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The Impact Of Roe v Wade On The Sexual Revolution

By Mary Harrington writing for The Post


From the article,

The old-fashioned “patriarchal” sexual mores which arose prior to the sexual revolution encouraged (and often shamed) women to withhold sexual access except in the context of long-term male commitment. The sexual revolution offered a technological fix, in the form of birth control, promising to level the playing field so women could play it just like men. Then, as Erika Bachiochi has shown, this created an inexorable ratchet toward legalising abortion — simply because no method of birth control is fool-proof. And this radically transformed social and sexual norms. One often-cited study, for example, shows how legalising abortion drove a sharp drop in the previously widespread norm of ‘shotgun weddings’. In turn, this resulted in rising single motherhood among women pressured into extra-marital sex with un-committed men, but who still balked at abortion when faced with unwanted pregnancy. Most women, regardless of where they stand on abortion, recognise that you can’t have a liberal sexual culture for both men and women without a backstop in the case of accidental pregnancy. Accordingly, the news that abortion might be under threat prompted a wave of pro-choice calls for women to go on sex strike. As one put it: “If we can’t get pregnant now, guess we’re not having intercourse with men anymore!”

Read the full article at The Post