Florida historian says the sexual revolution began in 1940s, not 1960s





Sorry, Hugh Hefner, the sexual revolution did not start with you.

Nor did the era of "free love" begin when the Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral contraceptive in 1960.

In fact, according to University of Florida history professor Alan Petigny, the loosening of sexual constraints that characterized the Swinging Sixties actually is rooted in the 1940s....

Petigny turned to vital statistics for births and marriages between 1940 and 1960 to prove the premise of his 2009 book, "The Permissive Society: America 1945-1965."

He found the rates of premarital sex and single motherhood rose much more dramatically between 1940 and 1960 than in any era since.

"The explosion of premarital sex during the '40s and '50s as evidenced by higher levels of illegitimacy has not yet - and I would argue cannot ever - be explained by the standard historical interpretation," he maintains....

So what about the pill?

Well, it had become the most common form of contraception among married women by 1965, but most doctors at the time refused to prescribe it to a woman who wasn't married....



comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list