On Mother's Day (ironically), the Pill turned 50 and it’s taken a while for the mainstream media to publish any bad news about the golden calf of the sexual revolution, but this week – if you searched hard enough – you could find a couple of reports that made it to print and demonstrated why the Pill’s claim to an anniversary celebration is more than a little dubious.
From Germany came fresh research that indicated a link between the Pill, lowered female libido and general sexual dysfunction. It’s not the first study to reveal this link but came at a less than convenient time for Pill backers who’d rather us think the oral contraceptive has brought about unfettered sexual liberation for women.(1)
From the Pew Research Center in the US came a study which indicates that more unplanned pregnancies occur now than 50 years ago, with 41% of children born in 2008 in the US being born out of wedlock.(2) Back before the Pill the figure was 1 in 20, or 5%.
And as if she had just read Humane Vitae and decided it was right, 70s sex symbol Raquel Welch issued her synopsis on the Pill and society to CNN. While admitting that the Pill has enabled women to delay having children, Welch came down hard on the Pill’s contribution to today’s promiscuous society.
Having lived through the past 5 decades with the Pill and having married four times, Welch apparently feels qualified to speak of the “sea change in moral values” that she has seen in America’s demographic over the past half century.
“I'm ashamed to admit that I myself have been married four times,” she wrote. “And yet I still feel that [marriage] is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children and saves us from anarchy.”(3)
So, dear mainstream media, it seems not everyone considers the Pill’s 50th anniversary a cause for celebration.
© Eva Whiteley 2010
(1) Harald Seeger, Ph.D., researcher, University Hospital Tuebingen, Germany; May 4, 2010, Journal of Sexual Medicine (online)
(2) Pew Research Center, The New Demography of American Motherhood, accessed 12-05-2010 www.pewresearch.org
(3) Raquel Welch, It’s Sex O’Clock in America, May 9, 2010,CNN online, accessed 12-05-2010