The Sexual Revolution
The confluence of several phenomena in the United States during the 1960s and early 1970s facilitated the development of the so-called “Sexual Revolution.” These included the availability of the birth control pill, increasing sexual candor in American media and culture, the lessening of the threat of censorship of artistic and literary works, the repealing of sodomy laws in several states, the introduction of “no-fault” divorce, the decriminalization of abortion, and more. Quite literally, sex moved from the privacy of the bedroom to the openness of the living room, as popular TV and magazines explored sexual issues, often with titillating imagery—imagery that frequently objectified women and people of color. In many communities, sex education in schools became more rooted in science—1964 saw the founding of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), with the goal of providing education and information about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health. Of course, sex education remained controversial throughout much of America.