Different but Equal: Communication between the Sexes

By Kay E. Payne | Go to book overview
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6

Gendered Issues in Communication about Sex

If you wish to destroy a nation, destroy its morality and it will fall into your lap like a ripe apple from a tree.

V. I. Lenin


INTRODUCTION

The sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s advocated a goal of liberating both men and women from prior restraints, allowing them to become impervious to public judgment and anesthetizing them from feelings of guilt. The average normal person, in whatever society we find him or her, when attracted to the opposite sex experiences passionate and sentimental episodes he or she often describes as the most significant events of his or her existence. Since the sexual revolution the language describing these sexual episodes reflects increasing approval of sex outside the sanctions of marriage. For example, in the early 50’s the word adulterer was applied to a person who “fooled around” outside marriage. In the 60’s unfaithful, indiscreet, and loose described such a person; and in the 70’s the terms extramarital, playing the field, and swinging, described his or her actions. In the 80’s sexually active characterized a person who had sex outside marriage, and in the 90’s we heard terms like responsible sex and safe sex.In the new century people simply refer to it as having sex. It becomes apparent from the language used that sexual episodes outside the sanctions of marriage have become increasingly socially acceptable.

Historically, the United States government advocated the values that

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