ENC 1101 12:00-1:50
21 October 2013
Sexuality: The 1950’s to Today
Sexuality, like many other things in our world, is an ever changing thing. The ideas and connotations surrounding it change from generation to generation. Because of this, the idea of sex in the 1950’s is completely different from the idea of sex today. Today, sexuality can be expressed in almost anything we do. Commercials, billboards, TV shows, movies, magazine articles, and many other things are driven and influenced by the idea of sex. People today cannot escape the sexuality that surrounds us. However, things were not always like this. In the 1950’s, sex was a taboo topic. Nobody talked about it, it wasn’t used in advertisements, and even new articles couldn’t use words like “bottom” or “menstruation” because of their sexual connotations (Ironside). In fact, “if a reader wanted to know anything about sex she had to write in to the agony aunt who might suggest she write in again enclosing a stamped, addressed, plain brown envelope into which, but only if you were married of course, she would insert a leaflet explaining the Facts of Life” (Ironside). How did American society change from one where sex was taboo, to one where a person would find it nearly impossible to completely escape from the sex that surrounds us now?
A good way to exemplify this change over time is to look at the mass media and the sex used in it. If we take a look at famous magazines, we can see these changes taking place. The cover of Vogue magazine can show this change. Doe 2
Vogue cover in 1950:
http://pzrservices.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451ccbc69e20133ec44d632970b-pi Vogue Cover in 2012:
http://www.thelifefiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/vogue.jpg You can physically see how sexuality has taken over the new magazine cover. From the look in the models’ eyes, to the way they hold their bodies, to the clothes they wear, it is apparent how sexual the second...
Cited: Attwood, Feona. Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture. I.B. Tauris: 2009.
Goren, Elizabeth. “America 's Love Affair with Technology: The Transformation of Sexuality and the Self Over the 20th Century.” Psychoanalytic Psychology. 20.3 (2003): 487-508. Print.
Herdt, Gilbert, and Cymene Howe. 21st Century Sexualities: Contemporary Issues in Health, Education, and Rights. London: Routledge, 2007. Print.
Ironside, Virginia. “We Paid the Price for Free Love: The Flip Side of the Sexual Revolution.” MailOnline. MailOnline. 18 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 July 2012.
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