Sex in America

From Colonial America to present, a sampling of groundbreaking moments in the sexual history of the United States such as the Roe v. Wade decision and the legalization of same-sex marriage, to changes in culture through entertainment and technology, to some obscure history on all sexual orientations and genders over the past 200 years. (work in progress)

    1. Colonial America – Sex & Culture

      “When a colonial woman married, she gave up any legal right as an individual. She was legally bound to obey her husband, just as she would obey God. Despite this, colonial marriages rarely happened in churches. What’s more, few people found fault with pregnant women marrying; in fact, the practice was quite common in early America.”

      “Marriage,”, accessed on 7/10/2019 (Broken link removed 7/2023)

    2. 1750 – Sex & Culture

      “By the middle of the eighteenth century, parental control was on the wane. There was a spike in the illegitimacy rate”

      “Courtship, Sex, and the Single Colonist,” Andrew G. Gardner,, 2007

    3. 1800 – Sex & Culture

      “Many historians and psychologists see the late 1800s as a kind of watershed period for sexuality in the Western world. With the industrial revolution pushing more and more people together—literally—in dense, culturally-mixed neighborhoods, attitudes towards sex became more liberal.”

      “A Brief History of Human Sex,” Heather Whipps,, 7/27/2006

    4. 1800 – Dating

      “Before Tinder, before shopping malls, drive-ins, or speak-easies, young people searched for a place to meet and flirt. In 19th century America, wild political rallies offered the perfect opportunity. Courting young people mixed national campaigns with personal romances, shaping American democracy in their search for love.”

      “When Political Rallies Were for Sex,” Jon Grinspan,, 7/12/2017

    5. 1821 – Abortion

      “Connecticut passes the first law in the United States to restrict abortion. It prohibits the use of a toxic substance to cause a miscarriage after ‘quickening.’ A number of other states follow.”

      “Before and after Roe v. Wade,” Jacque Wilson,, 1/22/2013

    6. 1846 – Birth Control

      “U.S. patent issued for first diaphragm contraceptive device”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    7. 1855 – Sex & Culture

      “Although, … white men often engaged in sexual liaisons with African American women, open acknowledgment of ‘public amalgamation’ was strictly taboo.”

      “Women’s Work and Sex Work in Nineteenth-Century America,” Anya Jabour,, 2/22/2016 (Broken link removed 7/2023)

    8. 1859 – Sex For Money

      “In 1859, Dr. William Sanger’s study of 2000 prostitutes confined in New York’s Blackwell’s Island prison revealed that half of the women had worked as domestic servants before entering the sex trade, and another quarter had worked as seamstresses. (Abused and abandoned wives made up the remaining one-fourth.)”

      “Women’s Work and Sex Work in Nineteenth-Century America,” Anya Jabour,, 2/22/2016; (Broken link removed 2/2023)

    9. 1873 – Birth Control

      “Anthony Comstock, head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, lobbies to pass the Comstock Law, a federal law banning the selling or distributing of materials related to contraception and abortion.” [March 3, 1873]

      “Before and after Roe v. Wade,” Jacque Wilson,, 1/22/2013

    10. 1874 – Sex & Culture

      “Women’s Christian Temperance Union founded to oppose men’s drinking of alcohol and engaging in ‘immoral acts'”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    11. 1892 – LGBT

      “In 1892, [Dr. James G.] Kiernan had been the first to translate the recently coined German terms ‘homosexual’ and ‘heterosexual’ (the latter referred to what we now call ‘bisexual’). Like his fellow 19th-century sexologists, he had presented ‘sexual perversions’ as novel, rare disorders, spread from abroad, largely unknown to professionals, and hidden from the public. Yet his 1916 article exposes a homosexual underworld that was thriving in American cities by the early 20th century. Jim Elledge’s The Boys of Fairy Town brings to life this world in all its multiracial diversity from Chicago’s 1837 incorporation until the 1940s: sometimes hidden in the shadows, but often all the rage and thriving openly.”

      “Before Boystown,” Vernon Rosario,, 2/28/2019

    12. 1896 – Sex & Culture

      “The very first kiss on film was between a Victorian couple seen in the Edison kinetoscope The May Irwin Kiss”

      “Sexual – Erotic Films,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    13. 1897 – Books on Sex

      “Studies in the Psychology of Sex” – “In 1894, Ellis published his famous ‘Man and Woman,’ which was translated into many languages. Between 1897 and 1910 he wrote his masterwork, ‘Studies in the Psychology of Sex,’ published in six volumes. The seventh volume was published in 1928. His ‘Sexual Inversion’ (1897), which was about homosexuals, was the most controversial of his works, and was banned from sale, pronounced as obscene.”

      “Havelock Ellis,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    14. 1906 – Sex Toys

      “By 1906 the American Vibrator Company of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of several advertising regulars with similarly memorable copy, suggesting to women that the ‘American Vibrator … can be used by yourself in the privacy of dressing room or boudoir, and furnish every woman with the essence of perpetual youth.'”

      “During the turn of the century, vibrators began to be marketed as home appliances.”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    15. 1909 – Sex Education

      “[Sigmund] Freud came to deliver five lectures over five days in September 1909 at Clark University.… Freud’s five lectures closed with a call to allow greater sexual freedom. He said civilization demands ‘excessive’ sexual repression. ‘We ought not to aim so high that we completely neglect the original animality of our nature.'”

      “When Freud Came to America,” Russell Jacoby,, 9/21/2009

    16. 1912 – Sex Education

      “… the National Education Association passed the first resolution relating to special training of sex educators.”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    17. 1914 – Sex Education

      “The American Hygiene Association, founded in 1914 as part of the Progressive-era social purity movement, helped teach soldiers about sexual hygiene throughout the war.”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    18. 1916 – Birth Control

      “On October 16, 1916, [Margaret] Sanger — together with her sister Ethel Byrne and activist Fania Mindell — opened the country’s first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn.”

      “Our History: The Beginning,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    19. 1918 – Sex Education

      “In 1918, Congress passed The Chamberlain-Kahn Act, which allocated money to educate soldiers about syphilis and gonorrhea.”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    20. 1920 – Sex Education

      “The military’s sex-ed programs inspired similar instruction in secondary schools. During the 1920s, schools began to integrate sex ed into their curriculums.”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    21. 1920 – Masturbation/Sex Toys

      “The vibrator’s usefulness for masturbation was never acknowledged; however, as vibrators began appearing in stag films of the 1920s, it became difficult to ignore their sexual function. Probably as a result, advertisements for vibrators gradually disappeared from respectable publications.”

      “Health, Vigor and Beauty,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    22. 1920 – Sex & Culture

      “During the 1920s, flapper was the name for young women who dressed provocatively and supposedly were much more open with their sexuality. … Historians, however, debate this conclusion. Many of the same activities attributed to flappers and other Americans during the 1920s actually predated the decade. Dancehalls existed well before the 1920s. Women drinking and smoking also occurred earlier. Women dressing in a provocative manner happened before the Roaring Twenties. What seems to have made the 1920s so ‘roaring’ was that middle-class white men and women — flappers — were engaging in these activities. Men and women from lower-income backgrounds and of different races had participated in some of these events for decades previously.”

      “Flappers,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    23. 1923 – Birth Control

      “In 1923, Sanger opened the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in Manhattan to provide birth control devices to women and to collect statistics about the safety and long-term effectiveness of birth control.”

      “Our History: A Movement Begins,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    24. 1923 – Masturbation

      “John Kellogg becomes president of Battle Creek Sanitarium; promotes plain foods such as corn flakes in order to prevent sexual feelings and discourage masturbation”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    25. 1930 – Sex Education

      “The US Office of Education first publishes sex education materials and trains teachers.”

      “The History of Sex Education,” Bryan Harris,, 3/25/2015

    26. 1930 – Sex & Culture

      Hays Code: “In the days before the film industry’s stringent Production Code was established … and strictly enforced after 1934 to regulate ‘morally offensive’ content, many silent and ‘Pre-Code’ taboo-breaking films contained adult-oriented material.”

      “Sexual – Erotic Films,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    27. 1933 – Sex & Culture:

      “Censorship didn’t just apply to film, of course. … Manhattan federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled in 1933 that even though the book [James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’] has some graphic passages, it’s ‘not pornographic’ or obscene ‘in its entirety.'”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    28. 1934 – Sex & Culture

      Catholic Church Legion of Decency: “The outcry against Cecil B. DeMille’s depiction of seduction, a Roman orgy and veiled homosexuality in ‘The Sign of the Cross’ (1932) helped persuade Will Hays, the industry’s watchdog, to delegate responsibility for enforcement of the production code to the Catholic publicist Joseph Breen. … In 1934, Catholics announced that they could no longer rely on Hollywood’s good graces and founded the Legion of Decency.”

      “Living by the Code,” Joan Shelley Rubin,, 1/12/1997

    29. 1936 – Birth Control

      Comstock Laws amendment: “United States v. One Package. The decision made it possible for doctors to distribute contraceptives across state lines.”

      “Anthony Comstock’s ‘Chastity’ Laws,’ American Experience,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    30. 1940 – Sex Education

      “In the 1940s and ’50s, courses in human sexuality began to appear on college campuses.”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    31. 1940 – LGBT

      “Beginning in the late 1940s and continuing through the 1960s, thousands of gay employees were fired or forced to resign from the federal workforce because of their sexuality. Dubbed the Lavender Scare, this wave of repression was also bound up with anti-Communism and fueled by the power of congressional investigation.”

      “‘These People Are Frightened to Death’: Congressional Investigations and the Lavender Scare,” Judith Adkins,, 2016

    32. 1942 – Supreme Court Cases

      Skinner v. Oklahoma: “Oklahoma’s Criminal Sterilization Act of 1935 allowed the state to sterilize a person who had been convicted three or more times of crimes ‘amounting to felonies involving moral turpitude.’ After his third conviction, Skinner was determined to be a habitual offender and ordered to be sterilized. He argued that the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment. … In an opinion written by William Orville Douglas, the unanimous Court held that the Act violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” [6/1/1942] [316 US 535(1942)]

      “Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson,”, accessed on 7/14/2019

    33. 1947 – Sex Research

      “…Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his research team incorporated as the Institute for Sex Research. ISR had two primary goals: to continue the team’s research on human sexual behavior; and to administer research resources, including research materials, a library, case histories, and other related materials. In 1981, 25 years after Dr. Kinsey’s death, the Institute for Sex Research was renamed The Kinsey Institute for Sex Research.” [4/8/1947]

      “Learn our history,” Trustees of Indiana University on behalf of the Kinsey Institute,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    34. 1948 – Books on Sex

      “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”: “Drs. Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and Clyde Martin developed the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale—more commonly known as ‘The Kinsey Scale.’ First published in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948), the scale accounted for research findings that showed people did not fit into exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories.”

      “The Kinsey Scale,” Trustees of Indiana University on behalf of the Kinsey Institute,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    35. 1949 – LGBT

      “Harry Benjamin begins to treat transgender individuals in San Francisco with hormones.”

      “Trans History,”, accessed on 7/10/2019; (Broken link removed 12/2023)

    36. 1950 – Sex Research

      Ernst Grafenberg publishes an article about “a previously unknown erotic zone located ‘on the anterior wall on the vagina along the course of the urethra…'” later coined the “G-Spot.”

      “Sexual Speculation: The Story of G,” Elizabeth Hess,, 9/19/1982

    37. 1953 – Sex & Culture

      Hugh Hefner publishes first issue of “Playboy” in December of 1953 with actress Marilyn Monroe on the cover.

      “Playboy in Popular Culture,”, 9/28/2017

    38. 1953 – LGBT

      First sex change operation

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    39. 1953 – Sex Education

      “In 1940, the concept of sex education was promoted by the U.S. Public Health Service, labeling it an ‘urgent need’. However, sex education programs never developed until 1953.”

      “Sex Education,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    40. 1953 – Books on Sex

      “Sexual Behaviour of the Human Female”: “Based on over five thousand case histories, Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male (1948) revealed distinct correlations between sexual habits and social class and disclosed a hitherto unsuspected diversity of sexual practices and mores. It became known as the ‘Kinsey Report’ and aroused much controversy. This was followed by Sexual Behaviour of the Human Female (1953).”

      “Alfred Kinsey,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    41. 1953 – LGBT

      “April 27, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law Executive Order 10450, which banned populations that pose security risks to the nation from working for the federal government or any of its private contractors. The ‘security risks’ listed in that executive order included neurotics, alcoholics and homosexuals.”

      “A history of gay rights in America,”, accessed on 7/10/2019

    42. 1957 – Sex Research

      “[William Masters and Virginia Johnson] began their joint work in 1957 at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis before founding the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation (later re-named the Masters and Johnson Institute), where they worked from 1978-1994, conducting independent sexological research and organizing training workshops for researchers, educators, and therapists.”

      “Masters & Johnson Collection,” Trustees of Indiana University on behalf of the Kinsey Institute,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    43. 1960 – Masturbation

      “Sex educator and artist Betty Dodson began teaching women-only masturbation workshops in New York City in the late 1960s.”

      “A short history of the vibrator,” Jen Bell,, 6/5/2018

    44. 1963 – Books on Sex

      “The Feminine Mystique”: “… a landmark book by feminist Betty Friedan published in 1963 that described the pervasive dissatisfaction among women in mainstream American society in the post-World War II period.”

      “The Feminine Mystique,” Lindsey Blake Churchill,, accessed on 5/22/2019

    45. 1964 – Sex Education

      “Mary Calderone, a physician who had been the medical director at Planned Parenthood, founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). SIECUS was created in part to challenge the hegemony of the American Social Hygiene Association, which then dominated sex-education curriculum development.”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    46. 1965 – Supreme Court Cases

      Griswold v. Connecticut: “In a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Douglas, the Court ruled that the Constitution did in fact protect the right of marital privacy against state restrictions on contraception.” [6/7/1965] [381 US 479]

      “Griswold v. Connecticut,”, 5/22/2019

    47. 1966 – Books on Sex

      “Human Sexual Response”: “Their research focused on the physiology of human sexual response, which they published in their initial book, ‘Human Sexual Response’ in 1966. Dr. Masters focused more on the physiological aspects of human sexual response, and Virginia Johnson’s bedside manner allowed for more recruitment from friends, family, and faculty in the St. Louis area for their human sexuality research.”

      “Virginia Johnson—human sexuality pioneer,” Linda Banner,, 12/2013

    48. 1968 – Sex Education

      “In 1968, The U.S. Office of Education gave New York University a grant to develop graduate programs for training sex-education teachers.”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    49. 1969 – LGBT

      “… Transgender and gender non-conforming people are among those who resist arrest in a routine bar raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, thus helping to ignite the modern LGBT rights movement.” [6/27&28/1969]

      “Trans History,”, accessed on 5/22/2019; (Broken link removed 12/2023)

    50. 1969 – Sex & Culture

      “Hippies advocated nonviolence and love, a popular phrase being ‘Make love, not war,’ for which they were sometimes called ‘flower children.’ They promoted openness and tolerance as alternatives to the restrictions and regimentation they saw in middle-class society. Hippies often practiced open sexual relationships and lived in various types of family groups. A three-day music festival known as Woodstock, held in rural New York state in 1969, drew an estimated 400,000–500,000 people and became virtually synonymous with the movement.”

      “Hippie: Subculture,”, accessed on 7/12/2019

    51. 1972 – Books on Sex

      “Open Marriage”: The book by Nena and George O’Neill “spent more than 40 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list” … “‘The whole area of extramarital sex is touchy,’ Ms. O’Neill told The New York Times in 1977. ‘I don’t think we ever saw it as a concept for the majority, and certainly it has not proved to be.'”

      “Nena O’Neill, 82, an Author of ‘Open Marriage,’ Is Dead,” Margalit Fox,, 3/26/2006

    52. 1972 – Supreme Court Cases

      Baird v. Eisenstadt: “In a 6-to-1 decision, the Court struck down the Massachusetts law but not on privacy grounds. … Married couples were entitled to contraception under the Court’s Griswold decision. Withholding that right to single persons without a rational basis proved the fatal flaw.” [3/22/1972] [405 US 438 (1972)]

      “Eisenstadt v. Baird,”, accessed on 7/12/2019

    53. 1973 – LGBT

      “Forty-four years ago today, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) — the largest psychiatric organization in the world — made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness. This declaration helped shift public opinion, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ equality.”

      “#FlashbackFriday—Today in 1973, the APA Removed Homosexuality From List of Mental Illnesses,” Elliott Kozuch,, 12/15/2017

    54. 1973 – Supreme Court Cases

      Roe v. Wade: “… a landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s legal right to an abortion. The Court ruled, in a 7-2 decision, that a woman’s right to choose an abortion was protected by the privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The legal precedent for the decision was rooted in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right to privacy involving medical procedures.” [1/22/1973] [410 US 113 (1973)]

      “Roe v. Wade,”, 11/13/2009

    55. 1974 – Sex & Culture

      “The first issue of Hustler Magazine is published.”

      “Larry Flynt Publishing Inc. History,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    56. 1975 – Sex & Culture

      “Rocky Horror Picture Show released”: “Likening the gatherings to a ‘Mass,’ Susan Sarandon said that ‘Rocky Horror’ was an important film because ‘it’s given a home to so many people, especially those who need to be accepted for who they are.'”

      “‘Rocky Horror’ Is Doing the Time Warp, Forever,” Marc Spitz,, 10/2/2015

    57. 1975 – LGBT

      “In 1975 the Civil Service Commission announced new rules stipulating that gay people could no longer be barred or fired from federal employment because of their sexuality.”

      “‘These People Are Frightened to Death’: Congressional Investigations and the Lavender Scare,” Judith Adkins,, 2016

    58. 1975 – Sex & Culture

      Country singer Loretta Lynn releases “The Pill” in 1972, which is banned by 60 radio station in 1975. … “Loretta is the mother of six, and asserts, ‘If I’d had the pill back when I was havin’ babies I’d have taken ’em like popcorn. The pill is good for people. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anyone’s. But I wouldn’t necessarily have had six and I sure would have spaced ’em better.'”

      “Loretta Lynn’s ‘Pill’ Is Hard for Some Fans to Swallow,” Robert Windeler,, 3/31/1975

    59. 1976 – Supreme Court Cases

      Doe v. Commonwealth Attorney of Richmond: “The first challenge to a sodomy law … Although the Court accepted neither written nor oral arguments, its memorandum upholding the law is its first decision in a sodomy challenge.” [5/27/1976] [425 U.S. 901]

      “History Of Sodomy Laws And The Strategy That Led Up To Today’s Decision,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    60. 1976 – Books on Sex

      “Hite Report”: “Though it may seem to many that sex is everywhere available and has become too free and too public, ‘The Hite Report’, quite another picture.” … We learn from ‘The Hite Report’ just how much sexual starvation exists in the midst of this seeming plenty. We learn that 95 percent of women (even those who think themselves ‘frigid’) always reach orgasm when they masturbate, even though no one taught them how and even though most of them feel guilty about it.”

      “The Hite Report,” Erica Jong,, 10/3/1976

    61. 1978 – Scientific Advances

      “More than 8 million babies born from IVF [in vitro fertilization] since the world’s first in 1978”

      “More than 8 million babies born from IVF [in vitro fertilization] since the world’s first in 1978,” European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology,, 7/3/2018

    62. 1979 – Sex Abuse

      “Starting in her home state of California, she worked to get rid of any type of privilege to rape. The notable activist, who dropped her last name and adopted the name Laura X to to symbolize her rejection of men’s legal ownership of women and the anonymity of women’s history, led the successful 1979 campaign to strike down the marital rape exemption. From there she spent the 1980s and 1990s travelling from state to state, speaking on college campuses and to state legislatures and working one-by-one to abolish the marital, cohabitant and date rape privileges.”

      “Rape and Marriage: A look back at the Rideout case,”, 8/13/2016

    63. 1980 – Dental Dam

      “Originally invented by Sanford Barnum in 1864, the ‘rubber dam’ was built to isolate a tooth from the rest of the oral cavity. But that didn’t stop people from co-opting the device for oral sex more than a century later, during the HIV epidemic of the 1980s.”

      “Oral history: the sexual misadventures of the dental dam,” Arielle Duhaime-Ross,, 3/20/2014

    64. 1981 – HIV/AIDS

      “The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes an article in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Pneumocystis Pneumonia—Los Angeles. The article describes cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia(PCP), in five young, white, previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles. … This edition of the MMWR marks the first official reporting of what will later become known as the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) epidemic.” [6/5/1981]

      “A Timeline of HIV and AIDS,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    65. 1981 – LGBT

      “In 1981, the DOD formulated a new policy which stated unequivocally that homosexuality is incompatible with military service (DOD Directive 1332.14, January 28, 1982, Part 1, Section H).”

      “Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S. Military: Historical Background,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    66. 1981 – Sex Education

      Adolescent Family Life Act: “The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1981 included a rider known as the Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA), sponsored by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Jeremiah Denton (Alabama). AFLA set aside a small but significant amount of federal money to be used for the promotion of abstinence, as well as religious instruction in sexual matters within the public schools.” [8/13/1981]

      “Timeline 1981,”, accessed on 5/22/2019, (Broken link removed 6/2023)

    67. 1983 – HIV/AIDS

      “In 1983, scientists discovered the virus that causes AIDS. The virus was at first named HTLV-III/LAV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus-type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus) by an international scientific committee. This name was later changed to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).”

      “Where did HIV come from?,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    68. 1986 – Supreme Court Cases

      Bowers v. Hardwick: ” … the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the U.S. constitution allowed Georgia to make sodomy a crime” [6/30/1986] [478 US 186]

      “Why Sodomy Laws Matter,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    69. 1993 – LGBT

      “Minnesota passes the first law in the US which prohibits discrimination against transgendered people. The Minnesota statute establishes protections for transgendered people under the rubric of sexual orientation. … Cheryl Chase founded the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) to build awareness and offer support to intersex people.”

      “Trans History,”, accessed on 5/22/2019; (Broken link removed 12/2023)

    70. 1994 – Books on Sex

      “Sex in America: A Definitive Survey”: “The research–billed as the most comprehensive look at the subject ever–disputes many widespread myths about sexual practices in the United States, researchers at the University of Chicago said Thursday.” [10/17/1994]

      “Study of Sex Lives Finds Surprising Conservatism,” Thomas H. Maugh II,, 10/7/1994

    71. 1994 – Masturbation/HIV/AIDS

      “At the 1994 United Nations conference on AIDS, then surgeon general Jocelyn Elders was asked about promoting masturbation to prevent young people from engaging in riskier sexual behavior. ‘I think that it is a part of human sexuality,’ Elders replied. ‘And perhaps it should be taught.'”

      “A Brief History Of Sex Ed In America,” Johannah Cornblatt,, 10/27/2009

    72. 1995 – LGBT

      “Ending decades of common cold-war practice, President Clinton today signed an executive order barring the Federal Government from denying security clearances to homosexuals simply on the basis of their sexual orientation, a move long sought by gay rights groups.” [Aug. 5, 1995]

      “Clinton Ends Ban on Security Clearance for Gay Workers,” Todd S. Purdum,, 8/5/1995

    73. 1997 – LGBT

      “On this day in 1997, in a widely publicized episode of the ABC sitcom Ellen, TV character Ellen Morgan (played by Ellen DeGeneres) announces that she is gay.” [4/30/1997]

      “Controversial ‘coming out’ episode of ‘Ellen’ airs,”, 4/30/2019

    74. 1998 – Sex Medicine

      “This Tuesday marks 20 years since Mar. 27, 1998, when the FDA approved Viagra as the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction. Since the diamond-shaped blue pill hit the market, it has generated at least $17 billion in the U.S., Bloomberg reported in Dec. 2017.” [3/27/1998]

      “‘A Little Package of Dynamite.’ The Things People Said About Viagra When It Was Released 20 Years Ago,” Olivia B. Waxman,, 3/26/2018

    75. 1998 – Sex & Culture

      Clinton/Lewinsky: “Bill Clinton’s job approval rating in the first quarter during which the Lewinsky situation became public knowledge (1st quarter 1998) jumped 5.6 points compared to the immediately preceding quarter”

      “Presidential Job Approval: Bill Clinton’s High Ratings in the Midst of Crisis, 1998,” Frank Newport,, 6/4/1999

    76. 1999 – STD

      HPV shown to cause cervical cancer: “In 1999, a group of scientists, including Cancer Research UK scientist Professor Julian Peto, diligently re-tested the samples and found that virtually all cervical cancer samples (99.7 per cent) contained the virus. They showed HPV infection is the trigger for cervical cancer – this was, and remains to this day, the strongest link between a single ’cause’ and a specific cancer.”

      “HPV: the whole story, warts and all,” Emma Smith,, 9/16/2014; (Broken link removed 8/2023)

    77. 2000 – Supreme Court Cases

      Stenberg v. Carhart: “In a complicated 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the Court held that ‘Nebraska’s statute criminalizing the performance of ‘partial birth abortion[s]’ violates the U.S. Constitution, as interpreted in Casey and Roe.’ The sharply divided Court struck down the statute because it placed an undue burden on a woman’s right to have an abortion and did not allow for exception in cases of threatened health.” [6/28/2000] [530 US 914 (2000)]

      “Stenberg v. Carhart,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    78. 2002 – Sex Crimes Against Others

      “So called ‘rape drugs’ become major problem on college campuses”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    79. 2003 – Supreme Court Cases

      Lawrence v. Texas: “In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Court held that the Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct violates the Due Process Clause.” [6/26/2003] [539 US 558 (2003)]

      “Lawrence v. Texas,”, 6/26/2003

    80. 2003 – Abortion

      “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 – Amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit any physician or other individual from knowingly performing a partial-birth abortion, except when necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.” [11/5/2003]”

      “S.3 – Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003,”, 11/5/2003

    81. 2004 – LGBT

      “Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage following a ruling by the state’s highest court in 2003.”

      “Same-Sex Marriage, State by State,”, 6/26/2015

    82. 2006 – STI/STD

      “In June 2006, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine types … was licensed for use among females aged 9–26 years* for prevention of vaccine HPV-type–related cervical cancer, cervical cancer precursors, vaginal and vulvar cancer precursors, and anogenital warts. Efficacy studies are ongoing in men.” [6/8/2006]

      “Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP),”, 3/23/2007

    83. 2007 – Abortion

      “The Supreme Court narrowly upheld a federal law today banning a controversial abortion procedure, giving the anti-abortion movement one of its biggest legal victories in years.”

      “Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure,” David Stout,, 4/18/2007

    84. 2007 – Sex Education

      Studies show abstinencey only sex education fails to reduce teen pregnancy and STIs: “Federal support of AOE [abstinence-only or abstinence-until-marriage education] as an approach to improve adolescent sexual health is deeply troubling because of medical inaccuracies, programs that are not efficacious and may harm adolescents, and the unethical practice of withholding and distorting health information.”

      “Abstinence and abstinence-only education,” Mary A. Otta and John S. Santelli,, 4/24/2018

    85. 2007 – Supreme Court Cases

      Gonzales v. Carhart & Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood: “The Supreme Court reversed course on abortion, upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-to-4 decision that promises to reframe the abortion debate and define the young Roberts court.” [4/18/2007] [550 US 124]

      “Two abortion cases: Gonzales v. Carhart & Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood,”, accessed on 5/22/2019

    86. 2008 – LGBT

      “What baby Susan’s birth certificate doesn’t record is that she is perhaps the first, and certainly the most talked about, child born to a legally transgender male—in this case, a former beauty pageant finalist who now lives as a man while retaining female reproductive organs. “

      “The Pregnant Man Gives Birth ‘Daddy’s Little Princess’,” Champ Clark,, 8/4/2008

    87. 2008 – Supreme Court Cases

      “U.S. Supreme Court declares death penalty illegal (cruel and unusual punishment) for child rape”

      “Human Sexuality,” Roger R. Hock, PhD,, accessed on 7/10/2019

    88. 2007 – Senior Sex

      Senior Sex Study: “Despite the aging of the population, little is known about the sexual behaviors and sexual function of older people. … Many older adults are sexually active. Women are less likely than men to have a spousal or other intimate relationship and to be sexually active. Sexual problems are frequent among older adults, but these problems are infrequently discussed with physicians.” [8/23/2007]

      “A Study of Sexuality and Health among Older Adults in the United States,” Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, L. Philip Schumm, MA, Edward O. Laumann, PhD, Wendy Levinson, MD, Colm A. O’Muircheartaigh, PhD, and Linda J. Waite, PhD,, 8/23/2007

    89. 2011 – Sex Education

      “California Teen Birth Rates Drop 60 Percent Thanks To Sex Education … California’s teen birth rate has dropped nearly 60 percent as a result of expanded sex education programs, according to a report released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on Wednesday. … The report –- which was based on data collected until 2011 …”

      “California Teen Birth Rates Drop 60 Percent Thanks To Sex Education,” Rebecca Klein,, 7/22/2013

    90. 2011 – LGBT

      “Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.” [6/24/2011]

      “New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law,” Nicholas Confessore And Michael Barbaro,, 6/24/2011

    91. 2012 – LGBT

      “Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning a controversial therapy that aims to reverse homosexuality in minors, his office announced on Sunday, making California the first state to ban a practice many say is psychologically damaging.” [9/29/2012]

      “California bans gay ‘conversion’ therapy for minors,” Mary Slosson,, 9/30/2012

    92. 2013 – Supreme Court Cases

      United States v. Windsor: “In striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, a 5-to-4 majority of the Supreme Court overturned a law that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples” [6/26/2013] [570 US _]

      “Between the Lines of the Defense of Marriage Act Opinion,” John Schwartz,, 6/26/2013

    93. 2014 – Sex Abuse

      “Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation yet of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on ‘men of the church’ who harm children.”

      “Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children,” Daniel Burke and Laura Smith-Spark,, 4/11/2014

    94. 2014 – LGBT

      “Thirty-two states, including some of the country’s most populous like California, New York and Illinois, allow gay marriage, affording same sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples.”

      “Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in 32 States and Washington, D.C.,” Michelle Kaminsky, Esq.,, accessed on 5/22/2019 (Broken link removed 7/2023)

    95. 2015 – Supreme Court Cases

      Obergefell v. Hodges: “Justice Anthony M. Kennedy delivered the opinion for the 5-4 majority. The Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right to marry as one of the fundamental liberties it protects, and that analysis applies to same-sex couples in the same manner as it does to opposite-sex couples.” [6/26/2015] [576 US _ (2015)]

      “Obergefell v. Hodges,”, 6/26/2015