What Was the Impact of Increased Availability of Contraception on British Society?

1374 Words Jul 29th, 2011 6 Pages
What was the impact of increased availability of contraception on British society?

The swinging sixties was a time like no other, it created a new generation with a new take on life. When people think of the sixties they think of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Twiggy, mini-skirts and sex which is then often recalled as the period in time when Britain became a different place from the generations before, it was the “watershed era of freedom that changed society forever” says Dominic Sand brook. The age old myth says that the pill caused a sexual revolution in the 60s but is this really true? Were all of the changes caused by the pill, or was the impact greatly exaggerated?

The contraceptive pill at first didn’t have that large an
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Thus, in the early 60s at least, it was not that simple for unmarried women to get hold of the pill. Only 4% of nation’s women were taking it, and teenagers weren’t able to get hold of it, showing that since the sexual revolution was based around teenagers, and the pill wasn’t able to affect them then it can’t have caused a sexual revolution. In fact, the main form of contraception was still the condom, beating the 450,000 women who used the pill. And another thing to think about is if wild sexual encounters suddenly became the norm, then why did marriage reach such high levels of popularity? "By the end of the sixties, 95 per cent of men and 96 per cent of women were married under the age of forty five; young couples were getting married younger than their parents." Dominic Sandbrook.

Furthermore the pill did not change attitudes in isolation other factors also influenced the sexual revolution, for example law changes. All of these laws were introduced by the new labour government. Before 1964 the country’s government was a conservative body which had been in power for 13 years. The new government liberalised the country as they had a different much more liberal view than the previous government. Firstly women had a lot more power than they ever did before. In the 70s most women got equal pay to men, which was a landmark event as for the first time…

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