In the early 1960s, society publicly denounced sex outside of marriage The Pill was not freely available, but rather controlled by physicians who did not stand above or outside the mores of the larger society. The birth control pill originally became available to unmarried women on a large scale due to federal initiatives, which were motivated by concern about the twinned issues of population control and poverty. The Pill played an important role in the sexual revolution and had the long-term effect of changing society’s view about sex. It gave women vastly increased control over their sexual-reproductive lives, and thus helped to change the experience and meaning of sex both inside and outside marriage. Searle’s first marketing campaign showed its understanding of the Pill’s revolutionary potential. One marketing logo featured the dramatic, colorful image of a sensuous Greek goddess freed from her bondage. (“A History of Reproduction, Contraceptives, and Control,” 1998) Young women who took the Pill had sex without fear of pregnancy. They obtained the Pill simply by request, without the demeaning act of lying about an impending marriage or the purchase of a cheap gold ring at a drugstore. (Bailey, 1997) However, the revolutionary rhetoric of the counterculture, calling on the virtues of sex in the streets as a liberating act, was not enough alone to produce significant, widespread, and lasting social change. Instead, the power of the “sexual revolution” lay in the joining of revolutionary claim (from the counterculture and then a very different sort from the women’s movement) to the sorts of evolutionary and structural changes that were taking place in the society.
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