Is The Resurgence Of The Clap About To Reverse The Sexual Revolution?
WE’RE all used to the idea of getting our jollies fairly regularly these days. Certainly it’s all very different from Victorian times when it was supposedly marriage, celibacy or prostitution. But what is it that actually caused the change?
Some have pointed to the invention of the Pill, the first simple and reliable contraceptive but it’s possible that we’re about to find out whether that is true. For gonorrhea is making a comeback and what happens next will tell us a great deal about what happened last time around:
Gonorrhea has taken many forms over the last few decades. The strain that people acquire today isn’t the same one that previous generations had to deal with. In fact, it might not be the same strain that infected people a little over 10 years ago. That’s because gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), has become resistant to most of the antibiotics that we have used to combat it over the last three decades. That’s right: penicillin and various tetracyclines have all stopped working against the most prevalent strains. This means that today’s gonorrhea patient has very few treatment options left.
Hmm, so what does this have to do with the sexual revolution then? After all, it was in the 60s, after the invention of the pill, that everyone started shagging around, wasn’t it?
Well, not so much actually:
The rise in risky, non-traditional sexual relations that marked the swinging ’60s and advent of readily available contraception actually began as much as a decade earlier, during the conformist ’50s, suggests a new analysis. The analysis strongly indicates that the widespread use of penicillin, leading to a rapid decline in syphilis during the 1950s, is what launched the modern sexual era.
If it was indeed penicillin, the ease with which it could treat syphilis, was the cause of the sexual revolution then the absence of the rugs to treat the other major STD, gonorrhea, could be the thing that reverses said sexual revolution.
And yes, we all know about condoms, But they’re not a complete barrier to infection and condoms also existed before the 1950s. So they weren’t the reason for the change in behaviour either.
It’s actually going to be interesting seeing what happens. For what does happen will be an insight into what did happen: a history lesson awaiting us in the future.