The Proliferation of Premarital Sex in America Essay

The Proliferation of Premarital Sex in America Essay

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Premarital sex is a highly controversial issue in society. Traditionally, sex prior to marriage was considered to be wrong and immoral. However, since the 1960s’ “sex revolution,” society has become more tolerant and accepting of premarital sex. There are many factors that contributed to this cultural shift. Religious groups have always been significant combatants to sex outside of wedlock. Religion once had a far stronger influence on the morals accepted by society, however in recent years religious conviction seems to have faded and society has begun to establish its own morals. Furthermore, contraceptives have become far more advanced and available than they were in the early twentieth century. Premarital sex now has fewer dangers and consequences. Finally, modern pop culture often seems to promote sex outside of marriage, including teen sex. Magazines, television, music, and movies highlight and embellish promiscuity. Modern America is far more accepting of premarital sex than Americans of the early twentieth century due to decline in religious influence, advancements in contraceptive technology, and pop culture.
In the early 1900s, premarital sex was far less common than it is in modern society. The culture of that time period valued virginal brides and condemned teens that had sex prior to marriage. In fact, “social ostracism awaited young ladies who did not wait for marriage” (Mass) However, social isolation was one of the lesser consequences that some believed could befall an individual partaking in premarital sex. Exceptionally religious families and institutions believed that sex outside of marriage was a heinous sin and that such an offense could be punishable by eternal damnation. Furthermore, before “the pill” was ...


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Greenwood, Jeremy, and Nezih, Guner. “Social Change: The Sexual Revolution.” N.D. TS 4. University of Pennsylvania. International Economic Review, Nov. 2010. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Sundburg, Walter. Religious Trends in Twentieth-Century America. 2000. TS. Luther Seminary, St. Paul. Wordandworld.org. Web. 3 May 2014.
Garcia, Justin R., Chris Reiber, Sean G. Massey, and Ann M. Merriwether. "Sexual Hook-up Culture." Http://www.apa.org. N.p., Feb. 2013. Web. 03 May 2014.
Jayson, Sharon. "Most Americans Have Had Premarital Sex, Study Finds."Usatoday.com. USA TODAY, 19 Dec. 2006. Web. 09 May 2014.
Mastroianni, Luigi, Jr., Peter J. Donaldson, and Thomas T. Kane. "Development of Contraceptives - Obstacles and Opportunities — NEJM." New England Journal of Medicine. The New England Journal of Medicine, 15 Feb. 1990. Web. 10 May 2014.

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