“The Pill”


“The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth control pill or colloquially as ‘the pill’, is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (estradiol) and a progestogen (progestin). When taken by mouth every day, these pills reversibly inhibit female fertility. They were first approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960, and are a very popular form of birth control. They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States. … Two forms are on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. The pill was a catalyst for the sexual revolution. … Society and culture: The Pill was approved by the FDA in the early 1960s; its use spread rapidly in the late part of that decade, generating an enormous social impact. Time magazine placed the pill on its cover in April, 1967. In the first place, it was more effective than most previous reversible methods of birth control, giving women unprecedented control over their fertility. Its use was separate from intercourse, requiring no special preparations at the time of sexual activity that might interfere with spontaneity or sensation, and the choice to take the Pill was a private one. This combination of factors served to make the Pill immensely popular within a few years of its introduction. Claudia Goldin, among others, argue that this new contraceptive technology was a key player in forming women’s modern economic role, in that it prolonged the age at which women first married allowing them to invest in education and other forms of human capital as well as generally become more career-oriented. Soon after the birth control pill was legalized, there was a sharp increase in college attendance and graduation rates for women. … Because the Pill was so effective, and soon so widespread, it also heightened the debate about the moral and health consequences of pre-marital sex and promiscuity. Never before had sexual activity been so divorced from reproduction. …”
Wikipedia

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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