Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

"The ravages of permissiveness": sex education and the permissive society

By James Hampshire and Jane Lewis

Abstract

In this article we explore how sex education in schools has become an adversarial political issue. Although sex education has never been a wholly uncontroversial subject, we show that for two decades after the Second World War there was a broad consensus among policy-makers that it offered a solution to public health and social problems, especially venereal disease. From the late 1960s, this consensus came under attack. As part of a wider effort to reverse the changes associated with the ‘permissive’ society and legislation of the late 1960s, moral traditionalists and pro-family campaigners sought to problematize sex education. They depicted it as morally corrupting and redefined it as a problem rather than a public health solution. Henceforth, the politics of sex education became increasingly polarized and adversarial. We conclude that the fractious debates about sex education in the 1980s and 1990s are a legacy of this reaction against the permissive society

Topics: DA Great Britain
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1093/tcbh
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:17269
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://tcbh.oxfordjournals.org... (external link)
  • http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/17269... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.