Sources Directory     A to Z Index     Topic Index News Releases     RSS Sources Select News RSS Feed     Sources Calendar    

Contact

Contact

Whatever Happened to the Sexual Revolution?

Holz, Maxine
http://libcom.org/library/whatever-happened-sexual-revolution

Publisher:  Processed World
Year Published:  1986  
Resource Type:  Article

What would a future anthropologist make of the bizarre and seemingly contradictory assortment of information on sexuality available today?

Abstract: 
-


Excerpt:

The sex industry has been held responsible for the proliferation of sexist images and ideas throughout society, for women's victimization and exploitation, for the destruction of families, and for encouraging rape and child-molesting. The growth of pornography and prostitution is held up as one of the nefarious consequences of the sexual revolution, an example of how dangerous loose sexual attitudes really are. So appealing has porn been as a target that it has united feminists like Andrea Dworkin (for whom the Meese Report was "a turning point in women's rights" [Time 7/21/86] with right-wing fundamentalists who want to put women back in the home.

Scapegoating the sex industry distracts the public from deeper social problems. What is really going on in the morality campaigns is an attempt to re-legitimate traditional values. The mission of restoring the nuclear family as a haven of warmth and safety is appealing for many reasons. It offers a hope that we can extract ourselves from the complicated horrors of the world, it allows us to close our eyes to the endemic sources of violence and degradation in our society. Singling out the figure of the sex-crazed child molester, for example, is easier than acknowledging the far more pervasive routine emotional and physical abuse that abounds in the American family. For the media, stories of psychotic sex criminals make good copy, for politicians, sexual fear is a political goldmine. The politicians behind the resurgent interest in sex-busting are at least appearing to do something about the anxieties created by social decay.

By deflecting fears from the real causes, moral panics exacerbate the anxieties they pretend to address. Even the most trivial social interactions become charged with fear: mothers react with panic when a stranger stops to pat their child on the head, childcare workers refrain from affectionate physical contact with the children in their care. Children themselves are taught to associate sex with fear and danger, reinforcing sex-negative attitudes.

Sexual license is a primary target of today's moral panic, and in response we assert our right to sexual freedom--not just on the grounds of free speech or privacy, but in affirmation of the positive side of sexual pleasure. At the same time it is important to go beyond the sexual to understand the anxiety that is being tapped by the sex-busters. We need to focus our fear and anger on underlying economic and social problems and not on false targets.

Topics





Sources is an online portal and directory for journalists, writers, news editors, researchers. Use Sources to find experts, media contacts, spokespersons, scientists, lobbyists, officials, speakers, university professors, researchers, newsmakers, CEOs, executive directors, media relations contacts, spokespeople, talk show guests, PR representatives, Canadian sources, story ideas, research studies, databases, universities, colleges, associations, businesses, government, research institutions, lobby groups, non-government organizations (NGOs), in Canada and internationally.
© Sources 1977-2015. The information provided is copyright and may not be reproduced in any form or by any means (whether electronic, mechanical or photographic), or stored in an electronic retrieval system, without written permission of the publisher. The content may not be resold, republished, or redistributed. Indexing and search applications by Ulli Diemer and Chris DeFreitas.

    Sources, 812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201, Toronto, ON M6G 1L9.Phone: (416) 964-7799 FAX: (416) 964-8763