A report of the changing values that came about when the amoral adolescent culture of the "60s brought the so-called sexual
revolution to America.
Allyn (History/Princeton) has interviewed many leading lights of the time (Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt, Gloria Steinem) and
consulted radical writings of the era that often vilified monogamy in the name of a drug culture that sought to shock the middle
classes. The movement attacked the double standard of sexual behavior that separated men and women and reaped a whirlwind.
Backed by the notorous Kinsey Report, much of the sexual revolution was media-driven and not followed by the majority (more
than 70 percent of college students cited by a survey in the book were against coed dorms because they invaded privacy).
Television, radio, newspapers, and magazines gave space to the demonstrations, sit-ins, and parades. Draft dodging, considered
a cowardly disgrace during WWII, became a badge of honor; the Vietnam era, a time for cosseted students to make love, not war.
Millions of teenagers, according to Allyn, rejected the moral standards of their parents to indulge in promiscuity and group sex.
Penicillin, condoms, and the pill insulated their users from many of the consequences of free sexual activity. Meantime, the
success of the civil-rights movement gave birth to unending "rights" demonstrations aided by the ACLU in broad interpretations
of the First Amendment: workers’ rights, women’s liberation, rights for Chicanos, homosexuals, and abortion seekers. Allyn draws
few moral conclusions from these developments—except to remark that the "religious right," in its attempt to maintain ethical
standards, was opposing progress.
Allyn displays no such squeamishness, however, in detailing clinical accounts of "liberated" sex. Readers should have a
strong stomach, or a barf bag.