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Red Families v. Blue FamiliesLegal Polarization and the Creation of Culture$
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Naomi Cahn and June Carbone

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199836819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199836819.001.0001

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Sexual History

Sexual History

(p.33) Chapter 2 Sexual History
Red Families v. Blue Families

Naomi Cahn

June Carbone

Oxford University Press

The modern family as it is viewed today has gained significant changes when it comes to fertility rates, average ages at marriage, divorce, and non-marital births. This chapter discusses the progression of familial norms, particularly the sexual revolution with emphasis on women's virtue and sexual double standards, throughout history by way of comparing the current developments with that of the nineteenth-century American family culture. In both scenarios, the middle-classes maintained smaller families with greater investment and delayed marriage as a means of securing economic advantage. However, there is significantly increased sexual control and higher regard for women's (mostly white, Protestant, middle-class women) virtue during the nineteenth century, as opposed to the flourishing middle classes of today who are seen as assailants of the sacredness of virtue.

Keywords:   sexual revolution, women's virtue, sexual double standards, familial norms, middle classes, modern family

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