This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Sexual Revolution: Birth Control Essay

1413 words - 6 pages


Candice Huntsman
Contemporary America and the World
Professor Burkholder
June 16, 2011

Until the sexual revolution of the 1960's, women were the victims of a strict double standard; single men had freedom to be promiscuous but women did not. This double standard revolved around the risk of pregnancy for women that men obviously did not have concern for. One of the main events that triggered the revolution that changed women's sexual freedom was an oral contraceptive, also known as "the pill". This new effective form of birth control changed many major aspects of society including women's freedom, social morality, and informed consent on ...view middle of the document...

While many people found comfort in this freedom for couples, they also had concern for the single women's use of the pill.
Sexual Morality Concerns
The pill solved problems for married and single women who wanted to be intimate without the risk of children. Many people worried for the future of social morality. If there were no consequences or signs of promiscuity, what would stop single women from exploring their options? When John Rock and Gregory Pincus released the pill, "prescriptions were reserved for married women only" (5). The drug was intended to give married women freedom to control the number of children born. Many people argued that the pill would cause promiscuity in single women but Rock and Pincus had clinical research on studies that showed "unmarried women were having sex prior to" the release of the pill. (6)
Health Hazards
Many women and physicians discovered many serious negative side effects such as higher risk for breast cancer, uterine cancer, and smokers were at a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots. (7) The women who experienced these side effects or learned of the high risks were furious because no doctor warned them of the health hazards. There were so many complaints and research that showed the hazards of the pill that the issue gained national attention. In 1970, the State Senate held hearings to discuss the risks. After the hearings of male majority, the women who had taken the pill formed a feminist group in pursuit of justice. The pill's hormone levels were eventually "lowered to a fraction of the original doses" so that hazard level of the side effects would decrease. (8) Other brands of the pill offered higher and lower doses of hormones, giving women more options.
Informed Consent
The hearings that discussed the hazards of the pill received much attention from the media and many reports of the problems caused by the pill were all over major newspapers. Many women blamed their doctors for failing to share all the information on the pill they were prescribed. But many investigations and press conferences involving the relationship between doctors and patients revealed that doctors did not even have all the information on the pill. (9) Never before did the industry provide informed consent on any medication. The main responsibility of information release was on the pharmaceutical companies. While these companies did inform doctors of the risks, they did not bring attention to the severity of the problems that could be caused. So when doctors relayed the risk information to patients, they often failed to mention heart attacks and stokes because they did not think it applied to young women who wanted the prescription. Doctors did not want to “unduly alarm women” because they might overreact. (10)
Also, during this time period people were accustomed to trusting their doctors and they were not used to questioning their authority. Other studies on patient and physician...

Other Papers Like The Sexual Revolution: Birth Control

Birth Control Essay

1483 words - 6 pages The bible states “Be fruitful and multiply” but we have not been obedient to the teaching of the bible. Hence, we have turned to a powerful invention by scientists, known as birth control. Birth control is a method used to voluntarily prevent pregnancy from occurring. It has been a topic affecting women’s and men’s health, religion, sexuality and peace of mind for many years. As human beings, we are inclined to engage in sexual relationships. It

Effects Of Birth Control On Women's Lives

615 words - 3 pages The Effects of Birth Control on Women’s Lives On May 9, 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved a drug that would revolutionize women’s lives. The life changing drug was an oral contraceptive, commonly known as “the Pill,” that would prevent pregnancy if taken correctly. Several other birth-control methods have been developed in the past ten years that are just as effective. Birth control has had effects on women’s mental

His125 Week6 News Story

911 words - 4 pages remaining anti-contraception laws were abolished. Birth control and sex education in schools have continued to remain hot topic issues and ethical indifferences in the United States. In the United States today, adolescent sexual News Story 4 experimentation and teen pregnancies are on the rise, and carry an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and additional unwanted pregnancies, as well as the burden of personal costs and

The Most Important Invention in Human History

1833 words - 8 pages density of population is going to be horrifying. But how can we prevent it? Sexual intercourse is the nature of humanity and the consequences of such act is inevitably the blending of X and Y chromosome. Therefore condom serves as a really useful tool to “prevent” the Y to meet with the X and thus free people of child-born issues. The family planning policy is quite a good example of birth control. A brochure from has

Teen Sexual Activity Causes Sexually Transmitted Diseases, AIDS, Pregnancy, And Emotional Trauma

955 words - 4 pages part of is as the blood and bone with which we were born." An absolutely truthful statement, the subject of sex has become prevalent in today's society. Prevalent, because every aspect, voice, form of communication, law passed, and free thought, expresses the opinion on the subject. Maybe centuries of society's need for "sexual oppression" which led to the "sexual revolution" of the twentieth century, is the cause for the entrance of human

Human Sexuality: Revolution and Counterrevolution

606 words - 3 pages , and avoid frank discussions on the topic. The sexual revolution, starting in the nineteen twenties, and coming to a head in the nineteen sixties, was not only a catalyst for an increase in sexual promiscuity, but also an increase in discussions regarding sex. The sexual counter revolution, discussed in the textbook, widely discouraged frank discussion on the topic, and also pursued a more reserved and traditional practice of sexuality. There

Chracter Analysis Of Brently Mallard

709 words - 3 pages she deserves from her husband. Obviously, between two married couples the idea of an offspring is a natural thing, but having children requires the vital presence of her husband. For Mrs. Mallard to appreciate her husband's love he needs to be in her presence, unfortunately in the 19th the time that revolved around the end of the Civil war era and the birth of the Industrial revolution. With the industrial revolution, one deduces as to why Mr

French Revolution - Paper 2

626 words - 3 pages Empire, a restoration of absolutist monarchy was followed by two further successful smaller revolutions (1830 and 1848). This meant the 19th century and process of modern France taking shape saw France again successively governed by a similar cycle of constitutional monarchy (1830–48), fragile republic (Second Republic) (1848–1852), and empire (Second Empire) (1852–1870). The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. The growth of republics and liberal democracies, the spread of secularism, the development of modern ideologies and the invention of total war[2] all mark their birth during the Revolution.

Abortion Is Not Immoral

2310 words - 10 pages viewpoint, Revolution newspaper presents the argument that abortion is morally just because women should be able to make the appropriate decisions for their own bodies without the interference of government bans and restrictions. Furthermore, the author maintains that it is immoral to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term against her will because the pregnancy could be a threat to the mother's health and could result in the birth of a child


1327 words - 6 pages receiving this education, how much detail should be revealed, and what topics should be shared such as safe sex practices, masturbation, or sexual ethics (Science Daily). In the United States, sex education raises a lot of continuous debating. A lot of controversial points are the use of birth control like condoms or oral contraceptives and the impact of such use on pregnancy outside of marriage, teenage pregnancy, and the transmission of STDs

Overpopulation, Population Control And Public Policy

1236 words - 5 pages decision a woman would make in concert with her husband, it can also be a decision made independently. The availability of birth control also frees up female sexual inhibitions before marriage. Though a woman may choose to abstain from sexual activity prior to marriage because of a religious or social reason, birth control makes this a decision that each woman can make on her own. Since birth control limits the danger of pregnancy, sex becomes an

Related Essays

Over The Counter Birth Control Essay

254 words - 2 pages In the news analysis “Is It Time for Off-the-Shelf Birth-Control Pills?” Elisabeth Rosenthal wonders if the time is ripe for a new government approach to oral contraceptives. When a federal judge recently ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after pill available to women of all ages without a prescription, the ruling was a political embarrassment for the Obama administration and unleashed protests from abortion foes

Sexual Liberation Essay

1038 words - 5 pages climate of change led many, particularly the young, to challenge social norms. Lyndon Johnson was the first acting president to endorse birth control, a hugely important factor in the change of American sexual attitudes in the 1960s. "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 (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2001). Previously, the typical women

Birth Control Essay

1223 words - 5 pages arose as a result. Among these was the use of birth control in various forms – and while a moderate view has the majority, there are extremes on either side. Should birth control be emphasized and distributed freely, even to youth who are only beginning to enter sexual maturity, or should it be blockaded as an enemy of life and God’s will? It’s open to question as to whether these types of views be held at all – moderation may be key. In

History Of Birth Control Essay

1327 words - 6 pages . Birth control was advocated for several reasons, such as, population control, hereditary disease prevention, hereditary stock improvement, liberation from reproductive drudgery, and sometimes to permit sexual freedom. In the 1820 s neo-Malthusian ideas were integrated into experimental socialism, socialists were soon joined by religious radicals who promoted birth- control, but in different forms. The second Great Awakening had given rise to a