Changing Attitudes Toward Sex

Major shifts in the public perception of sex and sexuality have been occurring alongside cultural changes for most of human history, and every generation’s “progress” comes with the shock of the generation before it. From free love in the 60s to the second wave of feminism and the gay liberation movement beginning in the 70s, the advent of pornography to the dawn of the internet, dating apps, and video streaming websites, sex has become more accessible than ever. 


Visibility for alternative lifestyle groups like BDSM practitioners and polyamorous communities are also at an all-time high. Shows like Big Love and Sister Wives created a national conversation around bigamy, and later the 50 Shades Of Grey series brought images of bondage and domination into the mainstream and as always, TV, movies, and music videos continue to push the envelope.

However, while it may be true in some cases that viewing “kinky” or taboo sexual acts can lead some people to try them in real life, the research shows it’s not as likely as you might think. The truth is, people have always been explorative when it comes to sex, and things we consider “new” often date back centuries. Sex in America isn’t becoming more debauched or depraved; people are just becoming more honest and open about their sex lives.

In fact, despite the media’s hypersexualization of American culture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that Americans are actually having less sex. Conversely, rates of STDs, especially gonorrhoea, syphilis, and chlamydia, have shown “steep, sustained increases” for the last several years that officials are calling a slide backwards.



So, attitudes toward sex are growing broader and people, in general, seem to be making the choice to abstain more often, but ignorance about STD prevention methods as simple as wearing a condom still pervades American culture. In fact, condom use is on the decline; some sexual health experts say the advances in treating HIV/AIDS have made people more complacent than they were even a decade ago.

That complacency combined with unrelated social factors like the opioid crisis are leading to riskier encounters when they do happen, the director of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention told the Atlantic. Funding cuts for public health centers that offer sexual health services have also become more prevalent in recent years, especially in conservative states.

Altogether, this means fewer people having safe sex, more cases going undiagnosed, and sexual infections reaching record numbers in certain populations, such as pregnant women and heterosexual men. Antibiotic-resistant strains of those infections are getting more common, making it more important than ever for those who are sexually active to be vigilant about STD education and testing, as well as condom use.

Regardless of one’s sexual preferences, gender identity, or the number of partners, the health and safety of all parties involved should still be a priority. Health providers advise using protection every time and getting tested regularly to prevent the spread of STDs and STIs.

Author Bio: Paige Jirsa- I work with https://stdtestingfacilities.com/, which provides users same day STD testing in a discrete and proficient manner.

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2 comments

  1. I'm intrigued by shoes like Sister Wives and Seeking Sister Wives as to how they make family life work. However, I must confess to not thinking about the sexual side of it, but is an important of their lifestyle. There is still such a taboo about sex and especially about getting regular check ups to ensure everything is as it should be.

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  2. What a necessary message! Less sex, but more of the unprotected kind, sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. It's true that we all talk much more openly about sex in the modern world, so I don't see why this could be happening! Clearly, we need to start talking above the dangers of sex more instead of just all the exciting new ways to try it.

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