Have you ever wondered what your parents did as teenagers?
People today think that our society is hyper-sexualized, but in fact, society is more conservative today compared to the 1960s and 1970s.
Sophomore Neeshae Wain said, “We are more sexually active than our parents and it’s more advertised and accepted in our generation,” when, in fact, that statement is a misconception that many people have.
The stereotypical thoughts of the 1950s is of the housewife who stays home, cooks, and cleans.
“I think they were more conservative because they weren’t surrounded by media,” said sophomore Amanda Breslauer, talking about our parent’s generation.
But due to this sexual repression, when the 1960s hit, everything changed. This time was called the Sexual Revolution, and with it came a dramatic shift of sexuality.
Books like Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique were catalysts for helping young women realize a new way of thinking about their domestic and sexual roles in society. This book expressed the opinion that women should not conform to the popularized idea of “the housewife,” and led to a change in understanding.
Junior Claire Porter said, “I feel like there were polar extremes when our parents were kids. Either you were raised in the Bible Belt and no way in hell were you going to have sex, or experimentation was totally fine according to society.”
This shift of sexuality led to openness about everything having to do with sex. Talking about it in the open wasn’t a taboo anymore, and it was a major topic of discussion. It became socially acceptable to have sex outside of marriage.
Many young people in the 1960s challenged the social norms and liberalism had a widespread revival. Everything was questioned, even orthodox sexual practices, and nothing was left unturned.
The birth control pill was created, but did not become easily available to unmarried women until 1972.
The use of the pill led to the change of mind that sex was not purely for reproduction and love and was seen as a symbol of the sexual revolution.
There were also negative effects from the legalising of the pill and abortions. The rates of STDs, teen pregnancy, divorce, and out-of-wedlock births have increased considerably since the legalisations.
During the 1980s, the first cases of HIV and AIDS were reported. President Ronald Reagan advocated abstinence because of the sexual cause of this disease.
That point in history led to the slow change to our modern society of conservativeness. Today, abstinence is still advocated by many groups, but it’s not as popular as using various methods of birth control.
Porter said, “Now, it’s all pretty general that it isn’t a great idea to have sex early in the teen years, but it is assumed that sometime during your teenage life, most do have sex.”
“Our current society is overly sexualized due to the internet and the fact that those kinds of situations occur around us constantly mean that people have become desensitized,” said sophomore Keenan Allen.
If you thought our generation was bad, our parents knock that title right out of our hands.