Emergence of Youth Culture – Ari Braia & Reagan Dolliver

The Pill

                In 1960 the first oral contraceptive, Enovid, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Enovid was unlike any other Cajjpturecontraceptive before it. It was the first reliable form of birth control controlled by the woman. The oral contraceptive rapidly gained popularity among single and married women. After two years, 1.2 million American women were on the pill and after three years the number nearly doubled to 2.3 million. Today almost 12 million women in the United States use an oral contraceptive pill today.

The pill became very popular and had major impact on society and culture and soon became a symbol of the sexual revolution. The oral contraceptive gave women more control over their sex lives and as a result of that, their futures. In the past, unwanted pregnancies had led to high schooldownload drop outs and lowered college graduation rates. The pill contributed to the sharp increase in college attendance and graduation rates for women. Women weren’t the only ones affected by the new form of contraceptive. Men also benefited from the pill which lowered risks of accidental fatherhood and prevented the need for unwanted marriage.

The pill was met with a lot of controversy. Not everyone agreed with the oral contraceptive as a new form of birth control. A flurry of legal actions in the 60’s and 70’s would change the landscape of reproductive rights. Legal cases such as Griswold vs. Connecticut would pave the way to the Supreme Court extending the right to obtain birth control to everyone in 1972.

Not everything about the pill was positive. Prior to the 1960s there were only two significant STDs prevalent in the US: syphilis and gonorrhea which were easily treated able with antibiotics but that was about to change. The pill gave women and men the freedom to engage in sexual relations more freely without other forms of contraception which led to an increase in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Along with that in 60’s saw an increase in material infidelity.

Recreational Drugs 

          Drugs affected the United States in the 1960s in a huge way. People were affected, music was affected, artwork was affected, and the atmosphere of many places was affected. Teens started to use drugs more publicly and did not care who saw them doing it. Music was affected the most by drugs in the way that it influenced a lot of famous singers, in what some people might say, bad ways. Music turned from jazz to rock and roll. Most artists used drugs such as cannabis, LSD, and mushrooms to open up thoughts of what to write about; some even used drugs while performing. Sometimes, the artists could forget what to say on stage, or even song lyrics. Many people including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, were heavily affected by drugs. They decided that it would be in their benefit to use drugs before, during, or after concerts. In Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett even got kicked out of the band because his drug use had gotten so bad. The way that the drugs influence the whole country because it influenced the way people acted, who they hung out with, what people did, how people associated with others and more. The drug market got bigger and more people were trying new types of drugs. It was not untypical for you to see a group of kids in the street using heroin or smoking marijuana. It was a huge part of the 60s. It influences people now because people that were around in the 60s possibly could have had an addiction or had used them all the time. People who lived in that decade probably know people that can get it easier so they know where to find it. All around, drugs have become more popular throughout America because of the 60s. 

Baby Boom

         300px-Babyboom          After 16 years of depression and war there was a desire for normalcy. Post World War II was met with a drastic expansion in birth rate. In the ft120410-fig1early 1950s a baby was born every seven seconds in the US. An estimated 79 million Americans were born during 1946 through 1964. The rapid expansion in population would later be known as the baby boom.

          The baby boom would be associated with privilege and a redefinition of traditional values. As a whole they were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time. In the future this will be the generation that receives peak levels of income, spurring record prosperity among middle class Americans. Therefore, they could reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, clothing, retirement programs, and even “midlife crisis” products.

          The baby boom and the suburban boom went want in hand; people starting moving outside of cities into “Levittowns” to accommodate their new housewives-choresgrowing families. The “Suburban baby boom” had a particularly confining effect on women, urging women to embrace their roles as wives and mothers. The “housewife” role generated dissatisfaction among women who craved a more fulfilling life, which in turn would be a part of the rebirth of the feminist movement in the 1960s.

          Another trademark of the baby boom is their expansion of the consumer market. Excessive consumerism from the post war prosperity was carried out by the baby boomers. This generation played a role in the change of American lifestyle which became more focused on leisure and leisure items. Products like hula hoops, Frisbees and Barbie dolls became popular. They were known was the “first TV generation; television shows such as The Mickey Mouse Club and American Bandstand were popular on daytime TV.

          We still see these things today, in a more modern updated way. This generation was the beginning point of the American culture we know today. Such as: consumerism and suburban life. We still feel the effects of baby boomers today and it will continue for years to come, the aging population will place a strain on social welfare systems. By 2030, one in five Americans will be older than 65.

A New Kind of Music

           Teens during the 1960s were known for their rebellious attitudes, which were no different when it came to music. Adults thought of the new type of music was unpleasant and inappropriate compared to the conventionality of ballads. Adults were shocked by when radial white singers started to record music originally performed by blacks and simply stunned by the new kind of dancing made popular by Elvis Presley.images

          The change in style of music wasn’t new; the frenzied fifties rock and roll craze saw African American music and mannerisms influencing look, language, dance and culture of an entire generation of white suburban teens. That was the spark that ignited the new kind of music genres that the 1960s would entail, and the 50’s golden age of rock and roll would quickly transition into the 60’s golden age of rock. But rock wasn’t the only popular music genre in American popular music genres of the 1960’s include: British invasion, R&B, surf rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, folk rock and protest music. Protest music was a new type of genre innately tied up into causes and influenced by many political issues, such as, the sexual revolution, feminism, black power, and environmentalism. This genre was a symbol of rebellion that went hand and hand with the overall attitude of the 1960s teen.

         Elvis_Presley_Jailhouse_Rock          A musical artist that had a great impact during the 1960s was Elvis Presley. Although Elvis emerged during the 1950s his impact on social culture a lasting impact for decades to come. His songs, dance moves, attitude and clothing came to be seen as symbols of rock and roll. He was known as the “King of Rock n Roll” and he deserved that title. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, “It was Elvis who made Rock n Roll the international language of pop.” Other influential artist of the time include: the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys.

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          Although, music today has evolved significantly since the 1960s without the 60’s influences our music wouldn’t be what it is today. There have been many musical ideas prevalent in the 1960’s that have been carried over into the twenty-first century such as African American culture influencing music, sexuality in songs and dancing, and music being targeted towards teens.