1960S Essay, Research Paper
The 1960s were the age of “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.” People had a new outlook to life. Women began wearing shorts, skirts, and clothing they normally did not wear. Almost anything was permissive. There was a full-scale sexual revolution. Decriminalization of homosexuality was prevalent and sex education was now allowed to be taught in schools. By taking the mystery out of sex (by learning about it), it will not be detrimental to society. Television shows also started including sex in hopes of lowering STDs and the birth rate. In 1963, birth control was developed and was known as “Katy bar the door.” In the early 1960s, movies, books, and plays took on taboo subjects that intrigued society. X rated movies were also present. Several cities in Europe legalized prostitution and had a public sale of pornography. Amsterdam was one of the cities and was the biggest tourist city because of its prostitutes. To prevent health risks, prostitutes would go in once a week for a health check. Sex change operations would also emerge from this period.
A major factor that makes the 1960s distinguishable is the rejection of the “Beaver the Cleaver” family. Divorce rates increased, teens engaged in premarital sex, and married people in extramarital sex. Timothy Leary came up with the anthem: tune in, turn on, and drop out. Scientists at Harvard made LSD, and the drug of choice was marijuana.
This period of “finding yourself” led to a generation gap between teenagers and their parents. Teens thought that parents didn’t understand them and tradition was abandoned. The high point of this counterculture was Woodstock, a music and art fair at Max Yasgur’s farm. 400,000 people showed up for this epitome of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Bob Dylan’s song “the Times; they are a changing” captures the moment of the generation gap.
Assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy stunned society. A radical student movement at the University of Nanterre took place. The combination of Vietnam, unfair rule by country leaders, classrooms having too many students, and professors not paying enough attention to students sparked this outrage. Students were not allowed on campus and eventually barricaded the Latin Quarter where the police entered. Citizens across the country supported the students and led to a strike of 10 million workers. Charles DeGaulle ended up resigning from office. There was another student movement in Germany. The SDS was upset about Germany’s involvement. Italy, Spain, Britain, and even Ohio all housed protests.