Sex became more socially acceptable outside the strict boundaries of heterosexual marriage. In , Blue Movie , directed by Andy Warhol , was the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States. During this time, porn was being publicly discussed by celebrities, and taken seriously by critics. According to Warhol, Blue Movie was a major influence in the making of Last Tango in Paris , an internationally controversial erotic drama film, starring Marlon Brando , and released a few years after Blue Movie was made.
Following mentions by Johnny Carson on his popular TV show, and Bob Hope on TV as well,  the adult film Deep Throat achieved major box office success, despite being rudimentary by mainstream standards.
In , the far-more-accomplished, but still low budget adult film, The Devil in Miss Jones , was the seventh most successful film of the year, and was well received by major media, including a favorable review by film critic Roger Ebert.
The various areas of society clamoring for change included the Civil Rights movement, see SCLC and SNCC the ' New Left ', and women, with various women's rights organizations appearing in the latter years of the decade in particular.
This climate of change led many, particularly the young, to challenge social norms. With the success that the Civil Rights movement was having, others who wanted change knew that the time was ripe for them to bring it about.
The combination of liberal government, general economic prosperity, and the ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation marked the s apart from any decade that had come before it, and while conservatism was by no means dead, liberalism enjoyed a widespread revival, which helped to facilitate the climate in which the 'sexual revolution' took place.
Johnson was the first acting president to endorse birth control, a hugely important factor in the change of American sexual attitudes in the s. The Pill[ edit ] "The pill" provided many women a more affordable way to avoid pregnancy. Before the pill was introduced many women did not look for long term jobs. Previously, the typical woman would jump out of the job market when she got impregnated and would reenter it when her child was of school attending age.
There was a visible trend in the increasing age of women at first marriage in the decades between and after contraception was provided to non-married females. Since women could have a choice to use birth control to finish their education, a higher percentage graduated from school and college ultimately gaining professional careers. In the early s, President Lyndon Johnson instituted his social reform policy, The Great Society , which aimed to eliminate poverty and racial injustice. During this time, the Pill was endorsed and distributed by doctors as a form of population control to counter the fear of over population which coincided with President Johnson's goal to eliminate poverty.
Heralded as a technological marvel, the pill was a trusted product of science in an increasingly technological age, and was heralded as one of man's 'triumphs' over nature.
It was often said that with the invention of the pill, the women who took it had immediately been given a new freedom—the freedom to use their bodies as they saw fit, without having to worry about the burden of unwanted pregnancy.
It was also not the case that the pill went completely unopposed. The Pill became an extremely controversial subject as Americans struggled with their thoughts on sexual morality, controlling population growth and women's control of their reproductive rights. Campaigns by people like Estelle Griswold went all the way to the U. Supreme Court , where on June 7, , it was ruled that under the First Amendment , it was not the business of the government to dictate the usage of contraception by married couples.
Unmarried women who requested gynecological exams and oral contraceptives were often denied or lectured on sexual morality.
Those women who were denied access to the Pill often had to visit several doctors before one would prescribe it to them.
Some women's rights movements also heralded the pill as a method of granting women sexual liberation, and saw the popularity of the drug as just one signifier of the increasing desire for equality sexual or otherwise among American women.
The pill and the sexual revolution was therefore an important part of the drive for sexual equality in the s. As a consequence, the pill and the sexual freedom it provided to women are frequently blamed for what many believe are regressions in quality of life. Since the sexual revolution, out-of-wedlock births, sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, and divorce have all risen considerably.
Since the 60s, marriage has declined by a third and divorce has doubled. During the s there were only four big STDs, now there are twenty-four. Since the sexual revolution, children living in single-parent families has tripled. Some books published which promised sexual freedom and liberation were not wholly positive for women, for instance Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex, which advised women "don't get yourself raped.
In The Feminine Mystique, Friedan tackles the issue of the domestic role of women in s America and the feeling of dissatisfaction with it. Friedan believed that women should not conform to this popularized view of the feminine, The Housewife and that they should participate in, if not enjoy the act of sex.
Its importance to s feminism and the sexual revolution lies in that it created a new wave of thinking in regards to the domestic and sexual role of women in society Gay Rights and the "undocumented" sexual revolution[ edit ] Even in a time of unprecedented societal change, and burgeoning liberal views and policies, homosexuality was still widely publicly reviled, and more often than not was seen as a malaise or mental illness , instead of a legitimate sexual orientation.
Indeed, throughout the s and s the overriding opinion of the medical establishment was that homosexuality was a developmental maladjustment. Homosexuals were often characterized as predatory deviants who were dangerous to the rest of society.
For example, the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee , between and , sought out these so-called 'deviants' within the public system, with the particular focus upon teachers. Many modern commentators on the gay sexual revolution[ citation needed ] in s America allege that this area of the decade has been severely under emphasized, lacking the attention that they feel it deserves. During this time, there was a large oppression of gay people, men in particular. While America was moving forward in the sexual revolution, there was still sodomy law in place not allowing gay men to have sex.
One of the biggest laws that were placed was the anti-sodomy law. In the s, every state had anti-sodomy laws, making it punishable for up to 10 years in prison for engaging in anal sex. It took many years before these laws to change making sodomy legal, Illinois being the first state. While it cannot be said that the 'gay revolution' had as much impact as some others during the decade the movement only really began to gain significant momentum and more public support during the s , it is important to consider the part that the gay liberation crowd had to play in the overarching 'sexual revolution'.
In , what was considered the first gay porno movie was shown at the 55th Street Playhouse in New York City. The movie was called Boys in the Sand. With this movie, the gay community was launched into the sexual revolution and the porn industry. The biggest breakthrough for gay men was after the sexual revolution in , when Lawrence v Texas made it legal in all 50 states to have anal sex.
After this, the porn industry never had to make stag films nor did they have to censor their material in states that had anti-sodomy laws. Indeed, in an age of sexual revolution and urban chaos many spontaneous acts of defiance occurred as homosexuals found creative ways to resist heteronormative social codes throughout the s. Frank Kameny's Mattachine Society chapter, in Washington DC, campaigned openly for gay rights by confronting various federal agencies about their discriminatory policies in and Furthermore, the homophile movement had already set about undermining the dominant psychiatric view of homosexuality.
The Stonewall riots, [ edit ] The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay LGBT community[note 1] against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, , at the Stonewall Inn, located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.
They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. The Mattachine leaders emphasized how homosexual oppression was a socially determined pattern and held that strict definitions of gender behavior led men and women to unquestioningly accept social roles that equated 'male, masculine, man only with husband and father' and that equated 'female, feminine, women only with wife and mother'.
The Stonewall riots of marked an increase in both public awareness of gay rights campaigners, and also in the willingness of homosexuals across America to campaign for the rights they believed that they were due. However, it would be misleading to conclude that resistance to homosexual oppression began with 'Stonewall'.
As David Allyn has argued numerous acts of small-scale resistance are required for political movements to take shape and the years preceding 'Stonewall' played a role in creating the gay liberation movement.
Moreover, gay life after 'Stonewall' was just as varied and complex as it was before. In the era following 'Stonewall' there was still a variety of approaches taken by homosexuals to propagate their message, which included not only the confrontational approach of 'Stonewall' but equally an attempt at assimilation into the broader community.