The Sexual Revolution: Birth Control Essays

1370 Words Jul 7th, 2011 6 Pages
THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: EFFECTS OF THE PILL

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 prescription medications.
Women's Freedom The
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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

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