How appropriate is the term 'cultural revolution' to describe the events of 'the long sixties' (c. 1958-c.1974).

Essay by LazzaJazzUniversity, Bachelor'sA, October 2005

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The 'long sixties' were for many a release from the oppression and formality that had dominated the West since World Wars I and II. It was also a period of discovery and transformation in many areas, including religion and science and was as I aim to demonstrate a period of historical significance.

Before exploring what made the 'long sixties' such an important time I feel it necessary to define what is meant by the term 'cultural revolution.' The term had in 1965 been used to describe the 'policies initiated in China by Mao Tse - Tsung' who believed 'that you could only have compl;ete revolution if you not only removed the bourgeoisie from powere, but destroyed all vestiges of bourgeois ideology.' This is not the kind of revolution that occurred in the West. Here we are looking at changes in '...sexual ideas and values'. There are unfortunately too any areas of change to fully discuss here so I have chosen 3 areas which I feel contributed towards the 'cultural revolution' that I believe took place during the 'long sixties.'

These are changes in sexual behaviour, especially among young women, and changes and transformations in both science and religion.

I will firstly look at changes in sexual behaviour, these changes we most signifianct among young women. To fully appreciate these changes, it is necessary first to understand what the prevailing attitudes were during the time preceding the 'long sixties.' These were in the 1950's in the West 'stuffy and repressed' and were fostered by both Protestant demoninations and the Catholic Church.'These attitudes within Christian Churches promoted abstinace from sexual activity before marriage. It is difficult to pin-point one single event that caused this sexual revolution for young women of the period however a number of significant events could be said...