tv Lectures in History CSPAN August 30, 2016 1:11pm-2:07pm EDT
congress to impeach irs commissioner john koskinen. >> house resolution 828 impeaching john andrew koskinen, commissioner of the internal revenue service, for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> we'll review the expected congressional debate with susan ferrechio, senior congressional correspondent for the washington examiner. join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span for congress this fall. next, on lectures in history, indiana university professor john bodnar talks about the idea of sexual freedom in the 1950s. and the beginning of dissent against cold war era moral values. professor bodnar describes how america in the 1950s saw itself as a morally righteous nation and how virtue is seen as tied to patriotism. he lists the publication of the kinsey reports on male and female sexuality, the creation of playboy, and the development of the birth control pill as
factors that promoted the stirrings of a revolt against prevailing cultural norms. this class is a little under an hour. good afternoon. we have been talking about the cold war and the relationship between the cold war and its global dimension of fighting communism and its domestic dimension of promoting certain outlooks and certain values that were seen as indispensable to america's fight against communism in the world. so as we have discussed already, the cold war not only had a military component, but it had a moral component. it had a dimension where if you were to be seen, in american society, as an ardent cold warrior, committed to the fight against communism, then you not only had to be a patriot and
willing to do battle, figuratively and theoretically against communism in the world, but you had to live by a certain standard to prove your american loyalty and your american patriotism. interestingly, in the late 1940s, and early 1950s, just when this alliance was getting off the ground, this alliance between this political fight in the world and this need for moral rearmament domestically in our country, just as that was emerging, we saw the beginnings of a fracture or a division or even some sentiments of dissent within american culture and american society. a wave of dissent that began to question not all, but some of the moral values that were seen as indispensable to the larger
project to fight the cold war. and today i want to talk about the beginnings of that dissent. it won't be a full scale rebellion yet against the cold war, or these traditional values that were so important to the mind set of americans during the cold war, but it will represent the beginnings of a wave that will build. and it will explode in a much more determined fashion in the 1960s, but that is something that we will address at a later time. and you'll notice today, when we talk about the beginnings of this wave of descent, against the traditional values that were foundational for cold war america, you'll see that this wave of descent or this sense of rebellion is coming not from teenagers, who are suddenly
energized by new music and rock 'n' roll and teenage rebellion, but actually even before all that is happening, this wave of descent is not coming from kids, it is coming from adults. and we'll be talking about it, looking at those adults and what they had to say and how they begin to challenge the edifice during the early years of the cold war and the cold war itself. so, we'll be looking at the impact of the kinsey reports authored by an indiana university professor and biologist, albert kinsey. we'll be looking at the work that was done to promote the development of the birth control pill in the 1950s. we'll be looking at the impact that hugh hefner made with playboy magazine. we'll look at the popularity of
the beats, poets, writers, who were starting to attract a sizeable audience in the early '50s and mid '50s. we'll look at the messages that women were getting, expected to live their lives as housewives mostly from popular magazines, et cetera and a little bit about consumer desires, something we know was prevalent in the post-war era, was beginning to alter the perception that women's place was simply to be in the home. certainly if there was any traditional value that was at the center of this set of cold war values, it was the celebration of a traditional marriage, father working, mother
at home. domesticity. we now that traditional values erupted after world war ii in part in response to the chaos and politics and the war itself. people were uprooted from their homes, people were killed. life was thrown in some turmoil. there was a general desire to sort of settle down and to retreat, to some extent, in a world that was dominated by traditional roles and traditional expectations. so, marriage rates rise after world war ii. we noted that. church attendance rises, increases. religion, formal church membership and religion is attracting more people. and, of course, it goes without saying that there's a constant preaching and promotion of patriotic values and loyalty to america because that goes very definitely to the issue of being loyal to the effort to fight the cold war and proving that, in
fact, you can't be suspected of being spying or sympathetic to any communist ideology. post war dreams were articulated, as you know, in press, in magazines. that particular portrait of, i guess, a happy couple. we really don't know how happy they may be. but it's certainly an image that suggests the desirability of marriage, of traditional roles, male breadwinner, female wife, mother at home and, of course, this is the time not only of increased marriage but the time of the baby boom. and so it's not just about getting married. it's becoming parents as well. this is part of the world that america feels it's defending against godless communism in the world. a world of stable families, traditional roles, parents raising children. in the late 1940s, americans
begin to marry at higher rates than before. in the 1930s, marriage rates were lower and slower because difficult times made many couples difficult to contemplate moving off on their own. the economy was somewhat precarious. more americans that got married in the 1950s and started to get married at a younger age. the average age for a woman to get married was now just about 20. where in 1930 it was a year older. women are beginning to have children earlier and this will be one of the reasons to drive -- not the only reason but one of the reasons driving the baby boom itself. you can see the fertility rates, from 1930 to 1957, that's a substantial increase, from 79 to 122 women per thousand having
children. and so we -- all the statistics bear out what the ads and promotion of values suggest and that is marriage and parenthood are part of this value system that's emerging with anti-communism itself. we already said that church attendance is expanding and increasing substantially. and so it's part of the mind-set. we have to fight this godless communism, world could be destroyed at any minute by some sort of nuclear exchange. so, finding peace, inner peace, outer peace in this period is very much tied to adherence to these traditional values. and religion becomes very intertwined, as you know, with patriotic beliefs. if you're going to be a good
american or if you're going to be a good christian, as billy graham said, in 1950, you also have to be a good american. >> the all of a sudden right in the middle of this sort of celebration of traditional values, religion, family, heterosexuality, patriotism, et cetera, and this growing consensus or effort to bring americans together under this set of ideals to fight the cold war, we get the beginnings of challenges to this perception and this identity that americans are people who believe in god, who believe in traditional
values and who are ready to undertake the anti-communist crusade. and, interestingly, the first sort of shot fired in this early wave of descent or challenge to these values comes from a biologist at indiana university bloomington named alfred kinsey. kinsey's two books, sexual behavior in the human male, 1948, and sexual behavior in the human female, 1953, are sort of earth shaking in the impact that they have on american society and american culture. why? because kinsey's data from his research showed that while americans talked about adhering to traditional gender roles, sexual roles, containing sex within marriage, the necessity for heterosexuality, in fact, his data showed that americans were not practicing what they
were preaching. now, people challenged kinsey's data. he was a scientist, rendering what he thought were the results. he had a research team of what he found, researchers going out all over the country, chicago, new york, midwest, talking to people of all kind of sexual orientations and reports the data. 60% of the american men, according to his data, are having sexual intercourse before marriage. maybe that's true. maybe it's not entirely accurate but it challenged the public perception that americans were these virtuous people living by a set of these values the way they guided their life, very much tied to the sense of who they were to fight communism. to fight communism meant you also had to adhere to traditional values. if, in fact, there are people not adhering in some way, maybe they're not also adhering to the patriotic crusade to fight communism itself. 37% of the men had homosexual
encounter. this is hugely controversial in 1948. everybody is picking up on what kinsey is saying. this guy, they're saying, will destroy the morals of the country, doesn't know what he's going to talk about. he is going to evoke criticism because, in part, people don't want to hear or are reluctant to accept what he sees as a reality and they see as a distortion because it distorts the view of what the cold war says and thinks about who americans are. if the book on human male sexual practices was controversial, it was more controversial to come out with data in 1953 about the practices of american women. because american women were perceived to be or expected to be virtuous, contain sexual
practices to families, to marriage, et cetera. and he's talking -- he's coming up with data showing half the women he talked to had sex before marriage or half the women -- i'm sorry, a quarter women had committed adultery after marriage. this provokes even more controversy and hostile reaction from the public, from religious leaders, newspapers, from educators, et cetera, that even his data on american men. so, kinsey is beginning to sort of make a crack within the structure of cold war america, with its delicate balance between political anti-communism and cultural, moral, traditional values. and he's saying -- he's not coming out and not probably even thinking that he's critiquing
the cold war but he's critiquing part of it, the sort of structure of our identity of who we thought we were and why we were fighting the cold war which was, in part, to preserve these values. he's basically saying not all these americans are adhering to them and that's why he's so controversial. >> kinsey began his thinking about marriage and sexuality in the late 1930s. he started a marriage course at indiana university. students had the option in the course to have private and separate meetings about their marriage plans or sexual behavior in histories with kinsey. and in his course, more -- by the way, there were many college courses on marriage.
kinsey maybe more than others also delved into sexual practices. how did people have sex? when did they have sex? who were their partners, et cetera? was it heterosexual, homosexual? these were things that interested him. he brought this into the discussion of his marriage class. and, of course, he pursued it as well with individual discussions with some of the students. as you would expect, this is going to create turmoil on the blooming tomorrow campus and other professors, some administrators, certainly people in the state, et cetera, are questioning what kinsey is doing and trying to do with his marriage course. faculty members are complaining to the president, especially when he talks about homosexuality and masturbation
in class. no one did this in the 1930s. and so herman wells, who was the president of indiana university, in dealing with all the -- kinsey had his supporters, critics. he calls him in and says look, make a choice. keep teaching the marriage course, stop the research, stop collecting the interview data on sexual practices or drop the course and just do the research. if he was just doing the research and his critics not seeing these issues discussed, presented in class, then he would diffuse the criticism. kinsey decided to drop the class, 1940, and just -- but he did decide to continue the research. is he going to amass this team that's going to go all over america and talk to people about their sexual histories and compile all this data.
he was talking to ordinary families in the midwest. he was sort of totally devoted, obviously, for him, to this scientific research project. a picture of kinsey conducting one of his interviews. he had other intervies. he didn't do all the interviews himself. that's a photograph of kinsey and herman wells, who continually had to defend academic freedom. kinsey's right as a scholar and researcher, to do his research. wells was always getting pressure from religious authorities, state legislators, et cetera, to put a stop to what was seen as such controversial scholarly work and research. wells was an astute politician. when it was time for kinsey to publish his second book, sexual behavior on the human female.
wells arranged for the publisher to have the book released in the summer when the state legislature was not in session so it would take them a while to gather their forces and come back with criticism, of course, which they did but by that time the book was out for a while. he became fascinated with the play, and then the movie, play came out in 1947 and the movie in 1951, starring marlon brando, "street car named desire," authored by tennessee williams, who was gay. in his writing, he was interested in exploring variations in sexual activity. if you know the story, seen the play or the movie, it was controversial. it was popular, et cetera. it was a play about very aggressive sexual behavior. marlon brando was in the play and the movie. in the play, beats his wife and
rapes his sister-in-law. they take the rape scene out of the play -- it was in the play. they don't put it in the movie. they suggest -- don't make it explicit, anyway. but they do have this one episode where he strikes his wife. interesting topic today and it was certainly a topic not talked about much either in the late '40s or '50s, but it hits the screen. and kinsey is interested in the fact that they're exposing, if you will, this sexual aggression. it is part of the stuff that interests him. and it's certainly consistent with kinsey's own research, which questions the idea and the ideal that americans are all adhering to traditional sexual practices. so, kinsey goes to see the play in new york, gets to know tennessee williams and then he
begins to take the sexual histories of all the people in the play. so, the data at the kinsey center is coded so you can't tell who you're reading about, if you had access to that. but i would presume that he has marlon brando, maybe even vivian leigh's sexual histories in there. you would have to check for sure if, in fact, that information could be confirmed. it is true, though, he was trying to interview and did interview most everybody who was in the play and the film. are there any questions so far? the actions of kinsey are predictable, criticized by religious leaders. in a large public sample, about half the u.s. population approve of what kinsey is doing. his critics are vocal.
but in a pure, raw sample data, if you will, there's a sense here that -- and a willingness to begin to question or move beyond the imposition of simply traditional values, traditional sexual practices. that's what kinsey was saying. americans are doing this any how. and the public opinion poll suggesting there is some sympathy and not simply a total embrace even though this was the dominant idea of anti-communism, traditional values. people are beginning to question the cold war, but not directly more about the values that were wrapped around this cold war ideology. kinsey's data is judgmental. not condemning a woman who committed adultery or had a same-sex relationship. he's simply reporting the data and accepting it.
but in a sense, his acceptance is the beginnings of a more diverse outlook or acceptance of a more diverse world in terms of sexual practices. we would say that today. he may not have said it quite the way i just said it. that's exactly what he was doing. he was challenging what he perceived to be the norm, the norm from which you were not expected to deviate. cartoon from the new yorker, of course. the good women in the cartoon, suggesting an upper class setting, are aghast by what kinsey says and has done. you may or may not be able to read the wording at the bottom the one woman is saying i'm sure dr. kinsey never has spoken to anyone in upper mont claire, suggesting he was collecting his data from less reputable places
in the united states, but not in this noble and virtuous upper class community. margaret sanger was another adult who began to bring to bear challenges to the norms of sexual practice. she was a social worker who, early in the 20th century, had worked with poor, immigrant women in manhattan, lower manhattan in new york. she was struck by a number of things. their impoverished conditions, for sure, but also the number of pregnancies that many of these women had and how hard -- the hardship that came with these people living in chronic conditions, these women especially, having so many children. all the health issues involved therein and the medical problem
of many of these women trying to induce their own abortions and causing infections from which many were harmed or killed. she came away from her social work with a sympathetic view of women in marriage, critical view of the domestic arrangements where women had no control -- or little control over the number of children that they were to bear. and so she began to -- she set up a clinic early in the 20th century to pass out birth control information. officials closed the clinic down. birth control information was seen as a transgression of obscenity laws. information on birth control was seen as obscene and, therefore, they shut the clinic down because she was giving out this information. over time she kept at it and eventually secured financial support, especially from a philanthropically minded woman in chicago, katherine mccormick, married to a wealthy
industrialist in chicago. she was sympathetic to what margaret sanger wanted to do and mccormick provided the necessary or fundamental financing for researchers at clark university in massachusetts to develop a pill that would block ovulation and lead to and finally become the birth control pill, which was officially okayed by the government in 1960. it's going to take time after 1960 for its use to spread and become disseminated. but the challenge to the notion that a woman in marriage had to have children or had no control over the number of children she had, et cetera, really begins, obviously, earlier than the '50s, but the development of the pill, the financing and sort of the ideals and ideas of sanger come together so that the pill now becomes -- is one of the things that's happening in the '50s, as is kinsey's books to move against this traditional
notions of motherhood, child bearing, domestic relations. and if you're going to be talking about a challenge to marriage and conventional sexual norms in the early 1950s, you can't leave out hugh hefner. does anyone know where hefner went to college? not far away. no, it wasn't indiana. but he probably wishes he did because hefner loves the kinsey reports. he devoured the kinsey books. kinsey was telling him all the stuff that he was sort of thinking any how, that you didn't have to live your adult sexual life through conventions of marriage. and so hefner, as a veteran back from the war, from world war ii, as a student at the university
of illinois, started his own magazine in college. he called it "shaft" and the magazine had a feature called "coed of the month." so, he clearly is laying out and figuring out the blueprint of what eventually will become, as you all know, "playboy" magazine. he was engrossed with kinsey. he thought kinsey was totally on the right track, his track to sort of explode conventional perceptions about what sexual behavior should be. and while he was a married guy, a vet in college at illinois after the war, he also began to lose interest in his marriage and eventually moved on from that. first issue of playboy was 1953. those are just some sample issues. marilyn monroe was on the front cover and the centerfold in the first issue of "playboy" magazine.
he didn't take a picture of marilyn monroe. there was a picture already being used on a widely circulated calendar at the time. he bought the rights to the photograph and then threw it in the magazine. he didn't put a date on the very first cover of "playboy." because he didn't know if there would ever be a second issue. he didn't know if it was going to succeed. of course, it did. he sold 50,000 some copies of the first issue. from there on it kept building and growing. "playboy," like kinsey's books, was one of those places where these sort of challenges to marriage and conventional sexual norms were being expressed and regularly articulated. the first article in "playboy" was about alimony and how men should be very careful about getting married because eventually a woman will want to divorce you and take from you the money you earn. i know that would not stop any
of you guys in this class, fear of alimony, but it was what "playboy" was preaching at the time. questioning, if you will, the viability of marriage itself. saying about half their readers were free men and the other half, married guys, are free only in spirit. and he makes it clear in his first issue, first page, it's not a family magazine. he told women who saw the magazine to pass it on to a man. he's trying to appeal to men who don't want to be married, who don't want to be tied to family, responsibilities and fatherhood. that man who doesn't want to be tied to family responsibilities and fatherhood is the playboy. "playboy" magazine. playboy is the man. it's the image. the man who is interested in pleasure. he's not interested in family roles or responsibilities. he should enjoy sports cars, consumer goods and dating many
girls, and all the pleasures men can find outside of marriage and in a consumer society. that was the playboy. he was adapting to this wave of change that was challenging conventional values and, interestingly, kinsey, sanger and hefner are all questioning marriage. you can say this is not the rebellion of the 1960s, but it's the beginning of the attack against the entire structure of cold war values, which will then devolve and trickle down to the kids who will become the counterculture in the '60s. before we had that, we had the rebellion of adults challenging conventional, moral prescriptions. the beats were artists, writers, poets. they became very popular in the
'50s. but they, too, were popular because, in part, they refused to adhere to or conform to traditional values. which is the theme of the entire discussion. they produced poetry. they wrote fiction. but it was about people who were moving from place to place. they were not settled. it was about people who had a number of different sexual encounters. it was about people who had critical perspectives on america. let's just say you raise the issue of racism, drug use, homosexuality, that was to run the risk of being seen as un-american. not sufficiently patriotic, in an era of mccarthyism where people were losing their jobs for being seen as unpatriotic or not practicing conventional
sexual norm -- following conventional sexual norms. writers like alan ginsburg and jack kerouac, the novelist, they were reading their stuff. stuff like kinsey, hefner and sanger, another sort of life in america that wasn't so virtuous, wasn't so patriotic and was more willing to question the established authorities at the time, which were mobilizing to fight the communist crusade. that's a picture of jack kerouac. he's on the right, right here. that's kerouac. that's his buddy, neal cassady. on the road was a sensational best-seller, especially among college students in the '50s. it was a story of two men who
were moving across america. they're not fixed to work routines. they're not trying to get ahead, live in the suburbs. just split up from marriages. there's no domestic bliss here. there's a variety of sexual partners. poverty and racism in america. this is not what the true believers in the cold war, mccarthy, for example, or others would want to see and hear in our culture and our politics because it ran against the idea that we were fighting a force in the world, communism, that was threatening america and its traditional values, its faith in god, its solid families, its virtuous people. that's from ginsberg's poem
"howl." i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, driving themselves through negro streets, looking at -- he is being metaphorical. trying to create images but he is talking about people who are perhaps drug addicts, drug addiction, homosexuality, more disturbing view of america, descent from the traditional values. that's why, of course, he's popular with some, many people would be quite hostile to what kerouac was writing or even what ginsberg was writing. one person who was at this stage, he was about 15, 16 years old, he was really absorbing a lot of this more critical perspective. he is a young person at the time and becomes sort of really tuned
in to the sort of literature of the beats, like kerouac and ginsberg. of course, that's bob dylan. he's reading "howl," he's reading on the road, being influenced by this stuff. dylan will, of course, convert into his albums in the early '60s for a number of reasons, which we'll look at later in the course. but these ideas are, in part, being drawn from these adults, these writers in the '50s. just as hefner is drawing from kinsey and dylan is drawing from kerouac and ginsberg, these ideas are spreading. we're not yet at the level of the counter culture of the '60s
but we are at the level of significant descent from the set of traditional values of the cold war. >> despite the controversy that kinsey created and despite the popularity of the beats, et cetera, if you counted up all the newsprint that was devoted to a single subject in 1952, 1953, it probably would add up to christine jorgensen being the most talked about person in america. nontraditional ways,
nontraditional gender roles making an impact on american society more than kinsey, it's pretty hard to top christine jorgensen. what did she do, do you know? christine jorgensen, like hefner, was a veteran, world war ii. part of the greatest generation but christine jorgensen decided that he wanted to be a woman and she had a sex change operation. went to denmark. and this becomes huge news. this is the veteran back from the war. this is after the operation. and, of course, there could be no greater challenge to the
celebration of traditional gender roles than for someone to change their gender completely, which is what -- i mean, kinsey is upsetting the apple cart. sanger is looking for a way to affect marriage. hefner is challenging marriage. jorgensen is more than challenging marriage. he's challenging the very idea challenging marriage. he's challenging the very idea of sexual gender roles themselves. christine was born george jorgensen, ex-gi. served in world war ii. claimed his desire to be a woman was very strong. in 1952, had surgery in denmark. apparently he was the most written about person in the u.s. press in 1953. reminds us of that public opinion poll that was taken on kinsey's books where half the population was somewhat sympathetic to opening up the discussion about sexual roles and practices.
look at the interest here in jorgensen's sex change operation. that's substantial if, in fact, to the extent that's true, the most talked about person in 1953 in the press. and certainly to gender roles. to give you a flavor, sample of what people were seeing, reading. ex-gi becomes blond beauty. christine 100% woman. you can understand why this would grab a lot of attention. it really did. it was grabbing the attention in conjunction with all these other things that were grabbing attention like kinsey and hefner.
and you could see something percolating in the culture of society, which is simply not following in lockstep to the anti-communist -- or behind the anti-communist crusade. and there are other instances and examples or suggestions that the attitudes of many americans were changing. look at those -- for example, those points. single motherhood was increasing significantly. in other words, was more likely from 1940 to 1960 that a woman would bear a child out of wedlock. i mean, that always happened but it was happening in increasing numbers so that kinsey had a point. people were increasingly -- had been practicing in ways that we had not acknowledged or not realized.
and we see much more discussion and even training of medical professionals in issues of planned parenthood and birth control in the '50s. it's still controversial. it's not like today. i mean, it's not, you know, birth control in any way you want it. it wasn't prevalent, et cetera. there are ways to do that. but the information now was being disseminated. sanger's project is moving forward in the '50s to develop the pill and medical professionals are being trained in ways, especially, from planned parenthood which, by the way, was an organization that evolved out of the early work, started by margaret sanger. so, birth control is one of those issues that is being pushed forward to challenge convention.
there's another way to see the sort of slow but persistent evolution of change or change within the early '50s in regard to conventional and traditional values. and that's in the polls that -- gallup poll organization and others took at the time about who the most admired women were in america. usually the most admired man was the president. the most admired women were women who had careers or women who were working. and even though this is an age that has been celebrated as the age of the suburbs, the age of the baby boom, the age of more and more people getting married, et cetera, when women were asked who they admired most, they admired women who had careers outside the household. almost every year in the 50s, the most admired woman in
america, usually at the top of these polls, was eleanor roosevelt. many of you know, eleanor roosevelt was the widow of franklin roosevelt, who died near the end of world war ii. she was an active, political figure for the rest of her life, even before he died, but certainly after he died. she was a delegate to the u.n. in 1946. she chaired the united nations commission on human rights. she was active in the committee that drafted the u.n. declaration of human rights. that was issued in 1948. she was an outspoken supporter of liberal causes throughout the '50s, et cetera. and, in a sense, it would be fair to say she was something of a liberal political icon in the '50s. but she wasn't on the most admired list from women in the '50s because she was a liberal icon. she was on the most admired list because, in fact, she was a woman with a public -- highly
public, in this case, career. that's a photograph, actually, of eleanor roosevelt visiting with herman wells, president of indiana university. and that's here in bloomington in 1950. right between the publication of kinsey's first book and his second book. kinsey is working on his second book. i don't know if kinsey came out to any reception or celebration for eleanor roosevelt. she was here and emblematic, wherever she went, of women finding active careers outside traditional marriage. another woman who often appeared on these lists in the '50s was claire booth luce.
women, even though domestic arrangements predominated the way most men and women are living their adult lives, marital relations, claire booth luce, while she is married, married to the owner of "time" magazine, she is widely admired because she has a public career. served in congress. she was a writer. she advocated careers for women. she was a journalist in world war ii. she wrote from the war zones. widely admired, like eleanor roosevelt. these women are suggesting, as is some of the public opinion response to kinsey's books and the popular interest in christine jorgensen that, in fact, people, while maybe living under the rubrics of conventional values are quite interested in some of, if not all, the alternatives.
and, finally, there is the interesting and unpredictable or unintended, perhaps, consequences of this growing desire for consumer goods within married families themselves. and the point here is this. we know that after world war ii there was this wave of marriages, pregnancies, births, home buying, suburbanization and this consumerism. remember, i said this earlier. during the war, americans were only producing war goods, planes, tanks and guns. they weren't producing cars, tv sets, new housing, all that consumer stuff. and during world war ii, people were working but they didn't have a lot of opportunities to spend the money they made. savings were increasing.
that pent-up savings helps to fuel this consumer buying and this return of our economy to consumer production after the war. now, in this sort of system, this new consumer system, if you will, that's taking hold after the war, women are getting married. they're getting married earlier and, therefore, they're trying to stop or end their child bearing at an earlier point in their lives. earlier marriages, earlier pregnancies and a tendency, therefore, after a number of years of this to try to end pregnancies and to look for other opportunities within their married life. they're increasingly in the 1950s looking for jobs outside their traditional domestic relations, jobs that will allow them to earn the extra money to buy the television set here in this sort of quintessential image of a contented
consumerist, traditional 1950s family, or cars, or furniture for the house. so, consumerism, in a sense, is beginning to propel some women out of their traditional domestic lives and looking for part-time or full-time jobs. so, there's a steady increase of women working outside the home throughout the 1950s. and that is consistent with what we see. we see in this first decade or more of the cold war and this effort to bring together americans behind the banner of anti-communism and the banner of traditional values, we see an underlying sense of descent or change or discontent or stepping back from those values.
kinsey exposes the fact that we don't practice what we preach. sanger wants to challenge traditional notions of married women as simply being mother after mother after mother hefner wants to challenge marriage completely and celebrate alternative lifestyles for men. people are fascinated by sex-change operations. starting to leave the home for consumer goods. women are widely admiring other women who work outside the home. and so while the overlay of the cold war 50s is grounded in patriotism, heterosexuality, traditional values, religion, marriage, motherhood and fatherhood, the underlay, the sort of under current is going in a slightly different direction. and, as you'll see as we move in the weeks ahead, this sort of crack in the cold war edifice
begins with challenging and changing perspectives on sexual behavior. eventually, it will become more political. eventually, it will deal more with racial issues and eventually it will explode in the 1960s. but the sea bed of the counter culture of the '60s, which totally challenges the cold war, can be seen quite clearly in the early efforts of these descenters from traditional sexual and cultural values in the early 1950s. that is our lecture for today. i thank you all for attending. are there any questions before we finish? okay. i'll see you next week. thank you.
american history tv airs on c-span 3 every weekend, telling the american story through events, interviews and visits through historic locations. american history tv is in prime time to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span 3. features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country. to hear lectures by top history professors. american artifacts takes a look at the treasures at historic sites, museums. real america, revealing the 20th century. civil war, where you hear about the people who take the civil war in reconstruction and presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in prime time and every weekend on american history tv on c-span 3. all week, american history tv is in prime time, featuring programs from our lectures in history series where we take you
into college classrooms across the country. each night leads off with a debut of a new program. tonight, it's a look at sexuality in america. we begin at 8:00 eastern with a lecture on the origins of gay rights movement, followed by discussion on sexual freedom in the 1960s, gays and lesbians in early 20th century america. that's tonight on american history tv here on c-span 3. with the house and senate returning from their summer break next week, on thursday at 8:00 pm eastern, we'll preview four key issues facing congress this fall. federal funding to combat the zika virus. >> women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant.
why? because mosquitos ravage pregnant women. >> but today, they turn down the very money that they argued for last may and decided to gamble with the lives of children like this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very vital to the future of this nation, in a time of turmoil and a time of the greatest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform. >> every member of this body, every republican and every democrat wants to see less gun violence. >> we must continue to work the work of nonviolence, and demand an end to senseless killing everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach irs commissioner john koskinen. >> house resolution impeaching john koskinen, commissioner of the internal revenue service, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
>> we'll review the expected congressional debate with susan ferrechio for the washington examiner. join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span for congress this fall. next, on lectures in history, santa clara university professor nancy unger and her class discuss societal attitudes toward gay men and lesbians in the early 20th century. professor unger says that prior to this time, homosexuality was rarely discussed or even acknowledged. however, interest in sigmund freud and the new field of psychology brought sexuality into popular discussion. also, the culture began to place more emphasis on masculinity, with figures such as president theodore roosevelt leading the charge. as a result, gay men and lesbians were considered deviants from the cultural ideal and became subject to prejudice and stereotyping. santa clara university is in california. this class is just over an hour.