The Sexual Counterrevolution in America

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nancy Cohen charts the birth of the sexual counterrevolution: how conflicts about sex, women’s rights and women’s roles, gay civil rights, and family values, have polarized national politics and unhinged the nation. In Delirium, she explores the reaction against the sexual revolution and the progressive movements that emerged from it—notably feminism and gay rights—and examines how it’s shaping the 2012 election season.


Nancy Cohen

Comments [13]

dboy from Nyc

...spankin's for all the ladies that don't fall in line!!

Feb. 21 2012 02:34 PM
dboy from Nyc

ahhh... because patriarchy has historically done such a great job???

Gimmie the "radical hedonists"!!! They've probably got fewer atomic warheads.


Feb. 21 2012 02:08 PM
dboy from Nyc


Double-up on the meds and re-up your Taliban membership.


Feb. 21 2012 02:00 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


Let them put an aspirin between their knees! Abortion is NOT a legitimate contracepive procedure! Hey, let's have fun tonight and kill the evidence!

Feb. 21 2012 01:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

This is not simply a "religious matter" anymore than the takeover of Russia by the Bolsheviks was simply a religious matter. The question is, will society remain intact or become unstable and perhaps dissolve, or become horrendous to live in if the hedonists and epicureans take over. The radical feminists want to become the "gatekeepers" by unilaterally determining who lives and who dies just to satisfy their own hedonistic pleasures.

Feb. 21 2012 01:53 PM
dboy from Nyc

... keep 'em barefoot and knocked-up eh, jaggerbuttz??

Feb. 21 2012 01:50 PM
dboy from Nyc

jaggerbuttz once again, demonstrating the narrowness of his view, the shallowness of his thought and his exceedingly diminished capacity.


Feb. 21 2012 01:48 PM
Jim B

Ms. Cohen may choose to describe Phyllis Schlafly as "orthodox" but she is certainly not seen by most other Catholics as more devout; indeed many consider her to be a crank.

Feb. 21 2012 01:45 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Women are still not really serving in hand-to-hand combat units like the Marines or in the Navy Seals. That's still "mano on mano." Only in Hollywood.

Feb. 21 2012 01:43 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well when a society is at the verge of self-destruction and dissolution, it has to pull back and examine what is going on with itself. The "traditional" patriarchal family structure has dissolved, but the question, what is replacing it, and is it a stable alternative? We replaced monarchy with democracy, but can the family system be effectively democratized and still remain in effect? Or perhaps we are rapidly approaching Aldous Huxley's utopian vision of "Brave New World" where marriage is abolished and people are produced in factories? I tend to believe in the latter. We can no more return to patriarchy than we could to monarchy, but I do not believe the family system can survive the downfall of patriarchy. I believe a very different system will come into being after the failure of the patriarchal family system.

Feb. 21 2012 01:40 PM
John A.

I'm no historian, but...
Couldn't we characterize 1930 as a sexual counterrevolutuon, from the 1890-1920 'delirium' to a time of less waste of time and money, and ultimately more concentration on getting ahead in the world?
Looks like morality comes in cycles.

Feb. 21 2012 01:16 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I believe that gender politics have blinded us for years and for many even until this day from asking what are our true natures as male & female? Those obsessed with identifying a villain will always point to culture, ignoring the fact that we are evolved animals with instincts and biologically-influenced behavior.

Much of this politically-striped thinking leads to politically-correct orthodoxies -- scientific research notwithstanding.

For example, when the point about women having a greater facility for language is cited, women cheer. But if someone should state that males have a greater facility for say, mathematics (I don't know if that's true, but bear with me for my point), feminists get up in arms. Of course, both are generalities, but one is politically-correct whereas the other is verbotten!

But much recent research shows unequivocally that males & females are so different in so many ways. That doesn't mean that we can't find a way to accept and accommodate our differences and still have equality in our society, but some think that truth have to be extinguished in the name of (politically-correct) "greater good."

History proves otherwise. The road to hell, and all that.....

There are unmistakeable trends that are affecting us... women in higher numbers in universities & colleges than men; rising male mortality rates (at certain younger ages); females occupying greater numbers of white collar jobs.

And yet, women still want to be with high-achieving men... so who's going to be left standing when the music stops? Will everyone be be happy with the increasing confusion of gender roles over the years? Or is there something of be careful what you wish for?

Feb. 21 2012 12:10 PM
kevin from upper LS

is part of the problem, not, that we conflate the politics of sexual reproduction and gender identity,with sexuality and social mores. of course, these are related,but, i think that we do disservice to the discussion around these, by assuming that they are always to be addressed together,as if they were an amorphous mass of uniform thought,[itself, a somewhat contradictory notion].

Feb. 21 2012 07:54 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.