“What the Sexual Revolution Wrought” by Michael Brendan Dougherty

Eberstadt endeavors to shine a klieg light on the feral scenes of the present, and on the ideological extremism of our times.

“What the Sexual Revolution Wrought” by Michael Brendan Dougherty

‘Who, for starters, has the wherewithal to attend protests night after night for months on end, as happened for years in Portland, Oregon?” asks Mary Eberstadt, in the expanded reissue of her 2012 book, Adam and Eve after the Pill. “For the most part, not people living in families. And certainly not mothers and fathers caring for young children.”

Across a series of penetrating essays, Eberstadt endeavors to shine a klieg light on the feral scenes of the present, and on the ideological extremism of our times. What she finds are products and paradoxes of the sexual revolution. And in 2023 there is quite a bit of new ground to cover. Since the original was published, we’ve seen the introduction of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, a further plunge in birth rates, a decline of the American life span, the rise of “revenge porn,” and the proliferation of dating apps. Beyond these is the sudden proliferation of gender clinics promising to “affirm” the gender identity of young people by feeding them off-label puberty blockers and scheduling surgeries that will make them infertile and in many cases incontinent. All this was accompanied by a ferocious surge in identity politics, a rising tide of intolerant secularism, levels of reported teen depression never before recorded, and an opioid epidemic that is killing as many Americans per year as did the entire Vietnam War.

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