Was the route to sexual harrassment opened by the 1960s sexual revolution?

In the 1960s were we not told, by affluent elites * :

"Doing sex before and outside marriage is a great ideal that should inspire us!" #NoWonderMeToo

"Be promiscuous!" #NoWonderMeToo

"If you question this, you're a prude!" #NoWonderMeToo

Example song: Young Girl (get out of my mind) by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.

In the 1970s were we not told:

"Everyone, break the boundaries the prudes imposed!" #NoWonderMeToo

"Explore sex in all sorts of ways.
Not only with same sex, but also with younger, older, with ..."
"Didn't Kinsey say so?" #NoWonderMeToo

"Sex is for pleasure, not procreation." #NoWonderMeToo

"Sex is for leisure, not responsibility." #NoWonderMeToo

Were we not also told:

"You want it really! #NoWonderMeToo

"If you question this, you are repressed. Freud said so." #NoWonderMeToo

In the 1980s were we not told:

"No such thing as society. Everyone for himself (sic)." #NoWonderMeToo

"Those with money can get all they want. Loadsamoney." #NoWonderMeToo

"Divorce is good; nobody's fault; Marriage is boring." #NoWonderMeToo

"Your wants are your right." #NoWonderMeToo

In the 1990s did we not tell ourselves:

"Your wants are your consumer right." #NoWonderMeToo

"Sex is a pastime." #NoWonderMeToo

"Seduction is an artform." #NoWonderMeToo

"Sex is the most important thing in your life." #NoWonderMeToo

Since the 2000s have we not told ourselves:

"Sex is what defines you." #NoWonderMeToo

"Homosexual sex is wonderful and must never be criticised." #NoWonderMeToo

And now, is not social media telling us:

"Send me a nude pic - or you don't love me!" #NoWonderMeToo

- A very sick society? -


I want to say there is no excuse for sexual predation.
I want to say we shouldn't be doing this.

But where do I hear the message of responsibility?
Where has that message of responsibility been consistently given?
    Nowhere in mainstream society since the 1960s.

Louise Perry argues that whereas "we assume ... that the more explicitly sexualised our culture has become, the more sexually liberated women have become also" in fact, "there is ample evidence today suggesting the costs of the sexual revolution have been dear for women. Perry shows how, so often, the barriers that were removed to make way for women's sexual liberation were in fact guardrails that protected them from extortion, humiliation and acts of violence perpetrated by men."

Was C.S. Lewis right when he wrote, all those years ago [Essay: Right to Happiness, 1940s]

"A society in which conjugal infidelity is tolerated must always be in the long run a society adverse to women. ... Where promiscuity prevails, they will therefore always be more often the victims than the culprits. Thus in the ruthless war of promiscuity women are at a double disadvantage. They play for higher stakes and are also more likely to lose."

Who would have thought, during the 1960s 'sexual revolution', that some of the acts then applauded would be the subject of retrospective court cases 50 years later? #NoWonderMeToo

Maybe we need a different core to society
than that which was inserted in the 1960s onwards.


Though male sexual predation is nothing new,
    going back decades before
with their attitude of "snigger, snigger! wink, wink!",
    even going back millennia,

these decades changed the social norms
    of affluent society.

Sexual predation used to be frowned on.
From the 1960s it became not only acceptable
    but an expectation.


* "Affluent elites" - affluent compared with rest of world, especially the so-called Developing World. Especially university students.

** Louise Perry, 2022. The Costs of the Sexual Revolution.

Acknowledgements: Bruce Wearne, Paulo Ribiero, Rich Graydanus, David Koyzis helped with useful comments.

Created 16 December 2018. Updated: 23 May 2019 spelling errors. 8 December 2019 #NWMT added. 12 March 2021 Where do we get a message of responsibility? 8 May 2021 Young Girl song. 17 June 2021 reworded and rearranged. 1 October 2021 1950s, sick soc, rearranged. 11 December 2021 Louise Perry.