With one quick visit to a doctor, a woman immediately gained sole and exclusive power over her fertility, a power that had eluded her sex since . If not for women’s self-determined sexual liberation, the sexual revolution might have been another unremarkable episode in the long and varied sexual history of humankind.Instead, with the impetus the sexual revolution gave to a new feminism and a movement for gay liberation, it became one of the major catalysts of America’s ongoing political delirium.
For men, the sexual revolution changed things by making sex relatively cost-free.
Before women obtained the power to control their fertility, they had compelling reasons to comply with whatever arbitrary double standard their society imposed.
The Pill permanently changed women’s age-old pragmatic calculus.
Before the revolution, the whims of men determined the reputation, if not the fate, of women; female desire was contained within the closet of marriage; and men retained their traditional sexual privileges and discreetly enjoyed their sexual liberties.
After the revolution, women, if they so chose, could dispense with men, or with marriage altogether, without giving up sex or children or a lifetime loving relationship.
Yet sex before marriage, like any act of civil disobedience, entailed risk.