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The Long Sexual RevolutionEnglish Women, Sex, and Contraception 1800-1975$
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Hera Cook

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252183

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.001.0001

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‘Truly it Felt Like Year One’: The English Sexual Revolution

‘Truly it Felt Like Year One’: The English Sexual Revolution

Chapter:
(p.271) 13 ‘Truly it Felt Like Year One’: The English Sexual Revolution
Source:
The Long Sexual Revolution
Author(s):

Hera Cook (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252183.003.0014

The availability of the Pill precipitated a transformation in sexual mores. It involved three innovations: reliability, widespread publicity, and large-scale modern distribution. Rising rates of pre-marital sexual activity were leading to sharply increasing illegitimacy. Unmarried mothers were highly stigmatized. The advent of the pill created a new practical alternative and gave rise to debate about the need for a new sexual morality which increased intellectual support for change. The media encouraged comments on sexuality from the likes of J. A. T. Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich, Alex Comfort, Martin Cole, and Helen Brook. The pace of change was astonishing and by the 1970s the debate had narrowed to concerns about ‘school girl’ sex.

Keywords:   family, the Pill, Family Planning Association, pre-marital sex, sexual revolution, unmarried mothers, J. A. T. Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich, Alex Comfort, Martin Cole

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