (2009). Social Change: The sexual revolution. University of Pennsylvania. https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=psc_working_papers
- Trebisacce, C. (2013). Ambivalencias y disputas en torno a “la revolución sexual”, “la liberación de las mujeres” y el “feminismo” entre la militancia de los años setenta. III Jornadas CINIG de Estudios de Género y Feminismos, La Plata, 2013.
- United States Studies Centre. (2009). The sexual revolution. https://www.ussc.edu.au/events/the-sexual-revolution