Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Now, heaven knows, anything goes

Last night I watched Little Kinsey, BBC4's documentary about a 1949 survey into people's sex lives which was deemed so shocking the findings were suppressed.

It comes as no surprise, these days, to learn that people in the 1940s visited prostitutes and had extramarital affairs. It probably wouldn't have surprised too many people back then, given the results of the survey, but only one paper risked publishing selected highlights and the poor idealistic young men and women of Mass Observation did all that research for no reward, except the strength of their conviction and the odd shag with an interviewee.

The overall impression is that there was just as much naughtiness going on as nowadays, and everyone was much more miserable about it. Reenacted interviews were interspersed with footage of elderly men and ladies recalling their past to reveal unhappy, ill-suited couples who married because someone got somebody pregnant, horrific measures taken to induce miscarriage, and teenage mums under pressure to give up their babies (the old woman interviewed, who defied everyone to hang on to her own child when she gave birth at fifteen, wept as she recalled the other girls in the home watching theirs taken away).

I for one am extremely grateful to be living in an age where contraceptives can be bought like sweeties and you can tell the entire internet about your sex life at the click of a button. (Ooh, 'button'.) It has its bad points, sure, but the benefits far outweigh them.

Some Tory was on the radio earlier this week telling me how great the world would be if nobody had abortions or got divorced. I wanted to belt him one at the time; after the documentary, I wanted to stick a coat hanger up him and see how he liked it. And they wonder why they aren't attracting young female voters!
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